So I get across the San Juan Islands and land in Sydney, BC. Now it’s illegal to “work” in Canada w/o a work visa, which I’m not getting. But, I’m going to work for this couple so I can stay at their house and be fed. Now I can’t tell the CA custom jerks that, it’s all over the blogosphere that worldwide, you never tell customs you’re HelpXing, because that’s working and they will deny you entry. However, when customs asked me how I knew these guys, I got flustered, and instead of just saying we met online, which I thought would seem sketchy, I made up a story that Blake (the dad) used to work at an insurance company with me. Customs got their phone# out of me (one of many, many mistakes I made w/these people) called my new hosts up, who of course knew nothing about the “insurance gig” and I was hauled back into the office being caught in lie #1. I also stubbed my toe really bad in the office.
After about an hour of questioning and pulling basically everything out of my car they ended up letting me in. I have a sheet of paper I give US customs on my way out saying I left, and if that doesn’t happen (as in if I stay past 30 days) a warrant goes out for arrest. Yay Canada.
ANYWAY, I got into the country and made my way the to Hunter Homestead. My fist hosts for Canada have the last name of Hunter! How could this NOT work out? It’s like we’re related or something. They are maybe a few years older than I, Blake and Kirsten, but she goes by the Putu as a nod to her First Nations roots. We say Native Americans, they say First Nations, now you know.
I’ve been on a great streak for hosts and they were no exception. Right off the bat we were laughing and teasing each other and all other jazz old friends do. Blake runs his own business selling help seeds and oils (which is produced off of his family farm in Saskatchewan) and Putu works for BC dealing in human trafficking issues.
This was my first “in the city” gig. The last one in Bellingham was outside of the city proper and still very much has a country vibe. The Hunter Homestead a little outside of Victoria proper but quite residential nonetheless. I have a bike with me and got the most use of it of any gig yet. They live next to what’s called the Galloping Goose bike trail which runs all over Vancouver Island but more importantly runs a direct trail from the Hunter Homestead into downtown running next to a road for maybe 200 yards tops. This thing intersects the city like a champ.
This city is quite old and it shows. Canada is interesting because of the influence the UK, France and America all have on it and the resulting culture. Music was all over the place (a la ATX) and the weather was totally fabulous everyday. Further, I read on a blog that Victoria has four women for every guy and it shows. Gorgeous women were everywhere.
I went to something called the Bug’s Zoo while in Victoria and it was pretty slick. Even though I was a little disappointed to shell out $12 to walk into one big room, they had some really bizarre stuff and if you followed the guide you could hold almost everything. The highlights were a stick bug that was about as long as your arm and a katydid who was about the size of a small horse. They also had a particular cockroach who has made a visit to my nightmares every night since. He was huge and he hissed and it was horrible. The thing would quiver as it hissed and I’m almost certain it was silently chanting my name. I’m going to change the subject..
So mostly for the week I hung out with the Hunter Homestead crowd, biked downtown and did begrudgingly kept up with my insurance work. At first I was totally bummed that these hosts didn’t have internet, but that made me go different locations to get my work done and the work was much easier. Turns out I waste tons of time on soul-sucking sites such as Facebook and TheChive when I’m sitting around with nothing to do. Instead, while at home, with no internet, I practiced guitar like never before and read a bunch. Just started Fools Die by Mario Puzo, the guy who wrote The Godfather book. Good stuff people. To the left is Asher, the Hunter’s SUPER CUTE son. We bonded like WHOA and I’m positive I had a pivotal influence on his life. If we never speak again, I fully expect to be credited in his Best Picture speech.
Thanks again to the Hunter Homestead for hosting a fellow Hunter. Favorite HelpX so far! From here I head to the Prancing Horse B&B in Malahat, BC.
More to come!