Well lads, here I am, a week in. Uh, a week and a half. Around that. I can confidently say that I’m having a great time here in Kitchener so far, but of course I am! I’m still in the honeymoon period. This is still a extended holiday. The sun is (occasionally) shining and the breeze of change is a-blowin’, but the challenge is to still feel good about this six months in. So, where to start?
Pretty much the first thing I did when I got here? Got a library card! I know, I know. Fucking exciting. Hey, if you want to feel like you’re at home in a place, get a library card. It works wonders. I immediately took out a Jamie Oliver book for the craic, and because, well, I’d actually like to learn how to cook a couple of things. Kitchener has a wonderfully modern brand new library downtown, with touchscreen all-in-one PCs and PS4/Xbox One/Wii U games you can loan.
Ahh, employment. A job. A career. All words to describe what I don’t have. Still, I’ve started looking. I applied for a coffee shop fairly similar to Costa (I got casually interviewed on the spot, which was unexpected) and a couple of grocery stores. I went into a phone store to get a SIM card/plan, and ended up applying for a job and getting a casual interview the next day there too. No success yet, but I’d call that progress.
Of course, I probably won’t want to stay in retail my whole life. I’m going to work on improving my IT/networking skills and looking for a job in that area, but you’ve got to work with and improve the skills you have. Do me a favour and kick my head in if I don’t work on improving my computer skills, though.
My old pair of Asics running/walking shoes that had faithfully served me for over three years didn’t come with me to Canada. The back of them was starting to wear out, the soles were basically flat and they certainly didn’t look good anymore. I reluctantly realised that they probably weren’t worth the space they’d take in the suitcase, and decided I’d search for a new pair of shoes once I got here.
I find a pair that fit me well, a nice pair of black/green Saucony shoes in National Sports. They’re in the 30% off clearance section. The tag says both $145 and $110, so I assume the 30% off makes them $110. But then I’m thinking “Tax is added afterwards here, so that $110 is going to go back up to about $125!” I whip out my phone and convert $125 to Euro. €86. Expensive, but I like ’em, and if they last half as long as my Asics, I’m getting my money’s worth, right? I bring the shoes up to the sales counter “$87, please.” At this point, I’m happy. I’m ecstatic. I’m confused. I work it out.
They were $145, reduced to $110. The 30% EXTRA discount then took them to $77, with $10 in tax bringing them back up to $87. If this all sounds confusing as fuck, that’s because it is. Why can’t I just see a big tag that says “$87”, walk up to the counter, hand them exactly $87, and go on my merry way? I don’t know, but the shoes were €60, which is a perfectly bearable price.
I said I’d learn to drive when I moved to Canada, and I’m getting straight on it. Last Wednesday, I got the theory test practice book, and gave it a good hard study. It’s pretty much the same as Ireland, 90% common sense; “Does the law require you to wear a seatbelt?” By Friday, I was ready to take the test. In Ontario, you pay for both your theory and practical test in one go, so I had to fork out $145. I suppose it’s an incentive to not take the theory test then give up on driving. I practised with Kara’s car in an empty car park for a while. I’ve got nothing to compare it to, because I never tried driving in Ireland/UK, but it seems pretty fine!
I’ve got more stuff I need to say, but it needs to be paced out. I’m trying not to be a boring ol’ bastard but at least keep you guys updated somewhat as to what I’m up to. Honestly, it’ll probably get less interesting as it goes on, so feel free to suggest interesting-as-shit things for me to do so I’ve got stuff to write about. Any extreme sports I should take up, or dares for me? No? Ah lads.
Catch yis soon,