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Tuesday 12 Jun 2007
Vancouver Island, Canada

Settled

Well it's done! I got the apartment!

And WHAT an apartment!

It's a bachelor suite, quite large, with the kitchen and bedroom essentially opening onto each other with no wall between. It's got all the mod cons you'd expect including lovely floor-ceiling windows overlooking a pathway with the harbour only 10 metres further on down!
And a kayak rental place beside it ... I know how I'm gonna get my exercise while I'm here, that's for sure
Cheesy

Past that is a lovely uncluttered view of the skyline (it faces west so gets the sunsets)

Aaaaaand... to the right.. up the pathway lays the petite-but-excellent Chinatown (apparently it's the oldest one in Canada). So that's my sushi-fix sorted as well...

To be honest I'm understating how I feel about this city: I was out at a bar last night, joined by a group of really cool locals, watching people dancing to live swing music in a truly amiable atmosphere, downing some delicious beer brewed directly in the bar itself!
Everybody happy.. young and old dancing together.. the "old" people even look like they are 20 years younger here (one woman I was talking to who I thought was 30 said she was 50!)

I couldn't stop smiling... it was such an emotional event.. it suddenly dawned on me that this was where I wanted to live... I immediately sent text messages to my folks asking them what they thought about the apartment I'm in now (which is also going for sale at 160,000 euros) and that I was dead serious about buying something here.

Walking around the city, everyone's happy, but not so much that it's forced or that you're judged if you're not smiling. Many people smile and say "hi" as you're walking down the main street in the city!! And this is a capital city by the way. People are uber-laid back here.

I went for my favourite fish and chips at Burdy's (which I now can officially claim is THE best fish and chips restaurant I have ever eaten at... in the world. The fish is so fresh and the batter is so thin and crispy with no grease, plus a healthy serving of chips!).
As I walked on down the board walk of Fisherman's Wharf to Burdy's, I saw the cutest thing ever: a large seal was floating in the water, intently staring at a burly fisherman who was sitting nearby. The amazing thing was that the seal was bobbing out of the water so much that it's head was easily a metre above the surface!

The fisherman throws a fresh mackeral to the seal who then rolls onto her back in satisfied glee. People pass by barely looking since it's such an everyday occurance for them. As I peered over the edge I saw a smaller white seal about 2 metres down with huge eyes staring back up at me (reminded me of MacD .. our little Yorkie Terrier that we had back in Ireland). Evidently this was the baby, but it was a little too shy to try it's luck on the surface.

I've never seen wild seals so casually coexisting with man before. It was magical.

The price I'm paying for the apt is pretty steep (850 dollars a month .. around 600 euros), but that includes all electricity and internet etc, and the location is excellent.

Also.. if I'm interested in buying the apt it would be a good idea to live in it for a while to see what it's like (one thing that's a bit of a downer is that there is a homeless shelter at the top of the path around the corner.. but they keep to themselves and it's still an exceedingly clean and quiet area)

Well that's probably the last I'll be writing in the diary for a while since I'm back to the grindstone next week, but I'll occasionally add little drips n drabs of info.

I'm very satisfied with my location now though... glad I made the trek across to Vancouver Island.Cool

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