Swapping Cribs

Despite the fact that I really liked the apartment in which I spent the last 18 months, after much hemming and hawing, I decided to move. Nowhere far this time. In fact, it’s basically just around the corner. (Or, for the Google Maps inclined: 1.41 km northeast.) And, although I did consider several realistic housing options, my decision to acquire a new address was influenced largely by two factors:

  1. It feels like nearly three-quarters of my monthly income goes toward rent. Oh, no, wait…it does. (This is clearly not a sustainable situation. At least not if I want to keep enjoying life to the extent that I currently do.)
  2. One of my colleagues, Kaz, was looking to find a roommate for her two-bedroom apartment.

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To touch on point #1: it’s no mystery to people living here that we have an insanely high cost of living. I recently read an article stating that Vancouver had surpassed New York as the most expensive city in North America. And I don’t know how accurate that is, but without a doubt, the joy we get from our world-renowned mountains, ocean, and other noble vistas is firmly balanced by a permanent dent in one’s bank account. Sharing accommodation with Kaz will save me about $400 each month. Which means I can save for some more travel. Or at least fully pay off my VISA for the first time in a while…

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While point #2 is pretty self explanatory, it’s the one I’ve been thinking most about. Not that I’m worried about living with someone else, and Kaz and I get along really well, it’s just that I’m very out of practice with how to be a roommate. I’ve lived alone off and on for the last five years, including the time since moving back to the coast. And, to be honest, I love it. While I’m typically super social during the day (no doubt to the annoyance of some of my colleagues), I love quiet and solitude in the evening. Although I don’t think I’m high maintenance by any stretch, my fundamental necessities do include being able to walk around and watch TV naked, playing whatever genre of music I want (whenever I want), and not worrying about being judged if, on occasion, my nutritional pyramid dramatically face palms (a.k.a., I eat a bowl of Häagen-Dazs for dinner. While watching TV naked). However, above all, I positively, beyond doubt, without question, absolutely hate drama. Especially chick drama. Luckily, Kaz is pretty awesome and she has assured me that none of this will be a problem. But, of course, I also want to be a good roommate. I want to bake her muffins and scones and other nice things for breakfast. And keep the sink dish-free. And discuss the Canucks over a glass of red. So I’m hoping that she won’t mind me practicing these skills for the next little while while I shake off the rust…

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Believe it or not, my life can be summed up largely by two very big, black, wooden bookshelves. Not only do these storage units contain hundreds of literary works, but they also house a concentrated collection of many of my travel souvenirs as well as some very special gifts. On these shelves one would find handmade bowls from Morocco and the Amazon Rainforest, a fossilized nautilus shell from Madagascar, a wire baobab from Botswana, sand from the Sahara Desert, a volcanic rock from the Galápagos, carvings from Thailand and Zimbabwe, a traditional British beer mug, and a puck from the debacle that was Game Six in Boston. Some other bits and pieces include deer antlers from Saskatchewan, rocks from the summits of three peaks in the Atlas Mountains, a miniature Empire State Building, water from the Atlantic Ocean, a ball of pure obsidian from Tulum, a didgeridoo, an Indian spice box, and a framed Egyptian tapestry. Realistically, the combined monetary value of these things is probably less than $150. But to me they are invaluable— my most coveted possessions. And, like the books near which they are perched, each keepsake tells a unique and special story.

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All in all, I know that despite my hermit tendencies, ultimately I have a pretty promising situation ahead of me. Of course the actual act of moving was a major pain in the ass, especially given my current state of immobility. To say that I was a little stressed out about being totally physically useless would be a severe understatement. Thus, I am incredibly indebted and grateful for all the help from my parents, Wilf, and Kaz— without them, I’d probably still be hobbling from room to room in my former apartment, looking like a lost puppy. Or, more accurately, Long John Silver on speed. However, despite their sincere work ethic, I will say that they never hesitated to speak their minds. As was pointed out on numerous occasions: I have a lot of stuff. (See above.) And, while a lot of it is random, not particularly useful stuff, these are the things that mean the most to me and that I would never leave behind. However, since I also brought my wall hubcaps, my paint supplies and floor easel, a queen-size bed, two separate sets of hockey gear, and a cornucopia of kitchenware, I’m kind of hoping Kaz’s apartment actually turns out to be the residential version of Mary Poppin’s carpetbag. Because right now my bedroom looks a bit too much like the Room of Requirement did when it was set on fire…

2 thoughts on “Swapping Cribs

  1. I hope unpacking and settling into your new place goes well! And that you find some magical places to stash things, à la Mary Poppins and Harry Potter 🙂 Love you!

    • All is going well so far…which makes me very worried…
      Haha, no, it’s all good. I’ll have you over soon for a cup of tea. And a game of bedroom furniture tetris 😉

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