Since our last post we’ve started doing a bit of job and apartment hunting on Craigslist.
I myself had read about a job fair being held at Forever 21 on Robson Street before leaving so thought I’d pop along as they were offering open interviews. As often trying to get a foot in the door and a chance to be seen for interview is the hardest part, I thought this would be a good opportunity and give me a good shot at a job. I did my research into the company (not that there’s a lot to say about Forever 21), chose something appropriate to wear and went along with my resume feeling pretty prepared.
However, I quickly had the wind knocked out of me, it was not at all like what I had been expecting. When I arrived there I noticed a sign in the window advertising the job fair but with no indication of where to go. Inside there was around 50+ people who all looked as lost and confused as I did. Eventually one of the managers turned up and explained that we’d each have to fill in an application form and then form a line (right down the middle of the shop) where we’d be taken in groups of four at a time for interview. Cue the dash for application forms! There was literally people everywhere, vying for any available flat surface to write on, getting in the way of customers, and being general nuisances. Is it just me or would it have been too sensible to have made these available in advance online? As if I hadn’t been put off enough by this chaos, we were then brought forward for the group interviews being held on the shop floor, in full view of customers. I have experienced a group interview situation before when applying for Primark but this just seemed totally unprofessional. To top it all off we were asked stupid questions (that I can only assume have been devised by some HR/marketing grad) like “If you had to compare Forever 21 to a fast food chain, which would it be and why?” Needless to say, the interview didn’t go well…
Thom on the other hand has had an interview for a waiting/bartending position at a downtown French restaurant which went markedly better than mine. Finger’s crossed!
So after a pretty disastrous interview, which we’d lost the morning to, we decided to head to Granville island for the afternoon – a small peninsula across from downtown Vancouver – home to the famous Public Market and Granville Island Brewing Co. We took the aquabus across which takes probably all of 3 minutes to reach the other side, although you can also walk across Granville bridge or take the bus. We spent some time just wandering around the market and some of the other quirky shops on the island, as well as lapping up the sunshine outside. Of course, it being us we also headed for the Granville Island Brewing Co. taproom to sample a few of their brews!
That night we ate in a Greek restaurant called Stepho’s on Davie St. which had been recommended by my parent’s from their visit here in 2010. The food here was really tasty and massively filling, not to mention cheap! We had beers with our meal but if you cut out the alcohol, you could easily have a starter and a main here for around $10-12 each. We’ve also since returned to Rouge (you’ll notice we’ll take a lot about food and drink on here :P) for another amazing meal. This time we sampled desert too – peanut butter chocolate explosion – making us fit to explode.
We’ve viewed a couple of flat’s this week, both coincidentally were on the same block but one being a studio and the other a one bed apartment. Both were also at the top end of our budget but it was actually interesting to compare the two as there was only $50 between them, and I think seeing the larger apartment made us realise how expensive the studio was and glad that we hadn’t rushed into the first thing we’d seen. However, if we agreed to take the one bed we’d be subletting it from the current tenant for the next four months and there seems to some ambiguity as to what would happen once his lease ended. Therefore, I think we’re just going to bide our time and see what else comes along. Whilst there is no shortage of apartments being listed on Craigslist each day, we are limited not only by our budget but are also unable to commit to a long term lease. We have another viewing lined up for Tuesday which is much more budget friendly and seems to tick all the boxes.
Over the past three day’s we’ve spent our mornings with the Vancouver Tour Guys who operate free walking tours in Vancouver and Toronto, just like the Sandeman tours we’ve been on in Europe. Each tour takes in a different area of the city and lasts for around 90 minutes. On Friday we explored downtown and olympic waterfront, on Saturday Granville St. and Gastown, and today we visited Chinatown. Thom and I are big fans of the free walking tour, not only as it is budget friendly but you learn and pick-up on things you’d probably have never known otherwise. These 90 minute tours are also a bit more bite size than the Sandeman’s tours, which can tend drag at times (depending on your guide).
This afternoon we made our third attempt to visit Stanley Park. Our first venture into the park was via bicycle (we had some romantic notion of gliding round the seawall, wind in our hair, taking in the views) but we made two fatal flaws, the first compounding the other: 1) an hours bike rental to cycle around Stanley Park was a little ambitious, 2) Stanley Park has a one way cycle system (who knew!?) so realising we’d only made it about a third of the way around the park in half an hour, and attempting to turn around only to discover we were cycling the wrong way down a one way path made for a less than romantic afternoon. After returning the bikes late (thankfully, nothing was said) we decided to tackle the seawall by foot, only to be stopped in our tracks by Thom being called for interview. But finally, today we made it into the park and it was definitely worth the wait.