So. Winnipeg.

13 09 2008

Its 2:38am and I can hear sirens. Loud sirens. And thus, life in a “big city” aka a medium sized city, but one that is 7 times the size of Thunder Bay. In Thunder Bay, any siren-worthy activity that happens after midnight is “curfewed” to lights-only, especially in residential areas. Definitely not the case here.

Our apartment is on the edge of cracktown on one side, and the edge of hipsterville on the other. Not the worst neighbourhood in the city, definitely not, not by a long shot, but its one I wouldn’t want to stroll around at night whilst wearing skimpy clothing either. Rent is cheap, which means that half of the people that live here are starving university students, and the other half are crackheads. Sweet.

My car is the number one stolen vehicle in all of Winnipeg (possibly because they outnumber almost all other models 3 to 1), which means that my insurance is a not-so-whopping $1400 a year. Average car insurance here is around $900, so I’m told. Did I mention that the annual $1400 insures the CAR not the DRIVER? In Manitoba, Land Of Plenty, you pay to insure the car, and (here’s the amazing part) anyone who has a valid Manitoba Drivers License can drive it, get into a horrific accident involving those damned cyclists in the damned diamond lane, and be totally and completely covered. They insure the CAR, not the DRIVER. Hey, whats that? Random crackhead down the street, you need to borrow my car? Do you have a valid Manitoba Drivers Licence? Cool, don’t forget to signal your turns. To compare, in Ontario, my insurance cost around $1800 a year, and that enabled me to drive my car. If Bryan was to be insured on it, it would be an additional $2500+. Here, its $1400 for everyone in the entire province of Manitoba.

Because Civics are stolen so often (usually by new gang members. Apparently, its an initiation thing — steal a car, and kill someone with it. Welcome to Winnipeg.), I got a $50 annual discount for having an IMMOBILIZER installed. Imagine a dude with a really deep impressive voice saying that. IMMOBILIZERRRRR. So! The Immobilizer cuts of the supply of gas to the engine unless the fancy schmancy new sensor recognizes a little dangly thing on my key chain, which is unique to my car. If the dangly isn’t there, the car will.not.start. Those clever little gang members can pick the lock and tamper with the ignition to their hearts content — the Civ ain’t goin’ NOWHERE without my permission/dangly thing. Amazingly, the cost of having the Immobilizer installed (approximately $500) was TOTALLY covered by the insurance company. Cheaper for them to shell out $500 for a dangly sensor than $5000 for a new car. The best part? Included in the installation of the immobilizer was a little red flashing light that blinks every 5 seconds or so. I’m told that the specific pattern in which the light blinks will somehow enable me to start the car WITHOUT the dangly, if I’m an idiot and lose it. But I sure as hell won’t be doing THAT anytime soon, because the light blinky car starting pattern is damned complicated and I might as well push my car into a river and claim the insurance money because I seriously doubt I’ll be able to figure out said blinky pattern.

And also, the red blinky light obviously proves that my  car is now a Cylon.

I’m getting used to using THE CLUB everytime I park the car, and am also getting used to removing all valuables (including iPod radio dock, and car registration).

Everything closes before 6 on Sundays. Everything.

There is no 24-hour grocery store here. Seriously.

Despite not having a huge group of girl friends back home, I really REALLY miss the ones I had. I only recently became friends with a girl here, also named Emily, who has an alarming number of things in common with yours truly. She’s quite fantastic, and I can’t wait to hang out with her more, but its incredibly hard to live in a city where you don’t have many friends, or ANY girl friends. I don’t really have anyone to girl-talk with, or vent to, or halfheartedly complain about Living With A Man (not that I have any enormous complaints… thats just a section of normal Girl Talk). The cafe I work in strongly reminds me of the diner where the girls from Sex and the City go for their weekly lunches, to catch up and have girl talk and to gossip and to laugh. I see groups of girls in there doing exactly that ALLLLLLLL the time, and it makes me quite pouty. I can’t imagine where I’ll meet girl-friends that I really click with either, which makes me EXTRA pouty. I mean, yeah, Other-Emily is rad, absolutely, and some of the other people I work with are cool, I guess, but… I just.. miss talking to someone just knows what I’m talking about, and knows all the backstory and everything. I guess that’s what I get for moving to a strange city and leaving my close friends behind. Pouty…

I’ve been working 6 days a week at Baked Expectations, which is almost always crazy busy and hectic (which I LOVE). Oh, I’m sorry, did I say days? Because I definitely meant NIGHTS. 6-12 or 6-1, which means that I don’t see the few friends I have in Winnipeg, like ever. They all work day jobs, and need their post-midnights for sleeping. I, on the other hand, sleep most of the day, and am wide awake late at night and ready to party. This results in an even lonelier Emily than could have ever been imagined. But thank you Sweet-Teeny-Baby-Jesus, because Beth (the owner of Baked, Medusa-incarnate. Imagine Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada, and then picture how she’d react to glass streaks on a cake display case. “Emilyyyy-ahhh! Wipe up this DISGUSTING mess, how could you possibly neglect to see them there? Absolutely appalling…”) has decided that I’m not a complete idiot, and has said that as of this week, I’ll be the new Daytime Counterstaff Ladyface. Wednesday to Sunday, 11-6. Oh-Fuck-Yes. BUT I’m not getting my hopes COMPLETELY up for this somewhat promotion, because like I said, Beth equals Medusa equals Miranda Priestly. Seriously. She drops by for a surprise visit and everyone has a full blown panic attack. There are frantic phone calls made to other employees that consist of “HOLYFUCKINGHELL SHES HERE. SHES HERE RIGHT NOW AND YOU TAPED A POSTER TO THE WINDOW ON A SLIGHT ANGLE AND SHE WANTS TO ANALLY RAPE YOU WITH HER SCORN”. That being said, I’m not scared of her. She can huff and puff and tell me that I wiped the counter improperly, but I will still apologize and agree and wipe the counter however she wants… while she’s in the cafe. As soon as she leaves? Ohfuckthat. Anyways, I’m not getting my hopes up because Beth is insane, and for all I know, tomorrow she’ll change her mind and decide that I have an attitude problem…

Anyhow, its now almost 4am and my rum is gone. “But why’s the rum gone?” Why indeed, Johnny Depp, why indeed…

PS Its blog entries like this that make me lean back and go “Huh. I really can write well, when I want to…”

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7 responses

13 09 2008
Chad

Shoppers is 24 hour in Hot Girls on Bikes and Boys in Tight Pants Village. I went there for mix earlier tonight. Not to mention $20 a month unlimited movies. I can’t girl talk with you, but I’ll gladly smile and nod yo.

13 09 2008
greg2point0

Yeah I make a lot of late night/early morning trips to Shoppers for junk foods.

@Chad I’m glad that Hot Girls on Bikes and Boys in Tight Pants Village is catching on.

13 09 2008
Chelsea

I have been pondering how to solve the friendless problem myself. Soon I will be out of school and on a completely different side of the country. How does one meet friends when no longer in school? I have only ever once clicked with a person I worked with. Coworkers are coworkers and other than work we have nothing in common. I don’t do the bar scene so barflies are out of the equation. I thought that maybe, where ever I go, I’ll join a book or knitting club. Those seem like my type of people. Does that make me a fuddy duddy? Oh well. I’ll fuddy duddy it up in my new home town.
Oh, and that little dangly thing sounds genius! I want one! And with insurance that high I would need one. But here my insurance is roughly $90 a month. Not to brag or anything, but I am umbrella’d under my parents plan while still recieving my own bill. Is that a possible thing for you to try?

14 09 2008
forthesun

The friendless problem is definitely a doozy… I almost envy all the college and university students, because attending the same classes with the same group of people for four years almost guarantees you a small friend base. I’m not going to lie — its hard to meet people after you graduate and move away. It’s always possible, and you never really know when you’re going to unexpectedly meet someone who you click with, but… I’m placating myself with thoughts like “Eventually, I’m be totally comfortable here, and eventually, I WILL have my own friends in this city.” But right now? This too shall pass.

I used to be ‘umbrella’d’ under my parent’s policy, but now that I live in a different province than they do, that just won’t fly. Sigh…

15 09 2008
Chelsea

I meant to ask, is that high of a car insurance bill normal in Canada? I mean, if my bill was in the thousands I would never be able to afford a car. If the bill was in the thousands my parents wouldn’t be able to afford it. Well, they might be, but my mum would definitely be hoofing it to work and my dad wouldn’t own a super large pickup truck.

15 09 2008
Sean

Er, “The Club”??

Fuhgeddaboutit.

Takes all of ten seconds to hacksaw through your steering well and then pop the sucker out — even the dumb thieves know this. I found this out the hard way. The Immobilizer is a much better bet.

19 09 2008
Craig

Making friends sucks. In Sydney, it took me about a year. I did it by always going out if someone asked no matter what. Sure my liver may never recover, but at least I have a few friends and when my phone rings there is a chance that I’ll be surprised by who is calling.

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