Well I made the flight to Vancouver without too much trouble and met up with Ryan as soon as I waddled out of the arrivals lounge with my over-sized backpack in tow.
It took me a lot longer than expected to get through customs and immigration mainly due to the disproportionate number of arrivals to customs staff, but the two ladies on the desk were both very easy on the eye so waiting wasn't a huge issue for me! Have you EVER seen attractive female customs officers in ANY country??? Those of you who are well traveled will know the answer to that is a resounding NO! Therefore, when I laid my eyes on this pair of beauties I just knew that Canada was and will prove to be rather exciting if they were anything to go by!
Spent the weekend just cruising around town with Ryan visiting all the different little districts and trying to familiarise myself with the down town area. Found a fantastic micro-brewery in Yaletown where we had some amazing calamari and made friends with the bar chick, had an eye-opening trek down Hastings Street saying "G'day" to all of Vancouver's less-fortunate residents and took a fantastic trip through Vancouver's absolute finest treasure – Stanley Park.
All in all, I can see myself falling in love with this place VERY easily. Everyone is just so laid back and friendly and there's a real buzz about the place with Summer just around the corner.
This morning was pretty cruisy with both Ryan and his partner Corrie heading to work early and leaving me to sleep in and try to shake the touch of jet lag that I am experiencing. Corrie, unbeknown to me, is the traffic girl and co-presenter of the morning show on Rock 101 – Vancouver's equivalent to TripleM back at home. As far as other Vancouverites that I know are concerned, this means I am living with a celebrity... yay me! Her position with the station meant that she obviously had to be up and gone around 5am with Ryan, who is an Account Executive with the same station, soon to follow.
I managed to crawl out of bed (and a REAL comfy pull out couch bed it is too) around 9am and headed into town in search of my first "Mission" items:
- Mobile phone SIM and
- Social Insurance Number (SIN).
I was expecting a bit of a fight with the SIN and what not, but it was actually as easy as going in and submitting the form that I had printed off the Internet before leaving Brisbane. My number arrives in 4 weeks by post – easy as that! Makes the London system look like even more of a joke than we all know it to be anyway!
The whole mobile phone thing was a little harder to take care of considering the fact that there are only two carriers in the Vancouver/Lower Mainland area that even provide "buy a SIM and whack it in your phone" kinds of plans. The main gripe I have with the networks over here is that unless you buy into particular plans, you get charged by the minute for INCOMING calls?!?! I mean, are you kidding me? What sort of crap is that?! That would totally screw up a number of people I know back at home who have their PAYG phones living on the old "incoming calls only" kinda setup.
Anyway, I'm now on a $30 plan which gives me unlimited incoming calls, 1000 minutes after 6pm and on weekends and 100 minutes during the day. Seems like a pretty good deal actually.
With all of that taken care of, headed home for a snooze and before I knew it everyone was home and we got stuck into making dinner.
On the agenda for tomorrow... find a job! Who am I trying to kid – like it's going to happen in a day, or even by the end of the week for that matter!
Wish me luck!