Welcome to Vancouver, Again
On May 29, 2017, I was approached with an offer I couldn’t refuse. To live downtown in Vancouver, rent-free. Through a combination of luck, recent events, and a smorgasbord of coincidences, I was given a chance to realise a dream many could never afford. Exactly one month later, I packed my entire life’s belongings into two luggages and a couple moving boxes, rented a car, and drove the four and a half hours to my new home.
Being a coastal city, Vancouver shouldn’t get too hot during the summers. There shouldn’t be any days where you wake up and the sun has already boiled your apartment. Except that was exactly what I got when I got here. The summer heat that I was all too eager to leave in the Okanagan seemed to stick to me like the back of my t-shirt. After cracking open all the windows I had, and breaking in the new fans, I thought to myself I could live here, if I just don’t look at the Trump Tower every morning.
Yeah, I get a view of the Trump Tower and Shangri-La.
OH MY GOD THE SIRENS
Alright, Vancouver is supposedly one of those really walkable cities. There are no shortage of eateries, beaches, bars, and retail spaces in a ten minute radius around me. It’s great.
Except when it’s not.
And when is that, you ask? Every. Fucking. Night. It’s practically routine. When the sun goes down, the sirens come out. Every night, someone chooses to get shot, get belligerently drunk, overdose on drugs, get in a fight with their former-ex-but-we-got-back-together-again-but-you’re-still-a-dick-why-did-I-say-yes, or die. It’s 3AM, and if your Carlos isn’t letting you in to his building, take a hint, shut up, and go home. You breaking up with someone in the middle of the night is enough for me to want to break you.
I get it, it’s downtown. There’s something called a nightlife. But not when every shop, restaurant and bar has closed up hours ago. Please go home.
I can go anywhere because I don’t have a car
Road traffic is horrible in Vancouver. Who the fuck thought that four lanes was enough for a major arterial, and then let cars park by the curb? If you have a car, good luck getting anywhere in a timely manner. I can get somewhere faster with public transport than in a car. For the most part. If you live and work close to a train station, you’re golden. God forbid you have to take a bus or two. Then it’s just as bad as driving.
So what now?
I’ve been here for just over a month, and I’m liking it so far. I’m starting to get used to the constant noise outside my place, but that doesn’t mean I like it. I’m sure the sirens and the shouts of horribly broken relationships will become the soothing white noise I use to fall asleep at night.
Living here is cheap enough for me. Everything is easy to get to. Life is good.