Apologies that i have not updated this in almost two months but too be honest, there isn’t that many exciting things to tell, but I will do it anyway 🙂
I have been working very hard in my two jobs (both as a Youth Worker) for well known non-profit organizations in Vancouver. I am learning much more about the issues within the city with homelessness, addictions, mental health issues and that of the First Nations people of Canada. Many people assume that I work in and around the Downtown Eastside (DTES) and sometimes tell me I am doing a great job helping people or to be careful down there – I don’t actually work in the DTES although I may be down there in the future participating in Outreach work.
I have found I haven’t had much time outside of work due to my schedule – one job is night shifts, which includes weekend work and the other is casual and I try and pick up as many shifts as I can physically work without causing extreme exhaustion.
So after moving into a house in mid-September and renting a room that i thought was a good find, after a few weeks I discovered I was very unhappy there. The women who rented me the room was extremely odd and kept nit-picking at many (what i thought) insignificant issues: not putting the dryer on after 9pm at night due to basement suite, rinsing plates before they go in the dishwasher, not using fragrance sprays in bathroom as she was allergic to perfume (never heard of that one). For the money I was paying and the fact she was always there (and even when she was away, she wanted one of the tenants of the basement suite to stay in the house and look after the dog), the dog kept yapping all the time at nothing, I couldn’t have guest round and felt intimidated in the kitchen…I decided to look for something else. She was very unhappy that I wanted to move out after a month and due to the fact there was no tenancy agreement and I wasn’t protected under the rental tenancy board of British Columbia, I thought I would not be able to get my deposit back without going through the court system. Luckily though I moved into my new place (basement suite) not too far away, sharing with another Brit and I managed to get most of my deposit back from the psycho women. Needless to say, I am much more happy in the new place.
Due to the stress I suffered in those first two months, I would advise anyone coming out to Vancouver to be aware of con-artist landlords, who will try to rent shoddy apartments/rooms as massively inflated prices. It is not uncommon for many places, especially around the West End and Downtown to have ‘curtained off’ areas in the living room to accommodate a single person as well as renting out the rooms and living room.
I would definitely recommend having a proper tenancy agreement and knowing your rights as a tenant. Get everything in writing and make sure you get receipts of any deposit and rental monies you have paid.
This has been a real disappointment for me. I have not managed to go snowboarding yet due to the lack of snow in and around the local ski slopes (Grouse Mountain and Cypress Mountain). I had one unsuccessful trip to Grouse towards the beginning of December…after travelling all the way over to North Van and catching a local bus to the mountain, I was informed that only two green runs were open and that the snow was slushy. What was even worse was there was no reduction in the lift pass ($60 for only two runs and very bad snow).
I have heard things have improved slightly since then with more snow but not everything is completely open still. Luckily, I have heard Cypress is only charging $35 for a day pass (until 3.30pm) but then you have to factor in their expensive shuttle service that is $23 whether you get picked up from Richmond, Downtown or from North Van. There is no public transport that goes direct to the mountain – it is either this or a car.
So carrying on from the above, I am hoping that I can get up to one of the mountains in early January or be it, Whistler (which would be amazing). This is one of my big priorities in 2015!
I also need to allow more time for myself to enjoy doing activities outside of work. This includes getting back into my fitness and exercise, cooking more and being more healthy.
I also want to make more time to take some trips around Canada and the USA, including Banff/Lake Louise, Calgary, Montreal, Vegas, California and Chicago.
Other then that, it is just about enjoying my time here, meeting new people and updating this blog more regularly
HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND HAPPY 2015 🙂