On top of the Lions, in culturally appropriate clothing.
So .. Vancouver .. Here we are again.
Did you hear that I’m not leaving?
Yeah, I know. I had set some pretty firm plans in motion.
Again, Vancouver, again.
Do you remember our first time around? I know I grew up in Poco, and spent my undergrad at UBC, but this was always one foot in and one foot out. We know Poco and the city are not the same.
Our first real try at a relationship was post undergrad, in 2007. I had just finished at UBC, and gone to Indonesia for 3 months. It was really hard to find a job in the city, and then it was really hard to find a place to live in the city. I ended up living in a very “colourful” house on 19th and MacDonald. Aside from the mould in the bathroom, the one creepy roommate, and the filth of messy people all living together (to which I do take 1/4th of the blame) this was a blast. All I can remember now is the house parties, and finding the accumulated possessions of roommates past (a very dramatic series of letters from a girlfriend in Japan, accompanied by ultrasounds and a failed attempt to keep a daily journal which ended on January 4th.
But we did break up, Vancouver and I. My boyfriend at the time wanted to go to grad school, and I didn’t want to be left behind, alone with you. Vancouver, you and I were friendly, but not enough for me to stay. I didn’t want to be stuck and have regrets down the road.
So, I went to Turkey for two years.
Our second attempt at a healthy relationship, you and I, was in 2010. I was going to school. I was transitioning to living with roommates and drunk neighbours – from my own two bedroom massive apartment in Turkey’s capital city, transitioning from working and having an income, to working for free and having a very limited income. Apparently, the first place I lived had been a meth lab. It didn’t look nefarious when I moved in, but there was a big hole in my ceiling for the extent of my time there. That winter I would hole up in my basement apartment room with an electric heater, which I hid from my roommate, because I knew the electricity bills would rocket, and drink winter ale and watch streamed movies. This was prior to netflix, and megavideo would cut you off after a certain amount of time. There was a lot of frustration. I watched a lot of tv with my unemployed friend. It was during this cold and dreary winter that I wrote the lyrics to “We Hate this City” (to the tune of, We Built This City”) It’s easy:
We hate this city
We hate this city
Vaaaaannn Cooooouuu Veeerrrr.
My bad attitude towards the weather winter 2010/2011 ultimately extended into a bad attitude to just about everything. Let’s just say, my dating life was sporadic, confusing and ultimately doomed.
I did work at it though. I called it “the Vancouver hustle”. Living in a city that so many other people your age also want to live in, well educated, friendly and attractive people – makes it competitive for everything from apartments, to jobs to dates. I managed to find all three. It wasn’t enough though.
When the offer to move to Australia came up at work. I took it. I took it and moved my boyfriend half way across the world. I was distracted by the beaches, year round warmth, interesting animals and adventure of Australia. It really turned my head.
At the time, Vancouver, you just weren’t good enough.
We know now that didn’t work.
Where do you run when you are uncertain? Although perhaps counter intuitive, living overseas is far more stable in many ways than living in your home city. Housing, friends, work, money – you’ll have these within a few weeks if you have a decent job overseas. At home? You have no idea how the four will pan out.
But here we are. Sometimes the bigger adventure is going back and trying again.
So lets try this again, home(y). You’ve been a gracious host this summer, with all the sunshine. Please be kind through the winter, and either commit to snow on the mountains OR a respite from constant rain. Maybe don’t drop to – 17 again? Also, if you want to send me some jobs and dates, well, I won’t say no.
I’m not alone. It seems all the nomads are returning to town. Are we picking up on some subconscious vibration? Is the world going to fall to pieces in the next 6 months? I hope not.
But at least we will all be together, working at this thing called home.