Posts Tagged ‘BC’

Of all the strokes of luck!  I’m conversing about how I was looking for a nice place to rent and this guy (who was going all the way to Victoria. sweet) is looking to sublet his apartment in Vancouver for $650 which is more than I was looking to spend but it’s got a pool, hot tub, great view, nice neighbourhood on beach street and is actually supposed to be $800 a month but the guy wants to use the mailbox and parking space.  The apartment the next floor up is $1200 so it seems like a pretty sweet deal.  He says how he’s moving onto his houseboat to live year round for cheaper.  I got his number and I’m pretty sure I’ll take him up on his offer.

He seemed like a cool guy too.  I told him the weed story from earlier and he whipped out his pipe and we smoked some up.  Man did I get stoned.  I must have walked around Victoria in spirals for 5 hours.

So that’s it.  Now it’s seven years later and I’m still in Vancouver.  I only lasted in that beach ave. apartment a couple months before I got kicked out for “having a party” which was actually just me listening to music, actually I was writing lyrics to songs by this band I joined and didn’t stick with.  Anyway, the dude was pretty mad ’cause he wasn’t supposed to be subletting.  I got fired from The Doghouse, the restaurant I first worked at in Van, for unclear reasons besides that I was the youngest.  The manager said, usually he loves firing people but he hated to fire me.  That’s around when I wrote Oh Well.

But yeah, that’s all 47.  Although there is one more that’s relevant…..

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I’ve waited for busses longer than hitchhiking on Vancouver Island.  A hippie lady picked me up and drove me down the road a ways towards Victoria.  She didn’t look too old but she had kids around my age she said.  She told me I’d get to know about “Island time” which sounds like the clock I run on.  People are really laid back here.  She said I got here at a good time for weed harvesting.

I got dropped off at a place she said her daughter told her was a good hitchin spot.

I was walking down the highway, still the TransCanada even out here on Vancouver Island, just out of Nanaimo when a small blue jeep type car (I don’t know) pulled past me turning onto the highway as I looked at my map to make sure I was walking in the right direction.

The guy reminded me of Jack Black and he offered me a ride after I asked him for directions.  He piled the boxes in the passenger seat into the back and we were off.  He said, “I’d smoke you a J if I wasn’t working.”  Real friendly.  We talked about the forest fires and whatnot.  When he dropped me off, about half an hour down the road, he gave me to nice sized buds which was sweet because the night before, as I walked from the ferry terminal to Nanaimo, some speed freak with a bag of golf clubs sold me a dime bag, when I only wanted $5 bucks worth, and it felt small so I was like, “I want my ten back” and him and his crackhead girlfriend screamed “Fuck off!!”  I didn’t want to get beaten by golf clubs and have my guitar stolen so I let it slide.  The bag he sold me turned out to be just leaves he picked off a tree or something.

I told Jack Black the story and thanked him for returning my faith in good people.  “Karma,” he says, “what goes around comes around.”  I got his # call and party sometime.

Just when you thought it was over.

You’d think I’d be used to that good feeling every town has when you arrive but nope.  It fades after the first day.  I lay awake last night in the Same Sun Hostel listening to the sound of buskers and hustlers in the streets calling out in the night and thought twice about living in the city.  Today I checked out a few slums that weren’t bad until I checked out this one way out of town.  The whole way there I was like, “No I can’t live here.  It’s too far from everything.” but the view was beautiful and the area was peaceful.

The guy didn’t seem to want me there, eyeing the guitar on my back for fear it would disturb his peaceful little household.  I told him I’d think about it then walked off with no money for the bus to get back into town.  Having no money to get somewhere seemed like a silly problem after getting here from Ontario without paying for rides.  I came to the sudden decision to go to Victoria and back on the road I was.

It didn’t take long.  Roger pulled up, sipping a beer and sweeping the garbage off the seat with his arm.  He offered me the choice of cd and I picked Cake which we grooved down the road to.  He took me to North Vancouver and was like, “Dude!  I think I just took you way out of your way.”  He showed me on my map where we were and where to catch the ferry to Victoria and they were pretty much opposite sides of the map.  He said he’d like to help me out but he had to go fight with his girlfriend.  So he left me at a gas station across from a KFC.

I stood on the side of the road with my big bristol board sign yelling “Van City, Baby!!”  at the top of my lungs to the no one that was around and then laughing about it to myself.  It was a tough spot with fast traffic but I didn’t have to wait to long.  A girl named Alyssa picked me up on her way back from partying in Kelowna for the weekend.  She’s from Vancouver so she drove me all the way there.

She started out with a kind of psychic link with the cars in front of us (telling them calmly to get out of her way and they’d actually move) which turned into road rage the closer we got to the city.  We got honked at a few times, honked at a few people, got the finger, gave the finger, passed some cars via the shoulder, made great time I think.

We talked about music and bands and she said I should go to the Cobalt for Metal Wednesdays which sounds cool.  Last bar I was at that would play metal is closed down now (Traffic.  Barrie.  Goodtimes. *tear*)  She knows a lot of musicians and plays the keyboards herself.  I told her how I sang in a heavy band for awhile and now I was just writing my own stuff.  I shared a clever line that I had which she laughed at but I then ruined by laughing too much myself.  I made sure to get her email as she dropped me off at the hostel so we could jam some time.  I can’t wait to play in a band again.  Gotta make it happen.

Maybe it’s because I fixed it as my destination in my head or maybe because I’m sick of not having a home base but walking around here it feels like it’d be a comfortable place to live.  Feels like home.

Distance despite deterioration

Determination despite distraction

Vince, who I based the Van City Baby lyric on;  He didn’t drive to Penticton and I didn’t try to convince him to.  And I didn’t make any cash at Strickler’s.  But Strickler’s is in Penticton and I do need to get to Van City fast.

Vince only drove me to Peachland which I actually could’ve ridden the right bus to but it’s the thought that counts.  He was a christian and a young guy.  20 something probably.  He asked me about my religious orientation and I told him I grew up christian and my parents are big christians.  He gave me a god bless as he dropped me off and said he’d pray for me.  I told him my parents had been praying for me plenty and I’ve had good luck so far.

I don’t believe.  I think an open mind is wiser.  Christianity puts a lot of pressure on your condition when you die so that it’s better to die young and innocent.  I can’t buy into that.

We were at Stricklers Grape Orchard in Penticton hoping to make some money for the weekend but apparently the checks don’t get cut until Monday and a $30 advance is out of the question.

So me and this guy Peter who I walked up to the Orchard with were offered a ride to Kelowna from an old guy named Brian (different Brian, different Peter.  Strange patterns of names on this trip:  I met two Eleanors and a Rebecca in Regina and two Lauras and a Rebecca in Calgary and now another set of Brian and Peter.  I wonder what that’s supposed to mean)

Brian was a ‘you should’ve been there’ smoker.  An old hippie with some traveling stories of his own.  He told me how he got stuck in the rain hitchhiking one night so he went off the side of the road to sleep, wrapped in a few garbage bags to stay dry, and woke up to an ambulance and some guys coming down with a stretcher.  Apparently there had been about 4 calls that night about a dead body stashed on the side of the road.

Brian and Peter were both very eccentric, going off on individual tangents that would end them up talking about completely different things by time the listened to each other, frustrating and confusing both of them and thoroughly entertaining me.

We picked apples in Kelowna for a middle eastern family who didn’t speak english very well, frustrating and aggravating Brian to no end.  I refered him to an apple farmer I had worked for earlier in the week who was very friendly and white and didn’t pay as much but is probably who Brian will go work for on Mon.  He’d been off the sauce for 10 days and counting and was very indecisive causing Peter, who was very opinionated and outspoken, to lose it at every snap decision.

Another night a the Kelown hostel..

Big Al!  Save my life.  I thought I’d never get out of Peachland with the sunset and all.  Or at least to the hostel in time for check in.  Big Al had a smooth, relaxing voice that raised in pitch mid sentence making a calming tone.  The door handles inside where missing and the wind whistled past the door crack the whole ride which I didn’t bother fixing.  He knew the guy working at the hostel that night and actually had travelled to Victoria with him.  I think I’ll live in Victoria instead of Vancouver.  I got the member discount for coming with Big Al.  Cool Shit!

1)This town is burning down

now exit as directed

Made a sound when it hit the ground

though the damage was deceptive

The people flee in anarchy

there seems to be no sanity

Lets get these stubborn souls some safety quickly

2) Surprised to find

the fine line

between the hippies

and the hustlers

The decision came abruptly and almost epiphanously as I grit my teeth to put up with Brian’s mouth running with his brain parked at the question mark that ended all his sentences.  I was going to West Bank, where I had stashed my gear with a buddy of Brian’s, to bring back to the hostel which we could afford after picking apples at an orchard all day.  I did some lucrative busking out front of the liquor store too.  What a great way to make money.   As I was leaving I joked, “Maybe I’ll just grab my stuff and take off.”  The idea was so appealing I barely considered any other course of action after the words left my mouth.  Carrying everything you own on your back is a lot like living on a house boat.  If you don’t like your neighbours you just pick up and leave.  It’s real freedom, not the kind of freedom you hear people up in arms about all the time.  Real freedom is not having a closet full of junk you hold onto because it might be useful someday.

But anyway, I walked to the last set of lights leaving West Bank, Kelowna and got a ride to the first turnoff in Peachland.  10 minute ride tops.  This guy wants to learn how to play the guitar.  Good for him (sorry I’m so cynical).

These damned “no hitchiking. Pickup is illegal” signs!  So after a good long walk down the highway (away from the sign only to end up in front of another and have to continue)  we’re picked up in an unexpected spot where the shoulder is shy but apparently sufficient.

I’m getting tired of Brian telling everyone he’s been hitching with me since Kenora ON.  It screws up my stories and degrades my accomplishments but I guess it’s better for him than saying he just got out of jail.  We’re starting to get our stories straight but I don’t think we need to pitch it to anyone unless it comes up.

This guy that drove us to the skirts of Kelowna was real friendly and clean cut.  Still a long ways from town but it sure beats the side of the highway, in the middle of nowhere, beside a sign that says NO HITCHHIKING

I need to sleep for a week to really loathe being lazy