Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Whistler for the weekend.

Well I got back from Whistler yesterday at about 3:00, after a slow and somewhat hazardous drive back. This was mainly because of the heavy snowfall we got up there the last night. (Almost 1&1/2 feet!) But I'm happy to say it was an awesome weekend, and the best part is: no broken bones..
In fact, I didn't injure myself at all, which was great.

I planned on learning to snowboard when I got up the mountain, and getting a lesson. So on Saturday morning I rented my gear, and then said I'd catch up with the guys at midday after the lesson so I could do a few runs with them.
As it turned out the only two lessons available were just too pricey (I spent basically all my savings on gear that morning because I have no skiing/boarding clothing at all), and secondly because I was supposed to meet everyone on Blackcomb mountain at 1:00 up the top, and I would have been on Whistler for the lesson with a group at midday till 3:00.

So, I rented my board, got up onto the mountain and started getting a feel for it by myself.
I got used to it pretty quickly and had my fair share of tumbles, but by 1:00 I was able to get down Whistler and up Blackcomb easily and meet up with the gang, and we hit some blue runs while making our way down the mountain towards Whistler village. (Whistler and Blackcomb are next to each other and share the same village at the bottom.)
The day ended too quickly though. Just as I was getting confident enough to really enjoy it without concentrating too hard, we hit the bottom of the slopes, and I was returning my board and putting my shoes back on.
We basically coasted off the slopes and decided we were going hot-tubbing. So naturally we went to a hotel we weren't staying at, ordered pizza and cracked open the grog.
After an hour or so of soaking, and annoying (unintentionally) an elderly couple, it was back to the hotel we were staying at though, to get changed, and go clubbing at Buffalo Bills in the village.
We all rolled back into the hotel at various hours of the morning, (having 8 people in one room made staying asleep during this a bit of a challenge too..) and went out like lights luckily.
Then it was up early and back home.
I'll be getting up there again though for sure. I'm even thinking of getting a job up on Whistler and losing the one here so I can really get into it.. But for now I'm happy, it was an awesome weekend and I'm glad I got the chance to go.

Today it was back to normal, and back to work. I stood in the store helping people out but wishing I was still up there the whole shift, in fact I think I zoned out a couple of times with a stupid grin on my face because I kept thinking about it, and April had to snap me out of it by giving me a bundle of clothing to sort.

Photos are coming people. For now this is the only one I can get to you though.
So until next--.... snow.. hehe.. uh.. Yeah, until next time!


Saturday, February 25, 2006

Return of the Genie Boom & the destruction of my A&F jeans..

I have decided to post another blog today. Strange? Yes! 'Why post another entry?!' I hear you all yelling from the rooftops of dishevelled churches and other dramatic architectural monuments.
Well, it's quite simple really. You see, I'm both excited, and annoyed.
Firstly, let's get to the excitement. I'm heading off in about 2 hours up to Whistler for the weekend, which should be great fun.

The annoyance comes from the fact that, well many of you I'm sure, will recall me and my clothing because I really didn't have much imagination when it came to jeans. What I'm saying is that I wore one of three pairs every time I went out basically.. Anyway, my favourite Abercrombie and Fitch jeans have finally had it. (See Fig. D.)
Yep. And in fact it was a rather brutal death for a pair of jeans I have to say.. You see on one of my frequent trips to the shops, I acidentally got the hem of the right leg stuck in the gears of the mountain bike I've been given as transport.
After a horrendous shredding sound, I looked down to find that my pants now resembled greatly exaggerated flares.. Seriously, these things would have rocked in the 70s. But I then saw the huge rip along the inside stitching.
So. It's goodbye for them. Unless I can get someone to repair them for less than the cost of getting a new pair.
Actually.. Yeah screw fixing them I'm going to order a new pair now while I'm on the net..

And briefly, on the mysterious topic of the Genie Boom. Well, this will only have significance to a small minority, but I spotted one near my local supermarket. Hooray for the Genie Boom! (See Fig. E.)
See you all in 3 days!


Friday, February 24, 2006

Of snow-fields, celebrities, and slang.

Australians everywhere.
That's what I was told before I left, after I left, and when I arrived in Vancouver by locals, family, and friends.. They were right, but though Australians over here in Canada have been affectionately named 'JAFA's (which stands for: Just Another Fruitful Aussie' [ok, it's obviously not fruitful]) by the younger generation of Canucks, they are nonetheless popular with the locals.
Also, if the accent wasn't enough, there's always that rumour that we as Australians are all given a koala or wombat at five years old, and are given our first Kangaroo at the age of 15. I was told this by one of my co-workers, and I quickly corrected her, the legal age for kangaroo owning is, after all, 16.
Unfortunately this isn't even a myth with a lot of people.. But it's amusing, and though I also have people flinging horribly British slang my way in attempts to replicate an Aussie accent, I enjoy riding the rumour express and seeing what other awful Australian 'facts' people come up with. Apparently I also live 20km away from the nearest toilet and my backyard is populated by redbacks, cobras (Yeah.. Explain that to me if you can..) and dingoes.

I have to say though, it's been a rare occasion to see another Australian browsing American Eagle's clothing or just generally around, I have met a few who are doing exactly what I'm doing now. Over here on a Visa. I suppose the most of us are up the snowfields (which, may I add, I can see from my window.. kinda painful really.) ski-instructing or simply skiing or boarding. The snow is the best in 8 years I've heard. Interestingly, however, I have seen a few celebrities browsing the shelves. Yesterday alone we had Lionel Luthor (Lex's dad from Smallville) Denzell Washington, some random camera crew, and another guy from TV whose name eludes me browsing around. (The camera crew was quickly shooed my my manager, no photos are allowed to be taken in store.. Which makes it really difficult to show you all who my comrades in outfitting are.)

Anyway, it's not all over for me, I may still actually get up to the snow fields properly. (I had a brief sojourn last week, at Cypress mountain. See Fig C.) In fact, a couple of the navy guys I met the other week are going up to Whistler for the weekend, and have invited me along with them. Seeing as I have Friday, Saturday and Sunday off, I said of course.
Maybe this time I'll get lessons instead of snowboarding cold turkey. We all know how that turned out last time..
Cheers all!


Sunday, February 19, 2006

Shifts, shifts, and spring break.

Wow.. What a week it's been!
In between meeting foreign women on buses, working 11-hour shifts, and trying to get at least the minimum amount of sleep required to still function, I've found very little time to amuse myself with leisurely activities such as reading, watching television and snorkeling. It's a good thing that I love working otherwise this would most likely turn out to be a painful year.. Or I'd quit the job and spend most of my time doing the aforementioned.

However, I have been eating properly, (See Fig. B. which is intended to ease mum's worries.. and all others who worry about my gastronomical exploits.) despite my obvious lack of good time-management skills.

So, today was my day off. I got up late, showered for about 3 times the recommended length and then went and read a magazine at the local Starbucks. Can anyone say: Over-excitement!?
Yes it's true today was uneventful, but I did manage to visit the travel centre nearby with enquiries about spring break this year.
Apparently it's very difficult to get a flight to L.A, for the simple reason that every college and uni student to the South of this location is already doing it. No problem though. Maybe I'll just paint my walls blue and yellow, stick large posters of scantily clad people on them, and turn the heating up to simulate the Californian beach vibe. (Somehow it's just not the same.)
Perhaps next year..


Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Ok well Valentine's day officially sucks. Nothing but a late shift from 5-9..
Who ever thought I could get two bad haircuts in two days either?
Not me.. In fact one in two days would have been more than enough, but, in an attempt to salvage what was left of my hair after the crazy japanese stylist had at it yesterday (see Fig. A), I went to a local salon and had them try to fix it. It must have been some Valentine's day voodoo or something, because I'm sure I hadn't asked her for a mohawk and rats tails..

Anyway, me being a very descriptive being, I made sure that today when I visited the new salon, that I had a picture of exactly what I wanted. I also made it very clear vocally. Now I believe that when you express your needs vocally, and present visual guides, that your request will be done according to your ideas.. Alas, I walked out of there looking like James Dean.. And James Dean after a night on the town and waking up in some hooker's bathroom..

Never mind though! Now it's short enough to do anything with. So I'll just wear a cap until it grows out a bit I suppose.
Problem is I have my first shift at work tonight. Sucks to be me eh? So if they hired me based on my shaggy mop (which I now miss..) then they're out of luck.
I'll tell you how it all goes, but that'll be tomorrow..
So cheers for now, and just stay out of any salons for a day or two until the Valentine's day air clears.. Just to be safe..


Sunday, February 12, 2006

An evening on Granville St.

Wow.. What a night.

So I decided early this afternoon that I was going to go out tonight for the first time since I got here. I didn't know where and I didn't know anyone, but I thought I might as well stand alone in a random bar like a loser and drink until I started talking to someone willing to chat about hockey or the weather or whatever..

So 7:45 rolled around, and the cab I ordered beeped outside and took me to Granville St. Downtown (which may very well have more nightclubs than Vegas).
As it turns out, I ran into a unit of Canada's Navy who were on a pub crawl as they came out of a club called The Roxy. So I joined up with them, (they had already been to two places before that) and we ventured off on our epic journey around Granville to booze up.

We made it to five nightclubs/bars in the space of 5 hours (gotta love VIP treatment), one per hour, and had a blast. They're a really fun, friendly bunch of people. The girls were all crazy but in a nice way, and the guys.. well they were too I guess. Of course, everyone had t-shirts on them listing the venues we were going to and at what time, which were torn, cut, and covered with graffitti from markers a few of the girls had found in one of the bar's toilets. (Don't ask..) So I looked a little out of place for a while..

Anyway, the aftermath, now that I'm home at 1:00, is that now my precious Abercrombie singlet is littered with remarks such as: "Why wait? Mas......." in bold red text, and so on... A few of the girls insisted that if I tagged along, I had to have one piece of clothing to sign..
I don't mind. Hey, it's a small price to pay for a great night out!


P.S, that photo was the result of a Google search for: "Club girls".. I didn't actually meet any of those lovely ladies. Just thought I'd put some sort of picture up.. But hey, I'll get the photos off the designated cameraman for the evening (for once it wasn't me!), and post a couple of shots for you all. ;)

Keep the five..

So I've been visiting the same cafe now every few mornings for breakfast, they do great eggs and bacon, and the waitress seems to like me, (the other day she told her friend "I think he brought the sun with him!" as this week and last we've been having perfect sunny days, and before I arrived it rained for 2 months solid.. O_o ) and I've been thinking to myself that it's really great food for the price they charge. Of course, me in my ignorance forgot that you have to tip for the waiters and waitresses because they rely on tips for their wages, they don't add on a little extra to the price of food like they do in Australia. So I've been leaving with a smile and a wave each time and neglecting to remember that.
The other day after visiting a few mornings in a row, one of my meals came to 14.95, and I actually told the waitress to "keep the five"..
Keep the five?! . . .
I can't imagine what she must have thought. Probably something along the lines of: 'Cheap bloody Australian.' or more likely; 'You retard..'.
It was finally brought to my attention this morning when I went there with my uncle.. We were discussing how to split the bill and he mentioned the tip. Riiiight.. *That* tip!

I guess it's not that big a deal, and I reckon the waitress will forgive me.. After all, I did bring the sun with me.


P.s. The hockey last night was awesome. 8,500 people in the audience, and we beat Kelona 4-2, the atmosphere was electric! All in all, a great first game.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

The NHL and the NFL.

So I don't know how many of you caught the Superbowl, I went to a local pub and cheered my head off, but I couldn't help but think... They stop the clock way to often in that game! Seriously! American football must annoy the bejebus out of anyone who has ever watched AFL..
It was great fun to watch though, regardless of the pace, and though Seattle lost (Canadians were generally going for Seattle over Pittsburg) I still thought it was a good game.
However, tonight will be more exciting.
Gordie, (my mum's cousin who I'm staying with) bought two tickets to the hockey tonight in Vancouver.
It should be awesome, I've been watching the hockey every night on tv so tonight will be my first live game. Woot!
Of course, I go for the Canucks (who aren't playing tonight), but man it's cool to see how good these guys are on the ice, and they're allowed to smash into each other so it's sort of like watching violent ice-skating comps.. Good fun.

Anyway, enough about sport for now..
Yesterday I went into the city and grabbed myself a Kenwood surround sound setup.. I know that sounds crazy, but I've been craving music for a week now!! MUSIC!! Uh.. Yeah anyway so now I've got a really cool setup in my bedroom here, and I can finally listen to my iPod loud baby! LOUD!
That's all from me.. Cheers all!


Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Photos are online!

Wow.. What a couple of days it's been..

So, to update.. Basically I've been rushing around trying to get various things in order so that I can start my job.
Yesterday I had to get a Social Insurance Number, and today I've opened a bank account and updated my resume.. Oh and I bought a backpack too.. You'd be surprised at how useful one is when you ride a bike everywhere.. Plus I found a healthfood store and a gym nearby and signed up for that. Priorities people. Priorities.

Anyway! Finally, photos are online! Check it out!
So the first pic (top to bottom) is where I'm staying. It's a great little place, modest, but kinda funky. It's the one with the stairs, and my room is up in the roof, left side.. Then I thought I'd put a picture of food I've found in the supermarket here, for all those people out there that should have been told that "there are delicious Triscuit crackers" here.. hehe.
Finally, but certainly not the least important, a picture that disturbed me.. See everything here is dual language, English & French, so every product has both on it's labels. Therefore you can understand my shock then when I realised the truth behind Pork and Tomato Sauce flavoured beans! Lard et Sauce Tomate!?! What is this!?

Ah.. Yes yes..
Anyway that's all from me today. I'll be writing again shortly no doubt!
Cheers all!


P.S. A huge HAPPY 21st!! To Rob, Jean, and Bec. Best wishes and have an awesome time you guys!

Monday, February 6, 2006

Live your life.

Hey everyone!
Well, I lost my last blog entry (Blogger had a slight tantrum).
I had written that I've been getting odd hours of sleep since I got here. I've been waking up at 12:45 every night since I arrived (around 6:00pm Aussie time) and not being able to get back to sleep for at least an hour, in which time I found myself last night pondering the reason people jam toast, and if I should really be keeping my airline ticket stub as a souvenir.. Yah..

I'm now happy to say as of today I'll be working at American Eagle Outfitters!
I had orientation this morning at 8:00, and I'll be starting as soon as I have a social insurance number, hopefully early this week.
It looks like it's gonna be a blast. April (my manager), is a lot of fun, and the atmosphere is great in the store. The store itself is on Robson street, downtown Vancouver, which is Vancouver's equivalent to Chapel St for sure, so that's also awesome..
That's about it for now then!
Cheers all!


Friday, February 3, 2006

Arriving safely.

I've just arrived in Vancouver, 12:30 midday local time.
Today has been really quite interesting, I have been in transit for around 24 hours now. At Seoul airport I met Canada's water polo team. I had a good chat to them there and on the way to Vancouver, and they're a really nice bunch, they were on their way home to Canada from Perth where they've been competing in the Commonwealth Games. Then at Vancouver airport I met some locals who were really friendly, and had just arrived home from 6 months in Australia and Singapore, who invited me to a hockey match in a months time.

Arriving at the place I'll be calling home for this year has been really relieving though, let me just say that..

The only problem is I can't sleep for at least another 9 hours. That's my main irk with crossing a time zone and then chasing the sun around the globe to the next day, you really don't get much sleep, and if I do get sleep now it will be impossible to get my body clock in order so I'll just have to stay up.

Right now however, I'm going to go and have a little look around the shopping strip a few blocks from the house.
In all, a safe and relatively pleasant day.
Cheers all!

Jimzip :D

Thursday, February 2, 2006

Canada: The journey so far...

Hey everyone!
I'd so like to post photos.. Really I would, but firstly my digital camera broke during transit, and secondly, I'm standing in the middle of Changi Airport in Singapore.. I had to stop over here for the night because I'm not allowed to stop over in the US without a VISA, which ruled out most of the flight options I had..

Anyway. The journey so far has been without drama.. Well, there was that horrifying 5 minutes of violent turbulence as we descended that made the lights in the cabin go off and the passengers grip the seats in front and almost scream.. Yah that was fun..
But apart from that, not much drama. Oh and the camera broke of course.. Bugger..

I'd really like to thank everyone that went out of your way to do something special for me before I left, I wasn't expecting any of it and it really made the whole experience so much nicer. I can't say I didn't shed a couple of tears at Melbourne airport, and then on the plane, and then when I read all the letters and books you gave me.. (You know who you are!) So thank you.
I'll miss you all terribly, so make sure you check back here often!

That's all for now, I need to go and get some sleep because my wake up call is at 6:00! Then it's another 17 hrs of flight!

Jimzip :D

Blogger Template by Jimzip