Originally uploaded by borderfilms (Doug).
It's easy to let the mind wander at Deep Cove. If only I had $1 million to buy a tiny home.
$53.56 for pills today. The pre-departure spending continues.
So ten pills cost $53.56 -- $21.20 of that going to the pharmacy. What a joke and a rip.
Oh yeah, and I pay $1000+ a year for my so-called universal healthcare. Joke.
Let's look at the tote board... today's new total is:
Ah yes, the Parade of Lost Souls!
Back after a one year hiatus, I dare say it's bigger and better than ever. The big change? The closing down of a huge chunk of Commercial Drive for ghouls and freaks of all kinds to mingle and tingle.
The evening started hours earlier in Kitsilano at Jazz's place. We were slow in getting our costumes together but a few beers took the pressure away.
Once suitably scary, we drove over to the east side via a stop at City Cigar for some Cuban goodness.
The Parade was in full swing upon arrival -- and we quickly joined in. After a couple of hours of wandering around with thousands of other costumed crazies, we snagged an outdoor table at Stella's.
This gave us a view of Grandview Park, a supply of fresh beer and food, and most importantly, a giant umbrella over our heads.
The rain held off until close to 10 when the heavens let loose. We sat protected, eating roast lamb and sipping Belgium's finest as people and monsters scurried to get out of the rain.
You'd think they were made of sugar.
After that we all went our own way. I grabbed a $2.25 bus ride home... and was asleep before the time changed.
Nice to see Vancouver can actually have an event like this and not shut it down. In fact, we didn't see a single cop -- though I'm sure they were around somewhere, just in case some morons decided to get stupid.
More pictures below...
I'm still healing from 4 shots yesterday - two in each arm.
As strange new serums mix with my innards, I must admit I feel blah.
On another note, my stuff is now out of storage and ready for the big sort. That will take place over the next month or so.
The good stuff will go back into storage in early January.
In case you were wondering how far I am moving... Accra is 11,822 kilometres east of Vancouver.
See the distance here.
However, this is not the furthest I've travelled. That would be Vancouver - Sydney... which clocks in at an impressive 12,481 kilometres.
The paperwork and costs from my first round of shots at Vancouver's travel medical clinic.
Much more to come.
I thought Canada had free healthcare. Hahahahahahahahahaha!
The "Africa Bin" doesn't have much in it yet. A CBC hat, a new mosquito net, a small roll of toilet paper, and a bottle of mosquito repellant.
I'm also packing audio gear, camera equipment, and my laptop. But that stuff will get packed last.
I haven't driven the tank for some time, but it remained in the garage taking up room and reminding me of how long a $400 car can last. More than a year!
With Ghana on the horizon, it is time to get rid of stuff. First up, the Park Ave. *sniff*
The fun has started as the adventure of a lifetime draws closer.
It's been a surreal experience since I accepted the job, and as I tackle the long list of things to do, it becomes even more surreal. And unreal.
First up -- a new passport. Because my current passport expires within 6 months of leaving Ghana, I have to get a new one. The current one expires next December, meaning I got less than 4 years use out of it.
Photos were taken on the weekend, paperwork was filled out Monday, and I stood in line for a couple of hours Tuesday.
After forking over $94 and having my current passport cancelled, I now wait until Nov. 7 for the new one. If it's any consolation, it'll be delivered via registered post.
Up next: my old Buick. As I write this, I'm waiting for the towing company to come pick it up and cart it off. That will leave the garage empty meaning that I have a place to put all my stuff when my storage unit is delivered Thursday.
Also Thursday: shots and pills.
Can you hear the money fly out of my wallet?
I'm also working on scheduling for early January. It looks like I will be leaving around Jan 4 to attend a week of CIDA training in Toronto.
There's the tow truck now... more to come!
The amazing fall continues. Today (Saturday) was almost hot and there was no shortage of sun.
I got out of the house early, grabbed the camera, and went shooting around Lonsdale Quay and Jericho Beach.
And now: sleep.
Tip of the ol' hat to Crooks and Liars. Required daily reading.
It's a typical grey and blah day today in YVR.
However, it's good motivation to get to the tasks at hand -- the planning for Ghana.
Of course, life goes better with music.
I finally found my fresh and local made tortilla supplier -- way out in Richmond, BC... but not as distant as America (though only a few KM short).
As Stewie says: "Victory is mine!"
Tuesday. The day after Thankgiving.
Thanksgiving dinner consisted of a Romanian comedy at the Vancouver International Film Fest followed by an early bedtime.
The work day started at 6 a.m., but I rose at 4 a.m. to bone up on my telephone interview with Journalists for Human Rights.
It lasted about 45 minutes and I answered tons of questions about human rights issues, working in a culturally different environment and if I could handle being placed outside of Accra, the capital of Ghana.
How did it go? Hard to tell, as these things always are. I'm just not sure.
Honestly, I'll be very disappointed if things don't proceed. I truly need a change direction. If only a temporary one.
Anyway, I should know in about a week. And until then, my toes, fingers and other things will remain crossed.
Thanksgiving. Already. Wow.
I can't believe how fast this fall is flying by. Before we know it, it'll be ski season.
My housesitting duties at Lisa's end today. But not before I get outta the house and shoot more stills. Lots of interesting things to snap pictures of. Lurrve it!
On tap: more Eastern European cinema at the VIFF tonight. Then boning up for the JHR (Ghana) interview tomorrow. And scanning the Northern Canada landscape for news... as I am "North Boy" tomorrow and will be covering the far reaches of this great land in an online kind of way.
The sun is out. The air is cool. Another perfect day!
During the early summer of 2005, I road tripped across former-Yugoslavia, including an area near the (what is now) Macedonian-Albanian border. While driving through the quite stunning and mountainous countryside, we (I was with friends) drove past a Yugoslavian army base of some sort.
We found this very odd, as Yugoslavia had ceased to exist -- and Macedonia had been independent for some time.
I filed it away and forgot about it.
Fast forward to tonight. I went to see a film by a Croatian director called "Border Post". It is about a Yugoslavian army post on the border with Albania. And... it turned out that the base I had seen last year was... the set!
The director, Rajko Grlic was there. After the film I went up and told him my tale. He laughed.
Now, a big part of the film was about an Albanian watch tower. I told him that I am a photographer and my business card (I have several versions) has an image Albanian watchtower that is similar to the one in the movie.
I handed over my card and both of us laughed our heads off.
Certainly, an interesting moment!
The week is done... and three days off have arrived. Hurrah!
There's good news on the work front -- a couple bonus days writing online news.
And then some time off to deal with my piles of stuff and general organizing that I've been putting off.
The Ghana interview is Tuesday morning, which should be interesting. I've spoken to other people who have gone through the process and I feel pretty confident.
So. Africa in January? I'd say the odds are pretty good.
I'll have to work some fiscal magic to make it happen... like paying my Canadian bills when I'm away. But I'll figure out a way.
The fall weather continues to surprise. I've forgotten what rain is!
Thanksgiving is apt to be low key. A film premiere Saturday night is the biggest thing in the works.
I'm also house sitting my old hood again. Heading over there in minutes, actually.
And still nothing from the taxman!
There's the shorthand version. You're caught up!