Sunday, 25 March 2012

The closing of the Chronicles of March Break Madness

The Chronicles of March Break continue with an epic two days of Charlottetown shopping. On Monday Emily and I wandered into a second hand store, conveniently 3 blocks from my house and made a day of it. Second hand stores are the best! There are treasures to be found, outfits to mix and match, and ball gowns to be worn and all you have to do is look. It was a quiet day in the store and Emily and I soon found out we were the only customers in the store. It was like we were in one big closet playing dress up. We came away with a few choice treasures and decided that the rest of the day would be dedicated to relaxing and talking. It amazes me that women find so much to talk about. It’s a super power no doubt.

The next day followed with more shopping and then I sadly took Emily to the air port. It was wonderful to have a beloved friend come for almost a week, it made me feel loved and not forgotten. Sometimes I feel like I am on the Island all alone, and I am just a vague memory to the people back home. I know they think of me as I often as I think of them, but when I get homesick and lonely it’s hard to imagine myself out of feeling like a whisper on their minds rather than a melody on their tongues.

I also took the bus for the first time this week. Charlottetown does have a bus system but for some odd reason I was afraid to use it. I think that fear comes from living in Waterloo Ontario for the past four years where I know and trust the bus system there. But I got up the courage and hopped on. The buses look like trolley cars rather than actual buses and the seats on the bus are actual park benches. Some of the newer buses have regular bus seats, but I prefer sitting on a park bench while being driven around town. The fare for such a royal ride is $2.25 and when you get on the bus you put the toll in a Tim Hortons coffee cup sitting on the dash. You know it’s going to be a quality bus ride when you pay your way into a Tim Hortons coffee cup, and it’s a Roll of the Rim no less, fancy.

Charlottetown is a whole new city when the sun comes out. Thursday was a beautiful sunny 22 degrees day. After 3 and a half months of damp decrepit winter weather, the sun has blessed us with her golden presence and melted away all the snow. People gleefully jumped out of their hibernation, sipping ice caps, licking ice cream cones, and drinking ice tea. They left the coat at home, threw on a pair of shorts and flip flops and hit the side walk, strolling endlessly and without care in the spring sunshine.

I joined the rest of Charlottetown in this glorious past time and spent the better part of Thursday skipping down the side walk, head tipped just enough toward the sun to have its lips constantly on my cheek. However, I had alternative motives. Armed with resumes, cover letters, and portfolios I hit the streets with a vengeance, walking merrily into businesses, laying my qualifications down and asking in the most polite, heart melting and enchanting voice I could, “Do you have any job opportunities available?” I smiled, I winked, I let them believe they were the only place I was applying to in town and that I loved them that much. And after we had bantered about the sunshine and I had charmed my way into their job giving hearts they took the bait, passed my credentials along to their supervisor and I left them thinking, “Wow, she is so nice, we need to hire her right now.” At least that is what I hope they are saying. I’ve applied to 18 different bakeries, shops, hotels, and general businesses, received 2 interviews and 9 declines. Sigh, the job hunt continues.

However the beautiful weather was short lived and the next morning I woke up to a light dusting of snow and bitter cold winds. Oh PEI, does your weather ever stay consistent? Friday was bitter and dry but on Saturday the dampness sunk back in and pretty soon Charlottetown looked like a ghost town once again. Windows were closed tight, the sun hung in the sky more like a decoration than an actual aid in encouraging spring, and tea pots steamed all day generously breathing their warm life giving liquid into dreary bodies. I oddly enough spent most of the day outside running errands. While on route to an errand I found myself on an unfamiliar stretch of street. It was unusually yet delightfully quiet, magically shielded from the wind on all sides, and lined with picturesque houses and two churches. What is this street where the sun always smiles, the bitter wind never bothers and the houses look like they are happy to see you? What kind of a street has two churches on it, both with beautiful brick work, old and majestic, and housing the very Spirit of God? What street has a baby blue Ladies Retirement Home, with lace curtains, and an inn the colour of olive green, barn red, and ochre with a ship delicately carved on the welcome sign? What is this magical place I found myself strolling down?
Fitzroy Street
. If I hade to live in Charlottetown for the rest of my life I would live on Fitzroy street, across from the Ladies Retirement Home of course.  

And there you have it folks, the Chronicles of March Break comes to a close tonight. I have two weeks left in school, 8 kitchen days, 1 sugar show piece, and 1 theoretical exam before my practical exam in mid April followed by graduation at the end of April. And then what? What do I do next? As Pocahontas once sang, “Where do I go from here?” I may be low on clues on where to go but I’m not hurting for ideas. I’ve thought about staying on the Island, working for the summer, and giving myself a chance to really discover the Island charm. But there are so many weddings I have to attend back home this summer, not to mention I am art coordinator for the Art Den at All Ontario Youth Convention this year. Living in PEI but flying back and forth to Ontario now and then sounds expensive. I have had no job offers in Ontario either, so I can’t go home just to be a bump on a log. Sigh, got any advice for me Pocahontas?  

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