NB: I started writing this a couple days after we got here, so sorry if there’s any incohesion as it’s now the 25th! I’ve back-dated the post for continuity’s sake.
Whistler… Well I’m not sure what I expected it to be like, but it’s not like I expected. That doesn’t really make much sense but that’s a good way to describe it :) Unlike most cities over here it just kinda sprawls (although we have been informed that it’s one of the most modern communities in the world). What surprised me about it was the amount of space between everything because in most French resorts everything is crammed into not a lot of space, but then I suppose that’s not the North American way, is it…
Anyway, the hostel we stayed in, the ‘Shoestring lodge’ was an improvement on the Vancouver hostel but still not fantastic by any stretch (check the room photo lol), plus we discovered possibly the noisiest sleeper ever in the guy who we were sharing with to start off with :) oh and the bathroom was pretty minging, hostelling is great eh! Having said that though, as soon as we moved out of there into our house we missed the squalor and bustle of it and it’s so easy to meet people, but it’s also nice to have a base where you can unpack and have a bit of quiet. Living out of a backpack is a serious pain in the arse unless you’re willing to unpack and repack at each new place, which I wasn’t, hence it did my head in :)
To start with we were going out a fair bit cuz to be honest there’s not that much else to do at the minute and also to meet everyone who’s up here. Well not everyone but lots of people who you randomly bump into plus many friends of friends (of friends…) although that’s kinda hit the wallet a bit hard! The first weeks were always gonna be like that though innit. Last night managed to take a night off from drinking to go to the cinema, and even managed to not drink any alcohol for a whole day on Tuesday (gasp) [note that I started writing this a while ago so the rate of spending – therefore drinking – has, necessarily, been slowed quite a lot since then, but I’ll get to that later!]. In the first week though we had the Halloween party night, which was absolutely awesome. See we’d all picked up these costumes whilst we were in Vancouver in anticipation of the Halloween celebration up in Whistler. Matt was a naughty nurse, Si was Hula Harry, Paul was Pom Pom Paul (rofl), I was a beauty queen, Lewis was some kind of warrior princess/She-Ra and Tim and Dunc picked up some random dresses and wigs at a later date to join in the cross dressing theme. I think the costumes all set us back about 40 bucks (~£20) but it was well worth it for the comedy value (sure you’ll agree when you see the pics). We went with an early drinking theme once again – think we started about 5pm whilst getting into costume before going upstairs to the Gator grill for some quality Mexican scran before heading out. First off we went to a bar called ‘Citta’ (pronounced Cheetah – a pretty cool bar that has different offers each day) and met some hotties from Victoria. Not sure what they must have thought of us turning up in drag but to be honest I reckon the ladies were loving it, especially the squeezing of large fake foamy breasts, although my cries of “like for like” seemed to fall on deaf ears :) after a couple of beers there we went to a club called Moe Joe’s after failing to get into Tommy Africas as originally planned because the queue (or line-up in Canadian) was ridiculous. Having said that I’d just managed to muscle my way to the front when the other guys decided we were going to leave and go somewhere else so I was a bit narked! We had a quality night although I was a bit disappointed that none of us won the fancy dress competition. When we got home there were a bunch of peeps outside the hostel having a smoke and I bumped into Al’s housemate from Nottingham – Jamie – who has ended up living in the house above ours, it’s a very small world… In fact it’s so small that I also met another guy called Si Mountain or suttin like that who knows Al and Jamie from uni! Anyway back on track – we got home and Si decided it was a good idea to throw all the tissue paper that had been contributing to his ample frontage into a tree outside the hostel. Then Paul went to sleep in Kim’s bed because she’d said she was staying somewhere else, but then Kim came home, saw someone in her bed, went and got security and the guy dragged Paul out of bed by his ankle, still in costume hahaha. Paul then RAN home from our hostel back to creekside (a good few miles in the freezing cold, nutter. He is from Kendal though, home of the mint cake!). So yeah I think that’s pretty much the story of Halloween night, you’re prolly bored of hearing about it :)
Aside from socialising (joking), the most important issues here are:
With much emphasis on housing. Even if you’re in staff housing, cuz as we’ve since discovered this is in no way guaranteed… So yes, let me tell you about the job situation…
Turned up for my first interview on the 3rd November (wow that was a long time ago), millions of people everywhere, very busy etc etc. So I’d heard that if you checked in early then you could get an interview ahead of your slot. Mine was at 10.30am so I got there at like 9.45 after getting a cab half way there cuz I thought I was going to be late and didn’t get seen til about 10.45… Annoying. Anyway the interview went really well and I got called back for a second interview the next day (kinda necessary since the 4th was the last day of the recruitment fair) and spoke to the guy who was in charge of the interviews for the position that day, which was also good and he took my name etc., so I thought sweet that seems all good. Also I was told at least twice that I would have a one on one interview the following day. I turned up for my interview and ended up being interviewed by 3 guys along with another couple of Aussie guys (i.e. a 3 on 3 interview, although this didn’t surprise me greatly as I’d heard similar reports from friends about their interviews) which obviously wasn’t as good as a one on one but still, I thought it went pretty well so I was fairly confident about getting a job. Heh.
Unfortunately we all had to wait until the 8th or 9th of November before ringing to find out whether we’d got a job or not. I was supposed to ring up on the 9th because, I guess, my interview was in the latter half of the week. The day came though and I’d heard a sneaky rumour that you could find out on either day but they’d just told everyone a time to space the whole thing out. As it was I phoned at like 8.30pm on the 8th along with my friend Sara who’d also gone for the same position, albeit in a different store (Intrawest, who own the mountains, own a bunch of different stores which are scattered about the place). Had to hold for about 20 minutes which was a bit annoying, especially when they told me that they were afraid they couldn’t offer me a position at this time :) Sara got hers though, which, more importantly, means that she gets to stay in staff housing. In fact all the guys we met in Vancouver from Leeds uni got jobs with the mountain so they all get to stay in their room. Unfortunately Dunc didn’t get his job as a liftie so is faced with the prospect of being evicted from staff housing unless he gets a job when he reapplies (which myself, Si and probably Lewis are going to do too, being the only people left in our house without jobs :) [update: Dunc has since found a job as a housekeeper and a place to live in Creekside, so it’s all good!]
Of all the people I’ve spoken to about their jobs, far, far more people didn’t get the job than did. This spawned many conspiracy theories about the recruitment process, especially that it seems as if Intrawest tried to maintain a 50:50 male to female ratio in their staff even though there’s apparently 6 times as many guys as girls in Whistler (which I’m not sure I believe, although there’s definitely more guys), which meant that nearly every girl I spoke to had got a job (along with about 5 other job offers – basically if you’re a fit girl out here then you’ve got it made! One shop even tried to poach my friend Beth after she’d already been employed, lol. She is fit though ;p)
So anyway, that night after finding out I hadn’t got a job we just all got really wasted and went into town, it’s the only way. Can’t remember where we went though, ah well.
Think I’ll cut this there because I know it’s a bit of a chore reading huge chunks at one time (*cough* Gurpal) so I’ll post some more going out stuff and general info later on so you can take it in piece by piece (and spread out the excitement – ahem), plus I think my housemates are getting annoyed by the fact I’ve been on the computer since I got up 4 hours ago solidly :p
Tata for now guys, apologies if I’ve written nonsense! X