It is now official: Wednesday next week is my last day working at the Fairview Post. The next port of call will be the city of Lloydminster, with a population of 27 thousand and located smack on the Alberta/Saskatchewan border. It is not Toronto or Montreal, but I will be slightly closer to the east.
When I first moved to Fairview I told myself I would stay at least two years and then look at moving to Grande Prairie, Edmonton, or Calgary. After two months of sports reporting I told myself I would wait one year and ask for a transfer. By December I told myself it was time to actively look for a new job.
Don’t get me wrong, Fairview is a nice place, but it is just not for me. For one thing, I am not a sports reporter, which is clearly what they need here. The problem is there are enough sport activities here to warrant a sports reporter, but the town is too small for more than two reporters.
I thought I could also learn to live with how small the town is, but I was wrong. I am a film buff and I need my weekly dosage of seeing the big movies on the big screen. Unfortunately, a city of 3,000 people does not have a movie theatre, so to see a movie you have to drive an hour and a half to Grande Prairie. That wouldn’t be so bad if you were to leave in the morning and come back in the afternoon, but in Grande Prairie they only play movies in the daytime during the weekend. My days off are during the week, when the movies play in the evening, meaning I have to drive back in the dark, on the snow covered highway. Kind of stressful.
I am sure there are a lot of people who enjoy life in small towns, but I realized I need things you can find in big cities: a mall, a cinema, an airport and more than six restaurants. Plus, I mean come on, what kind of Canadian town has a KFC but no Tim Hortons?
So as mentioned I am leaving next week to do more or less the same job in a bigger pond, only I hope it will never involve sports again.
The challenge however, will be getting my car there. A recap of my escapades on the Alberta roads so far:
When I first moved here in October, I began financing a 2012 Hyundai Accent. Then in early October it started snowing and the car skidded on the ice at an intersection, hit a parked car and broke a headlight. It was towed to Grande Prairie for repairs, where it stayed until early December. When it was repaired, I had the winter tires installed and I started to drive back to Fairview. Unfortunately, the car skidded on the highway and flipped upside down in a snow bank. It was then towed back to Grande Prairie.
It then took the insurance company a month to approve my claim, it took the repair shop a week to order the parts needed for the repairs and it took another ten days for the parts to actually get to the shop. Last I heard my car was still outside the shop, meaning they have not even touched it, much less repaired it. In addition the car dealership recommended I have a new battery installed and a wheel alignment done.
Obviously, I am not driving to Lloydminster. As far as I can see, my only option is to fly there, get a rental car, and have my car trucked there when the repairs are done. Although at this rate, by the time this thing is driveable again it will be spring so maybe I will stop crashing the fucking thing. What was that bumper sticker idea George Carlin had? Oh yeah: “My other car is a piece of shit too.”
Although, that is a bit mean to Hyundai. For all I know they make great cars, but I wouldn’t know since I signed for the cursed vehicle back in October but I have only driven it for no more than two weeks.
On the plus side, if I have another car accident in Lloydminster, at least the repair shop will be in the same town than the one where I live. It’s a bit difficult get things done when your car is being repaired in a city that is an hour and a half away and your rental car has no winter tires.
Hopefully things will start to improve now (they have to, right?) and one day I will look back at this and laugh. Well maybe not laugh, but at least be glad I survived that part of my life.
I have survived living in Lima, Peru, I have breathed the air in the smog-filled city of Santiago, and I have endured working in a fast food joint during the Christmas season at a mall. This rough Alberta winter is just another bump in a long road that started way back when my parents and I first moved from Québec to Corner Brook, Newfoundland. I am not sure where I am going to end up, but one thing is for sure: I am nowhere near being done yet.