Tag Archives: City life

Balcony Blues

4 Sep

September 4th, 2013

I have spent the better part of today sitting on the balcony. Victim to a combination of technology and the lack thereof, I had little choice in the matter. Having checked CanadaPost’s website this morning, I had found out that some of my boxes were due to arrive today. (Boxes, yay! Maybe I could finally have linens? More socks than the two pairs that came in my suitcase? My battery charger so that my toothbrush could vibrate again? Oh, the joys of First World problems!) Perfect. So I wanted to be home to receive them, because the alternative would be to find one of those annoying notification slips in my mailbox and to have to take a cab or rent a car to retrieve the boxes from the post office. Inconvenient, and potentially expensive. The second glitch, aside from my lack of car, is the simple fact that the door buzzer is not yet connected to my newly-established house phone. So no doorbell. That left me with one option: to watch for the mail truck the old fashioned way. I sat on the balcony from 11AM onward. Six hours, two meals, one handwritten letter, 194 pages of the House of Secrets, one failed cup of coffee (my organic milk decided to curdle upon hitting the cup) and numerous cups of tea later, Mr. Mailman finally pulled up into our parking lot. (These six hours also included my first heart attack in my new apartment, due to Lemon’s first -and hopefully last- fall off the balcony. She was on a leash, and I was sitting next to her, yet she still managed. I had to fetch her from the downstairs neighbor’s balcony, and thankfully she was terrified but unhurt. No more balcony for kitty.)

My patience was rewarded with three boxes, containing mainly my winter clothes (it’s 20 degrees C outside, so not exactly helpful), my veterinary textbooks (ditto), and a few choice treasures: my soft huggapillow (it’s essentially a miniature body pillow, which I’ve had since I was a kid), one of my glass teacups, my kitchen timer (essential for breaking me out of my gaming trance when I’m stuck playing Civilization, Heroes or some other ungodly ancient computer game), and bedsheets! Never in my life did I think I’d be so excited about sheets, but after spending a week first in a polyester sleeping bag and then a bare mattress with said sleeping bag on top (did I mention it’s 20 degrees out with 90% humidity?), I was pretty much done with sleeping on plastic. I love my cotton sheets. I will never take them for granted again.

Other things I have learned in the past few days are as follows:

– Even the tiniest public library branch has enough books to keep me busy on a rainy day.

– Just about anything can be eaten out of a mug.

– If you’ve ever wondered how dirty you can really get after a day in the city, take a bath at the end of the day, and take a close look at the bathtub after you’ve drained it.

– Groceries truly were absolutely, utterly, obscenely expensive in Victoria.

– Walking long distances with or without a backpack full of groceries, waiting for a bus in the rain, or spending a whole day on the balcony may seem like drudgery to some people, but really they’re not half bad. In fact, they are quite all right. Enjoyable, even.