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Saturday, November 04, 2006

canada

I have arrived in Canada! My first time leaving Europe (if you don't include the trip across Istanbul to Asia... which I am counting, so its my second!) and my first long haul flight! It was myself and Conor who went from Cork with Aer Lingus to London Heathrow and onto Vancouver with British Airways.

I had my rucksack, Ski and Boot bags and carry on bag. Conor had his carry on bag, suitcase and snowboard bag. Our limit was 2 pieces of luggage and we were allowed carry an extra bag for ski's or snowboard (and boot bag). So we could of had 2 pieces of luggage each AND ski & boot bag or snowboard bag! But no... that wasn't the case... The Aer Lingus lady charged us €30 each for the carriage of our ski's and snowbaord! Even tho Conor was only carrying 2 pieces of luggage and within his limit, and all i had was 1 boot bag extra.

Aer Lingus were totally unhelpful or understanding where we were coming from. It was a code share flight, basically a British Airways flight operated by Aer Lingus. We had no problems in London because we were always within our luggage limits! Its just Aer Lingus being stupid. I will avoid flying with them again.

Besides that, everything went great, we arrived in Vancouver Wednesday. Eventually found the right bus to our Hostel, Hostel International Central on Granville Street. It was a really nice place. Good atmosphere! The free breakfast in the morning was worth while getting up for! They also have free Internet access (if you bring your laptop!), bring an Ethernet cable in case all the table are taken!

From there we went to our SWAP orientation meeting where we learnt all about living in Canada and what to do and not do while we were there. We sorted out all the paper work like applying for our Social Insurance Number and sim card. We then went off to the Bank to open our Canadian Bank account in TD Canada Trust! It was actually weird opening it. We were brought into an office and this financial advisor started having a conversation with us! Interested in us and how we were before we even started talking about opening an account! Home in Ireland if we went into a bank looking to open an account we would be asked to fill out this form. Totally different!

So after lunch and the collection of our sim cards for our phones we made our way to Whistler. It took a bit longer as it started to snow that day and the bus driver had to take his time! We were met by a not as hairy, but still quite hairy Irish, Scottish, Canadian! There was a nice dusting of snow from the first day of snow that day, making the place have that wintry feel.

The next day we explored the village and did some shopping. It has been raining ever since and now all the snow has washed away. Everything is just wet now!! But at least i will get to see the place without snow before the heavy stuff arrives! The job search starts on Monday and i already have a few places in mind, like the Irish Pub! Who know, but keep your fingers crossed for me! I'll keep ya posted!