lolamatopoeia: (mozflash)
[personal profile] lolamatopoeia
This weekend, we (me, Tudor, and the dogs) made the long trip up to North Bay. I wanted to check out the town and the university campus, but the main goal this weekend was to find a place for me to stay this Fall. I needed that out of the way since I'll be leaving on my trip soon and won't be coming back until mid August or so. Speaking of the trip, I really need to plan that. It turns out that I'll be going to SE Asia with a friend after all - that means I need to get shots and gear and finances lined up and plans. Ah!

I lined up five places to see through Kijiji before we left, including one last minute squeeze in. Prices ranged from $375-$525 for a room in a house with other students. Ugh. Prices have either gone up a lot in the last few years, or they're just more expensive up North (which I didn't expect). Not only that, in touring the city and the campus we learned that nowhere I would live in the city would make my commute to and from school walkable. Less than halfway through my appointments I sat in our cigarette reeking hotel room and nearly cried. It felt like I would have to pay $525/month for an 'ok' room in a house with strangers and no laundry. I could almost live on my own for that. I'd be paying through the nose for a place that I'd be away from (on practicum) a lot of the time anyway. I felt like I was being taken advantage of as a student, but there just weren't many options. It sucked.

I was ready to give in when I saw the last room of the day. It was a little out of the downtown area, in the suburbs behind some strip malls, pretty near our hotel actually. Not an ideal location, but I discovered that nowhere in NB was really an 'ideal' location for me. It's just not an ideal city for me, but maybe it'll grow on me. I hope it does. It will have to. Anyway, even though it was near strip malls and such, the last place I viewed was like a breath of fresh air - it's a decent-sized sunny room in a multi-level semi on a bus route living with (I think) 5 other people who are all students (but older, final year/second career), with free laundry and a dishwasher and really great people for only $375/month inclusive (no lease). Totally reasonable, totally signed for it on the spot and cancelled the rest of my appointments for the weekend. They were having 15 more people seeing the place this weekend and I couldn't risk losing it. The main thing that got me was how well I got along with the couple that I would be sharing the place with - I just felt so comfortable with them and at ease; it just felt really right. The price is right and the people are right. It was my best option. I'm relieved. I think that it will be a good fit, and I think that I'll be really comfortable there. Really. I feel really good about my decision.

I won't have to go to North Bay again now until I move there in August, which is good because the trip was exhausting. It was only around 4-5 hours each way at most, and we cut it in half a bit on the way there by staying with some fantastic friends of ours in Barrie (possibly more on that later), but wow it was exhausting this weekend. Also, as I wrote above, North Bay as a city didn't impress me too much. It's probably a good thing that I didn't make the trip there before I accepted! Oy. I don't know, maybe I've been spoiled and I'm just being snobby about it, but ugh. It's definitely not the historic tree lined streets I'm used to in Kitchener-Waterloo. It was a bit of a shock. The best way that I can think to describe it is that it was just like the worst parts of New Hamburg, my skid-friendly hometown, but bigger (more like sprawled out), poorer (all strip malls and run down one storey buildings - everything looked like a portable or a cottage), and colder (holy biting winds off the lake)! Oh joy. It was funny, Tudor and I observed that the uniform for all males in the town seemed to be: facial hair, baseball cap, hooded sweatshirt, tapered jeans and some sort of boots. Oh, and the all drove pick up trucks. I told Tudor that he wouldn't have to worry about me cheating on him, at least. I kept moping that I should have gone to New Zealand instead, but really it might have been a lot of the same. I'm sure that I'd have a bunch of other disappointments in going there as well, but it would be tougher to deal with over there. I'm just going to have to adjust and make the most of it. That's the challenge for me this year - to actually make the best of this and give it the best I've got, sincerely. I will make this a great thing.

I really should mention that there were a lot of positive things about North Bay. The location is beautiful. I will be surrounded by water at nearly all points. The air is clean and fresh and the sky is clear and deep and blue and gives off the most intense light and colours. The downtown area is pretty, the campus feels more like a nature reserve than a school, and the people are incredibly friendly. See? That's me trying to make the best of this already!

Alright, so now that I've got a place to live in the fall I've really got to get my ass in gear for this trip. Since now it looks like I'll be going to SE Asia there are a lot of things I've got to do - I have to get shots and start taking anti-Malaria meds; I've got to fix things at the bank so that they know I'm not going to NZ but Ontario now; I've got to apply for OSAP; I've got to get a credit card to use on the trip; I've got to get gear like hiking sandals, a bathing suit, a sun hat, a backpack, appropriate/super functional shorts and pants and shirts, and a rain jacket; OH and I actually have to, you know, PLAN A TRIP. Ah!

Right now, unfortunately, I'm sick. I've been sick on and off this weekend and it really kicked in when we got home yesterday. Being sick right now just ticks me off more than anything because I've got so so much to do. Soooooo much to do!
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