Housing crisis

I always believe, that the harder something is, the more fondly you will look back at that challenge once you've conquered it. The harder you have to work, the more pain you have to go through, the more pride you will look back on it later. When you're competing in sport, is it the games that you dominate from start to finish that you remember? Or is it the ones where you have to fight tooth and nail, clawing for every inch, putting your heart on the line, that define your passion? The harder something is to overcome, the more fondly you look back on it.

I tried to put a positive spin on the current situation with housing in Invermere last time I wrote a blog, but my attitude has really taken a turn for the worst since. I don't even leave for this trip for another 2 and a ½ weeks. But already, everything that can go wrong, is going wrong. Whether it's things happening to me personally, like booking a flight to Vancouver 2 days before being told I can fly into Calgary. Or not getting staff accomodation despite being the first person interviewed for the whole season. Or whether it's things happening to the whole world that influence me as well. We're in the midst of the worst financial crisis in living memory essentially, so flight prices have gone up, and I'm still unsure if I'll have access to all of my savings by the time I fly out, because one of my banks has collapsed. And knowing my luck at the moment, my airline will probably go bust before I fly out in a couple of weeks. Everything that can go wrong surrounding this trip, really is going wrong.

But despite all of that, up to this point, I've been unwaivering in my plans. The first thing I arranged for this trip, was the job I have. And since then, everything I've done, has been based around this job. My departure date, my destination; everything, has been based around this job. But now... now I'm having such a struggle getting accomodation sorted for this job, that for the first time, I'm reconsidering my options entirely. There is now doubt in my mind as to whether this will be what I ultimately end up doing when I'm in Canada. Because finding a place in Invermere, is an absolute cunt. And failing to get a place, my likely destination if I had to go elsewhere, would be Vancouver. And seeing as I'm flying into Vancouver anyway, then why not just stay there. Save on $200+ of bus fares?

This all came about, because I was finally able to speak with people about housing, enough to get their approval, that if I was able to find a place, that regardless, they would probably come in with me. Such are the hassles that everyone is having. So I call a landlord yesterday. And one that I finally get through to, on I think the 4th attempt (people in Canada really don't seem to like answering their phones), he tells me that the house is available still. Great. Because everything else in Invermere seems to be gone already. But he then goes on to tell me, that because there are so many people searching for places to live, and so few people renting, that he won't actually rent to someone unless he has met them in person. And he also says, "I don't want to stop you looking, but I think most of the landlords in Invermere will have the same policy." Apparently my best bet would be to wait until I arrive, then look for a place. Because trying to arrange a place to live before I'm in town... He pretty much told me I'd be wasting my time.

So now, the flight I booked to Vancouver starts to look like a real pain in the ass. I was annoyed before, but I could live with the fact I was flying to Vancouver, because I could have a few days in Whistler. I know a couple of guys out there, so I thought it would be cool to go there for a few days. But now, seeing as it is appearing near impossible to find accomodation in Invermere by phone, I may well have to skip out Whistler all together. Probably limit the time I'm in Vancouver as well, and head straight over to Invermere. So now, the £150 ish extra that it's costing me to fly into Vancouver rather than Calgary, and then get the bus, is pretty much just money thrown away. I won't really be gaining anything from the extra money spent.

And what of when I arrive in Invermere? If I arrive, say, November 26th, is there any guarantee that properties available from December are still going to be available? No. None in the slightest. This is a renters market. And seeing as their is no budget accomodation in Invermere (I think I mentioned a hostel once before. Well for whatever reason, that isn't there anymore.), I'll be shacked up in some expensive hotel, or living in sub-zero temperatures in a damn tent. Neither of which appeal to me very much. So what do I do now?

The whole point of going over at this time of year, was to work the ski season. Skiing's something I've never had an opportunity to really get into, so this is why I wanted to do this season. And I have a job that sounds right up my street. Outside in the cold. That's exactly what I love. But this job is an irrelevancy to me, if I can't find a place to live. And now, for the first time, I'm seriously reconsidering my options. I had an email a couple of weeks back, about jobs available on Grouse Mountain in Vancouver. Admittedly, it's not quite the same as a whole ski resort: They just have the top little bit of the mountain open to skiiers. You could walk up that little bit in about 5 minutes though. It'd be on a minimal scale compared to Panorama. But, if I was able to arrange a job in Vancouver for example, I know accomodation would be available, because I've been through it all there before. When I was there in 2005, I had nothing. I didn't have a job or anything. Now I know the area and I could have a job already. So what do I do? Do I just go to Invermere anyway, even though there's a chance I won't be able to find anywhere to stay? If I didn't get anything, and came back to Vancouver, what would that cost me? $250 on bus fares. $50 per night in a hotel. And a week or 2 of my time. Time that I could have used to find a place to live in Vancouver. So although my passion and my ultimate goal are to work the ski season proper, the situation regarding housing, has for the first time, placed a shred of doubt in my mind.

This is why the first paragraph of this blog was written like it is. Had I got staff accomodation from the get-go, I would be chomping at the bit to fly out. Would I even remember these final weeks before I leave? As it is though, I am just down right now. Because not being able to get a house, it's putting everything else I've worked towards in jeopardy. Everything I have arranged, has been based around this job. But no house, then no job. And it's damn depressing. But what was it I said at the beginning? The harder something is, the more fondly you will look back on that challenge once you've conquered it. I'm there right now. I'm having the first signs of doubt as to whether everything I have arranged to this point, has been a waste. Quite simply because I can't get a house. And I'm hoping... hoping, that this is one of those really stressful situations, but I get through the other side, and just look back and laugh. That's what I'm hoping. It's seemingly becoming more of a realistic possibility, that it won't be. That in fact, I won't get to the other side of this one. That instead I'll be looking back thinking what if? What if I had got staff accomodation? I might be washing dishes in some dirty restaurant for minimum wage in the druggy's area of Vancouver, looking back and thinking if only... if only I'd been one of the lucky ones to get accomodation. Because that's become a possibility if I don't get a place.

What really hurts, is that I've lived on shit this Summer. I've been eating the cheapest foods. I've been drinking nothing but water. I haven't been out socially, nearly at all. And I've walked or cycled virtually everywhere I've been. All in the name of saving money. I don't know how much that actually did save me. A few hundred £££'s probably. But in flying into Vancouver instead of Calgary, a large chunk of what I scrounged to save over the Summer, will be gone already. All because BUNAC didn't email me early enough. Then, if I don't find a place, I have to stay in a $50 per night hotel whilst I'm looking, and end up coming back to Vancouver anyway, then I may well have lost everything I saved. All because I didn't get staff accom.

So as you can probably tell, I'm not too enthralled with the whole situation right now. I fly out in 18 days. That's not a long time, yet I'm not even close to being ready to leave. Why can't things ever happen the easy way for me? Just once? I know I bring a lot of it on myself, but how the hell am I in this situation without staff accomodation? I was the first person interviewed for the whole season for fucks sake.

The one glimmer of hope I have right now, is I messaged one of the girls (one of the hot ones), that I've been speaking to about accomodation etc. She couldn't find a place either, so has already flown out (she starts work sooner than me). She's been able to get a place to stay in Invermere, with an Aussie guy who I've also been speaking to. And last I heard, they had a spare room still. I am sucking some serious dick to try and get that room. I doubt I will to be honest. Who would want to live with someone they've never met, when there will be loads of people looking for somewhere there already. But I'm using all my dick-sucking powers to try anyway. She did also say that I'd be able to crash there for a couple of days if I did need to arrive without finding a place. But then I'm not too sure she actually meant that. I think she was just being polite. Would you let someone you've never met sleep on your couch for a few days? But that is my glimmer of hope. If I got a message from her today, saying I could have to room, then my God I'd be ecstatic. All the crap I've just written so far this blog, it would all of a sudden become irrelevant. I don't think it will happen. And if it does, it won't be that soon, but I'm literally praying. All the shit God's put me through over the past couple of months... all that would be forgiven if I did get given this room. And I don't even know anything about this place. I don't know the rent, the location, even the size. But if it's a room, with walls, then I'd be happy. I wouldn't even care if it didn't have windows. To use the exact words that this girl used: "There's a good chance you can be our third room mate..." What does that mean? They have a room, why can't I have it? I think it's really just a polite way of saying, "you can have this room... you can have it unless we get drunk tonight and meet someone that we know we'll definitely like, rather that you, who we've never met. But you're our safety blanket. If we don't find anyone better, then it's yours."

This whole arranging accomodation game though, it's a damn snakes game. I've set up as many contacts as I can. I'm talking to multiple people who we've essentially agreed to live together. Nothing too concrete, but as soon as we find somewhere, we'll let the other know, kind of thing. But I have this agreement with many people. At least 5 or 6. So who do I call if I get a 2-bedroom place? It's seriously a snakes game. On the surface, I'm being as nice to everyone as possible, so that they'll contact me first if they find a place. But at the same time, I'd be willing to stab any of them in the back in a second. If this room in this 3-bed house was offered to me, I'd snap it up without a second thought. This is probably the problem of trying to arrange things with people you've never met. And I'm pretty sure it's not just me. I'd bet that anyone of the many people still looking for accom. would do the exact same thing. If it was a choice of maintaining the friendship with someone you've never met, or getting a place to live; I don't think any of us would think twice. This is a damn snakes game. Everyone is talking to everyone, but not letting anyone else know they're talking to everyone, because everyone needs to got somewhere to live. At least that's the way I'm playing the game. You never know, everyone else might be acting in absolute honesty, and it's just me willing to do whatever it takes to find a place to live. That may be the case. Somehow though, I very much doubt it. Until everyone has their foundations set in Invermere, it's every man for themself. And right now, I would stab any one of them in the back to get a place to live.

One thing that I do want to know though, is how the hell do they do this every year? That company I am working for must have this problem every year. I am noticing that nearly every person I've spoken to regarding accomodation is foreign. Does that mean that most of the workers there are foreign? Or does it mean that they gave all the staff accomodation away to Canadians? But with most of them being Aussie's, how do they get past this situation every year? There must be some kind of contingency plan. If they have no staff, how do they operate the resort? There must be some kind of fall-back plan. So I wonder how far I can push it. If I arrive in Invermere with nowhere to stay, what will happen? Would they help me to get a place sorted? I might call them and see what I can dig-up. If I phone the housing officer, or whatever the hell her title is, and say to her, "I've found available places, but they won't rent to me because they haven't met me in person," then I wonder what her response would be. Would the company be willing to rent a place, and then the company rent it to me? I don't know. Maybe we're actually expendable staff. All of the foreign workers will only have 1-year visas, where as all of the Canadians will be able to work indefinitely. Maybe they are giving the staff accom. to Canadians, and then we're the expendable part of the work force. Maybe if we can't find a place to work, it just means overtime for the Canadians. I really don't know. As an Australian I spoke to the other day about a house said, "It's not the fact that we haven't got a place, it's just the not knowing that's frustrating." I'm not sure that those were his exact words. I might have made up some of it, but it's so true. If I knew for sure I could get a place, I wouldn't be worrying. If I knew for sure I couldn't get a place, then I'd be making other plans. But it's just the not knowing, that's leaving me in limbo. And now things are getting so close that the possibility of going go Whistler is in absolute jeopardy. If I do get a house, then I might have missed out on all the budget accomodation in Whistler by now anyway. If I don't get a house, then I'll probably have to bypass it altogether. Just not knowing, just being in limbo. Fuck it's hard to express how frustrating this is.

You know something though: I said a while ago, that this website was like my counsellor. That once I sit down, and I write a blog, everything that is sitting jumbled up in my brain, it suddendly becomes clearer. And you know something, this really helped. I was really stressed about accom. when I sat down this morning, but everything's just appearing a bit clearer now. It's still stressing me out and it's still a pain in the ass, but at least it's a clear pain in the ass. As weird as it sounds, I can talk to this website. When I'm writing, I can access things in my brain that I think I've forgotten. When I was writing my Mexico blog, for example, I really felt like I'd forgotten most of what happened. But I sat down, and I typed. And it took me 5 straight days to type 37,000 words, because when I'm writing, everything that's jumbled up, suddenly becomes clear. And I was thinking the other day, there's probably only one thing in the world I'd struggle to deal with right now. And that's this website collapsing. I don't care if no one looks at it. I don't care if it goes offline. But as long as I have a copy I can work on, it doesn't really matter what happens to me. Because this website is my outlet. It's my counsellor. I sit down, I write, and everything that's messed up, suddenly makes sense. But who would I talk to if I lost this website. If somehow, my laptop broke and my hosting company failed at the same time, I wouldn't have an online or an offline copy of this website. Who would I talk to then? That's the one thing in the world that actually scares me right now. I never realised the importance of writing your thoughts down until I started keeping this blog. But now it's what keeps me sane. And the one thing in the world I'd struggle to cope with, is the loss of this website. Ever since I started keeping this blog earlier this year, everything that's happened to me, I've recorded here. And as I've recorded it, it's become clearer to me. If this website disappeared, who would I tell that to? Where would my outlet be? It's a weird feeling to have, but this website has become more than a place to simply host photos and write a blog. This is what keeps me sane. If I didn't have this blog to clarify everything that I do... I honestly think I'd be pretty lost. There'd definitely be some kind of transitional period as I would have to relearn how to clarify my problems like normal people do. I never thought for a second, that when I first sat down to write the HTML for this website, that it would become as important to me as it has done. But it's literally my main outlet for emotion. It's where I turn when I need things sorted in my head. I don't know why, but writing things out... it really helps me to understand. I just seem to be able to access information in my brain a lot more efficiently if I'm writing, than if I'm speaking to someone. Is that weird?

And speaking rather appropriately about weird psychological things like talking to yourself, I've created the first 2 alter-egos for the forum, that I spoke about in the last blog. The first one is dave_84. Everyone has a friend called Dave, and I was born in '85, so dave_84 sounds like a real friend that I could have. dave_84 will be quite chatty in the forums. He doesn't have much else to do with his day, so he'll be replying in the forum to most of the things that I, or anyone else, post. dave_84 has also made his presence felt on the guestbook by posting a good luck message for when I go travelling. Kylie has also joined the forum. Kylie isn't quite as talkative as dave_84. She's a very attractive lady, and likes to play a bit of a tease. dave_84 likes Kylie, so they will soon be taking part in some forum flirting. But ultimately, Kylie will get bored of dave_84, and she will stop visiting the forum any longer. dave_84 will be heart-broken. I haven't quite figured out which other characters will be joining the forum soap opera yet. It won't look very realistic if they all join and post at once, so it's all playing out in real-time. It's my own little soap-opera! At least I won't have to worry about no one posting in the forum anymore!

One problem I did discover with the forum this week, was that no one could actually post in it. The buttons to add posts and reply to posts, weren't there. It was a problem with languages that has now been solved. So if you were trying to post in the forum recently, and couldn't figure out how... well you weren't alone. It took me a while to fix as well. You can now post in the forum. Although you must have selected Englisn (United States), or British English as your language. If you've selected Russian or a shit language like that, then I'd have to make some more changes before you'll be able to post.

Jro's World Google search stats One other thing relating to this website that I found funny quite recently, was the search queeries that this site was appearing in. You may remember I addressed this a few weeks ago, when this website listed prominently for the search term 'kill myself'. Well it's got even better since I wrote that blog. This image is a screen-shot that I took, of the top 20 Google search queeries that this website appeared in, number 1 being jump you fuckers. It then goes onto fat fucker, followed by hard skin illness. Kill myself has also climbed the chart, but my favourite search term on this list, has to be dirty backpackers hippies. I love how Google views this website in such a joyous light. 10 of the top 20 seach queeries on Google that this website appears in the results for, are about dying, illness, hippies, or other offensive terms. I have absolutely no idea why this is how Google has decided to classify this website. I find it pretty hilarious though. It's like this website is the official place to come for tips on how to kill yourself. I take great heart knowing that.

I just want to quickly revisit, the focus of the last blog that I wrote: The Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross saga. Over this whole saga, Russell Brand has quit his job. Lesley Douglas has resigned. And Jonathan Ross has been suspended without pay, for 12 weeks. That's nearly £1.5 million he loses. And at the last count, over 30,000 people had complained. I mean this quite sincerely when I say this, every single one of those 30,000 people, should be shot. In the face. Retards like this provide no use in society. People who will jump on a bandwagon and complain, costing 3 people their jobs, just because everyone else is doing it... society doesn't need idiots like this. Their offspring should be eliminated as well, just to make sure society is permanantly rid of their genetics. Can we put this into perspective: This was a prank phone call. A prank phone call! They could have rang on his doorbell, and ran away before he answered. They could have ordered him a taxi that he didn't need. But instead, they made a prank phone call... a prank call. It's a kids game. And for this simple prank, 30,000 retards felt the need to phone in and complain. 3 people's careers are now in tatters, and who gains out of this? Sachs and his slut of a granddaughter. I'm not sure of the exact sum she's being paid for talking to The Sun, but I belive it's 5 figures. And who had heard of Andrew Sachs before all of this? I'd heard of Manuel from Fawlty Towers. But I'd never heard of Andrew Sachs. This whole thing is a Damn PR exercise for Sachs and his slag of an offsprings offspring, to make some damn money. And it had cost 3 people their careers. But worse than that, the nation has bought into the whole things, hookline and sinker. This lack of an ability of the people to think for themselves, is why this country is in such a mess. If the newspaper says something, oh it must be true. If the government says something, oh it must be true. It's a country full of damn sheep. No one has the integrity to think for themselves and put this whole thing into perspective. It was a prank phone call for fucks sake.

BBC website, Jonathan Ross suspended I want to use this image to demonstrate just how ridiculously out of proportion this has been taken. Jonathan Ross made a prank phone call. That is the main headline. Look at the 2 underneath. Jonathan Ross making a prank phone call, takes priority over, well it was only a ¼ of a million people whom have been displaced in Congo I suppose. That's irrelevant to the world. Or what is the other headline? Oh yes. The police are shooting innocent civilians in London. That's not important in the slightest is it. Especially when there's people out there knocking on peoples doors and running away before they answer. It is completely fucked up that this situation has gone the way that it has. It was a largely unoffensive prank phone call. One that I demonstrated in the last blog, didn't even offend Sachs until he realised he could make some money out of it. That takes priority in this society, over a ¼ of a million people dying in Congo. No wonder this countries falling apart. Everyone in it's a fucking retard.

And when people have priorities as fucked up as this, it goes some way to explaining exactly why we can see the environment turning to shit, yet people are still driving their 4×4's to do the daily shopping. No one in this fucking place has any idea about what needs to be prioritised in this country. That's why prank phone calls make the headlines ahead of wars. People are living their lives by a misconstrued belief, that a ruling body, government, will always act in their interest. That they will always know the right way to act. And as a result, people are losing the ability to be decisive for themselves. They assume that government will make all the decisions for them. That, combined with a lack of education, continues to lead to the absolute erosion of the natural world. If people had actually seen nature, where as in actuality, most people have seen only the city-life, and maybe what I term, controlled nature, would they continue to be excited about technological advances, knowing the natural erosion of species, climates, landscapes etc., was the ultimate result? That natural world is being slowly but surely eroded away as human kind continue to spread like a virus across the planet. And it's when peoples priorities in the world are a damn prank phone call, I really can't see anything changing. It's no wonder this planet is turning to shit. Most of the people on it, don't have the integrity to tie their own shoe-laces without being told to. When are people going to realise, that government don't act in the ultimate interest of the people? They just do what they need to to get elected. And to do that, they appeal to the masses. And has been demonstrated by this whole Radio 2 saga, the masses are retards. When you want to appeal to retards, do you do the right, intelligent thing? No, you dangle a bag of sweets in front of their nose. As civilisation develops, it becomes increasingly important that someone who can lead the world in the right direction, holds the power. But democracy decided to make George Bush that leader. He dangled some sweets and the retards followed. And here we are again... 3 days until the US election. This is a chance for the US to at least start to repair the damage that they caused by reelecting Bush. And I actually belive that they will make the right choice this time. Though I thought that in 2000 and 2004 as well, so more fool me. And if they think electing Obama this time makes up for 8 years of Bush, they really need to think some more. It'll be a drop in the ocean, if it happens. But at least it'll be a step in the right direction.

With the election around the corner, I'm going to do one last bit of anti-Palin campaigning. Most people have seen the start of this clip, but not too many have seen how it actually ends:

Oh, and to anyone who hasn't heard, it might be worthwile looking up the profits that Shell announced a couple of days ago... at a time when housing repossessions are up 71%. It's a fair society we live in isn't it. You screw over who you can, to make as much money as you can. If the whole country lives on the streets so Shell can make profits, that's what will happen. Capitalism in full swing baby. Isn't it wonderful.

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