Well, it's been nearly a week since we arrived in Regina. Most of these first days have been spent looking for long-term housing and then for a place we could crash for the rest of the month. Little did we realize when we came out here, but the rental scene is really tight . So many trades folk and others coming to the city for work and many of them are forced to stay at hotels for weeks and months on end because there are so few places to rent.
We feel lucky, grateful and relieved to have found an awesome home and only mildly put out that we can't move in until August. Thankfully, the property management company we're renting the house from is kindly letting us stay in a vacant one-bedroom apartment in pretty much the same neighbourhood as our house. Did I mention the apartment is unfurnished? And, yes, our stuff is still on a moving truck somewhere between Burnaby and Regina at the moment.
We spent the first night in our temporary home camped out in the kitchen because the carpets had just been steam cleaned earlier that day. Beyond our air mattresses, sleeping bags, some books and some toys we didn't really have much else with us. A quick trip to the local Sally Anne and we are now kitted out with dishes and some pots and pans but not much else. We've been using a toaster oven box as a kitchen table and cart our pillows with us from room to room to use as chairs whenever we want to read somewhere. It will have to do until August.
With no TV, Internet (I'm writing this at the local Starbucks) or much else in the apartment we've been plowing through the few books we'd bought for the road. We hit some garage sales today to pick up some new books for Abner, and I'm hoping the library will let us borrow some books even though we technically don't really have an address yet. Otherwise, this is going to be an expensive month just in books alone! The only other entertainment we have is to stand at the kitchen window watching the richardson ground squirrels dig out their homes in front of our windows. We've taken to calling that window the Animal Planet window.
Now that we're somewhat settled though, I've been able to step back and take more notice of our new home. As lovely as it is, I'm struck by a few particular observations that I wanted to share with you:
These people are fanatical about the Roughriders. Seriously. Vancouver, if you thought we got all excited about the Canucks for, say, game 7 of the playoffs, I am here to tell you that that was a mild ripple of excitement compared to a regular season game for the Riders. I can't even begin to tell you of some of the more eccentric Rider memorabilia I've seen around town. I think there must be some kind of city bylaw requiring residents to own at least one thing in Rider green. Thanks to my BCIT peeps, I arrived fully equipped with my very own Riders hat! Whew. I blend in.
No curbside recycling. What is this? The nineties? I trust we'll be able to find some local depot that we can take our own recycling eventually but for now, everything is going in the garbage. Can't tell you how wrong it feels.
Regina has never heard of road maintenance. The potholes are truly epic here.
I mentioned it in my last post, but it's worth repeating....Regina is mosquito heaven. Any day that I get less than three new bites is a good day.
There doesn't seem to be much of a crafty scene here. This kind of makes me sad. I will continue to dig around and see if I can uncover a hidden underworld of secret crafters, but for now, all I can find are the granny knitters who occupy a handful of stalls at the local farmer's market.
Holy crow there are a lot of smokers in this town. We've been told they only banned smoking in public buildings two years ago! This is going to take some getting used to.
Getting around town is ridiculously easy. Rush hour? Try rush minute. I've been dropping off and picking up The Dear Sweet Husband every day at work all the way across town. How long does it take me? Four minutes. Four minutes people! Awesome.
There is a distinct lack of coffee shops in this town. The only Starbucks in town are the mini ones inside Safeways and a single full-service location inside the Chapters store. I'm not a huge coffee drinker, but even I am having a hard time adjusting to this one. There were at least six within walking distance of our apartment in Burnaby.
It may sound like I'm a bit down on Regina, but that's not at all the case. I am loving it here and so is the rest of the Milkybeer family. The architecture is stunning, the trees are incredible, and the people are so friendly. I am looking forward to this year's adventure more than ever.