Thursday, December 18, 2003

The Christmas Season in Vancouver

I have a job at the Bay. I am working in the jewellery section of the department store-it is pretty busy because of Christmas shopping, so I am very tired once I am finished 6.5 hours. The people I work with are all very nice, and help me out when I don't know how to do things-the cash register is a bit complex, so I don't know how to do too much yet! I only work there on weekends. There is one girl, Naomi, from England who we've invited out this Friday, since she seems nice. We don't have many friends here in Vancouver, so we are trying to meet new people. Making friends is harder once you leave school-you have to make a real effort to get to know people. On Sunday after work, I bought myself some jewellery since I get an employee discount. I bought two Roots necklaces and two pairs of earrings. It's weird, cause normally I am not that interested in jewellery, but working there has made me pay attention. I am surprised how expensive most of it is.

My other job right now is a temp job. There are only 2 people who work here and they didn't teach me much, so most of the time I just email and am bored. The people who work here are always very stressed, so it makes it a bit uncomfortable for me. It is full time during the week, so I never have any days off at all. I am tired and fed up with working, but I have three days off at Christmas.

Since I work so much, I don't get the chance to see much here in Vancouver. It is a nice city-today the sun was shining off the top of the mountains, which made it look beautiful. However, mostly it rains! It is a nice city, but I think maybe I like Toronto better. I'll have to give it more time and see.

I went out to see Timeline a week ago and Love, Actually last night. Timelinewasn't very good, but Love, Sctually was great. And lasst night Jenni, Jenny, Alan and I went out for coffee.

Christmas is busy because some people are visiting. Jasmine is here to see her family and I am going out to dinner with her tonight. David is here from Scotland, and he's going to be sleeping on our couch until the 23rd - he arrives tonight. We are going to be out most evenings while he is here to show him around (even though we don't know where anything is here either!!!). And Samarra is supposed to be here next week, visiting her sister, so I hopefully will see her too at least once.

We've been getting lots of Christmas cards from people-from Alan's cousins and Grans, from Nana and Henry and Grandpa and Grandma, Aunt Joan, and some of my friends. It's really nice to get mail :) We sent out about 50 cards, but have only got about 15 back so far. We did the last of the Christmas wrapping last night, so we are all ready.

We are going to Andrea's family for Christmas-Jenni and David and Alan and I. I think I will buy a turkey for Alan and I as well, and try cooking one since I have never cooked one before.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Looking into Korea

Wise thought of the day: Never tread on the toes today that are connected to the legs that support the arse you may have to kiss tomorrow. Found on Dave's ESL Cafe

Should anyone have worked, or have friends who have, teaching English in Korea and know of reputable companies/schools, let me know, I'm doing a bit of research into it...

I looked at Dave's and am now completely overwhelmed. Many of the posters make teaching English in Korea sound very scary. However, I think in spite of all that, I am still interested. It would probably be next august I would want to start. The other thing that gets me is I don't have a clue how to teach. Should I try and take a TEFL course? Should I be ready to prepare lessons, come up with games, etc, from day one? What if I am shit at it???

The main thing I want out this is some saved money and the experience.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

First impressions of Vancouver & Adding up the pennies

Hmmm, cost of the trip... I almost hate to add it all up ;) The rail passes cost us $450, but I think they are more like $700 if you travel in peak season. Hostels were all about $18 per night. The polar bear tour was about $250 each for one day and we couldn't afford to stay in Churchill cause that would have been over $100 per night even for a crap motel. One guy we met paid $85 to sleep on someone's sofa!!! So, total, I would guess we spent about $1500-1800. Christ, is that scary...

Canadian hostels are nice, actually, or HI ones are anyway. We didn't stay in any independent ones, and I have heard that some of them are a bit dodgy. However, Hostelling International seemed good, and the membership was $40 for two years. Winnipeg, Edmonton and Vancouver all had 4 bed rooms, Jasper was one big dorm. They are all in good areas, though the one in Jasper is hard to reach without a car.

Vancouver is nice. I can't decide if I think it is any better than Toronto though-I had expected to like it better, but don't think I do. There are a lot of nutters and beggars on the streets-far more so than anywhere else I have ever been, except maybe Rome. And people over here really don't like people from Toronto, for no real reason I can see. They say people from Ontario ignore them, but most people I know in Toronto think that Vancouver, and BC generally, is a great place and we hear about them fairly often, far more than most other provinces in Canada. So I don't really understand their bitterness. It's a bit weird, the hatred of Toronto is not just a bit of a joke rivalry to many people here. I think it's all a bit juvenile and idiotic, myself.