How Vancouver’s West End Healed My Soul

So after a couple of days in my new place, and after the weird roommate’s friend experience with Jake and Ryan, I noticed that Gemini’s behaviour became increasingly erratic and unusual. She was overgrooming, not sleeping on my bed, and not eating. She was sneezing and coughing, and had a drippy eye. By day two, she had groomed so much that the hair on her right ear had completely been rubbed off. Google offered fleas, mites, and stress as possible causes. There were no visible fleas or mites, and since I’d traveled with her across the country twice before, I couldn’t imagine the trip had stressed her to this point. The new place had a distinct and potent cat smell, and so my English roomies suggested this might be the cause. But, I also attributed the sneezing and coughing to the filth in the place. I tried to clean a few things, but you can’t clean what is essentially entrenched into the walls.

Enter my saviour Christina, who generously allowed me to stay just over two week at her place in Vancouver’s West End. I am indebted to her for the view, the emotional and mental saving grace, and the ability to get my bearings in Vancouver. Her place is gorgeous:IMG_0834Naturally, because I’m a coward, I had a very awkward discussion with my roommates about how I was “asked to housesit”, and then packed my bags. After one day at Christina’s, Gemini was essentially smiling, and after two days, her outer ear hair was showing signs of regrowth.

It was then that I knew I had to find a new place for the rest of the summer. I really didn’t want to move again, but I would’ve been miserable in that other place. So, I stalked Craigslist and Kijiji on the daily, but also made sure to enjoy every day in the West End.

I took in every evening sunset.IMG_1064I spent my weekends and evenings lounging on the beach. I met friends for lunch and dinner, went for sea wall runs, and had solo-dance parties. I rode my bike to work, and for the first time since moving home, really felt like I was home.

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If you’re ever in Vancouver, be sure to spend time in the West End. You won’t regret it. The West End, and Christina’s generosity, healed my soul, and I’m confident it would invigorate yours if you visited.

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