Being Homeless ...
October 23, 2021
After a year of writing, and into the publishing mode, changes were happening. The condo that I was living in was sold.
The condo had been a safe haven for me, a place to keep my few personal possessions, and a place to live for the short time between travels away from home. It was perfect for me, being cost-effective and convenient. For the owner, I paid some rent and groceries. This worked just fine, but when Covid hit, I became a fixture at this address.
For the owner, selling the condo meant less cost, such as $550/month condo fees. There are pros and cons to this strategy, like freedom to move and having cash to invest, or, being required to move with lack of a secure long-term lease.
At a time of wild price swings, the value of the unit had dramatically increased, making it a good time to be financially liquid. I understand completely, as I had done the same thing in Kelowna five years earlier.
The plan was to move into a new-construction rented suite, to be ready for occupancy on July 1, 2021. However, due to the Covid situation, materials were not readily available and workers were being paid to stay at home. As a result, the occupancy date extended from July 1 to Aug 1 to Sep 1 to Oct 1 to Nov 1. And Nov 1 is not guaranteed, but looks possible at this point. The postal boxes are not available yet, but the City of Parksville will soon be inspecting to approve the licence to occupy. There is one elevator inspector on the Island, so not sure if that is done, with the myriad of new buildings going up.
Incidentally, when my personal belongings went to storage in July, it was anticipated that the unit would be ready to move into by Aug. Most of my clothes went to deep storage, including long pants. Now here it is, November looming, and I am in shorts, with no long pants in sight. Good thing it does not get cold here. The rest of my belongings have been in storage for three years now. It will be a long time to find anything again when it is brought to my new place called Home.
We were out of the condo in early July. An Airbnb was available in downtown Nanaimo, at a reasonable cost. At this time travel was just starting to be more open in British Columbia. People caged in isolation were finally able to get away, especially in the smokey areas of BC. Vancouver Island became a target spot for vacationers, no smoke, so prices rose out of sight for any accommodation, if you could find one. The bnb was very livable for four weeks, despite living on a cliff which required 48 steps down to the car, or 36 steps up to the street to leave the place. There was a good Mexican restaurant next door, and a great bar down the street that served The BEST wings on Wednesday happy hour. Survival was not a problem. The one annoying thing was the sea gulls using my car for target practice, every day.
From the bnb, the next home was a nice hotel downtown Nanaimo. The extended stay price was reasonable, for a room overlooking the Lighthouse Pub, the Dinghy Dock Pub, the floatplane pier, and a large marina. It was even closer to the favourite bar with the Wednesday wings, two minutes walk to get there and twelve minutes to get back to the hotel.
A day was spent at the WildPlay Nanaimo park, an amazing place. A visit to Ladysmith Legion was interesting. A search for my long-lost brother-in-law turned up his neighbour, but the bro was nowhere to be found.
Time was filled with visits to many restaurants, a chance to find some favourites. Every form of breakfast was tried, with Subway sandwiches and the Fairway Market being the winners.
After three weeks at the Dorchester, with a great view from the room, it was time to move on and explore.
More next time.
Picture is from hotel room in Nanaimo. Across the water is Protection Island, and the Dinghy Dock Pub.
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Neil Selinger is the author of Living On the Edge.