Tuesday, August 22, 2006

i seem to thrive on culture shock...

i'm typing this in the employment resource centre because i'm utterly broke & this is the only place in town that has free, moochable, uncensored internet: jack & i had to pawn my laptop & sell off most of his stuff to get us both up here & even then, we had to hitchhike. (my first time hitching, by the way, got a ride straight up from vancouver with a paisley-shirted englishman who was on his way to south america from alaska.)

today's only my sixth or seventh day in quaint, picturesque nelson: we ended up hitching to shambahala & panhandling for tickets not 24 hours after arriving in nelson. shambahala was fun, of course, & likely the last 4-day weekend either of us will be having for a while since we'll be doing the whole "concentrate on obtaining basic food & shelter" thing.

some shambhala highlights: i tried ghb for the first time, had literal sex on the beach, ate a shitload of chocolate mushrooms (i couldn't refuse -- they were chocolate truffles & free!), met much of jack's gutterpunk extended family -- including the mother of his daughter -- & got accepted pretty much right away. we also made a point of scouring all the stages & paths early in the morning (when normal ravers go to sleep) for abandoned booze/other goodies & found a cell phone, a jacket for me, & a wealth of rum & cokes.

(we also found a baggie of coke but didn't bother with it.)

nelson is less than half the size of halifax. it has one pawnshop, one starbucks, & nothing much that stays open past 6pm... & did i mention that it takes even the fattest of tourists less than 20 minutes to traverse the single main street? this lack of entertainment has got us both kinda miserable & bored (we can't be having sex *all* the time...), what with being lifelong city kids & all.

with that, learning to drive/getting our licences are of immediate priority, taking precedence over even going to new orleans/new york.

the good news: we both found jobs within a couple of days of arrival (he's a cook at one of the bistros 'downtown' & i'm the dishwasher. crappy gigs, i know, but it's a start.); i'm getting along amazingly well with jack's kid, a smart & weird 11 year-old who eats lemons & drinks her coffee with a spoon; the rooftops here are very easy to get up onto & i've had breakfasts & drawing breaks on the roofs of several buildings; & because nelson is something of a hippie retreat, it's nowhere as prudish as halifax is. [we still get noticable reactions from passersby, though: punkish interracial couple, both in boots & black, with enough trinkets in our hair & on our persons that we rattle when we walk.]

the bad news: we're currently sleeping in the spare room of a friend's place that's overrun by cats, small children, & other random couchsurfers; nelson's hella small & surrounded on all sides by mountains so it looks even smaller; one of its stupider tourist attractions is 'bob' the big orange bridge; there isn't a single place in town that does cheap east indian or japanese food -- no more 60 cent samosas or 40% off sushi nights...

& none of the liquor stores here carry chartreuse.


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