Thursday, April 14, 2011

West Coast Living: Arriving at Vancouver

Been a while folks… Good to have you back.

I am starting to write this post while sitting in a cafe; 49th Parallel in the neighbourhood of Kitsilano, Vancouver (see map here). Their roast is well-known in the Vancouver area and beyond, for being unique, exquisite and delicious; so much that even cafe’s in Seattle, some 200km away, recommend it.

So many things are new, for good and bad; however this all is overshadowed by what’s been going on in this blue miserable planet over the last three months since I last wrote here.

Amazing; the last time I wrote here, I was still in Israel during my annual one-month visit. I remember that back in the day, the thing that annoyed me the most was the fact that Dire Straits’ Money for Nothing was banned from Canadian radio. I remember being particularly furious about the entire ordeal, with my fury having extremely little to do with my musical taste and much more to do with political correctness’ ongoing efforts to destroy any last remains of free speech in this so otherwise brilliant country.

That poor CRTC decision has since been pending reconsideration, however in the light of whatever else has been going on over the last three months (yes. Three months. Only three months), really, who cares.


Overshadowing pretty much any other news is the terrible series of hostile actions sanctioned by Mama Nature upon Japan. An earthquake followed by massive tsunami waves, demolishing civilization as if it never existed, and then some. Time and again did I watch those horrendous video clips, refusing to believe that such things can really happen. Thousands over thousands of lives lost courtesy of The Mama’s latest PMS; and if things can get awfully wrong, why not make them worse? worldwide panic over a few nuclear reactors that were severely damaged from the earthquake and its aftermath. Thousands in Vancouver, BC, started fearing for their lives some thousands of kilometers away, as medicine to fight radiation were literally cleared off the shelves. And the threat isn’t quite over yet.

Absolutely unreal; the eyes are watching yet the brain refuses to acknowledge how fragile everything around us is. Look around you; see the buildings, the restaurants, the cafe’s; the cars on the road; the lights; food; if you had ever taken those for granted, don’t. The fact that it is all here today is nothing but a faint suggestion that it may be here tomorrow.

Think about your life; your family; your work; your friends; what you have, what you don’t; then, think about what you feel when you wake up in the morning. As long as you smile when you wake up, you win. Everything else is not much more than circumstance, and should be treated accordingly.

Moving To Vancouver

So after spending another fabulous month in my beloved home country, I flew back to Ontario on January 16. Anxiety took over; this time, it wasn’t only about myself bidding my family farewell (again) but also about knowing that, soon enough, I am going to move some 3,296km (2,048 miles) (don’t believe me? check this out) west to the city I had always dreamed to live in; Vancouver, BC.

With the next three days, I worked insanely around the clock on transferring the very little possessions I have to the nearest shipping centre (Packaging Too, in Waterloo, Ontario. Use them. Their service is awesome) where they took care of packaging everything and trucking it out west. As those few days went by, anxiety built up stronger and stronger but so did my belief that yes, the time has come. Nothing on this planet is worth enjoying unless you had earned it first; I worked way too hard to not take advantage of the opportunity to move.

And then, the big day had come. Dropped the car off at the car shipment company in Scarborough, Ontario, where a friend picked me up and gave me a ride to the airport. Armed with two suitcases, I arrived at Toronto’s Pearson Airport.

It was so bizarre arriving at that airport, not knowing when I was going to see it again. The idea of flying to Vancouver one-way was just hard for me to fathom. With all the anxiety around, I decided to spoil myself and checked into the airport’s business lounge for some rest. Best $33 I had ever spent in the travel category. Flight boarded and took off on time; last glance below and I saw the snow-covered city.

Snow… how little am I going to miss it.

Four hour flight west; arriving at YVR, I was picked up by my friend Joyti with whom I stayed for my first week in Vancouver (I had already found an apartment to live there, however could only enter at the second week of February, about three weeks down the road). Two days later, my guitars made it safe & sound to Vancouver (being shipped with extra care and insurance. It’s not like you ship a Gibson Les Paul, a Knopfler Signature Stratocaster and an Acoustic-Electric Taylor every day).

Approximately one week later, once my belongings made it safe to Vancouver and were checked into self-storage in U-Haul, I put some clothes and other belongings into the rental car and headed to Kirkland, WA to spend a couple of weeks in Hadar’s place until I get my apartment in mid-February.

That’s where things started to become extremely annoying, to the point of nearing a nervous breakdown. More on that on the next post, coming up shortly.


1 comment:

dee said...

Been a while Isaac. God..we have you back.
:-)) daria