Cuevano ~ Jorge Aranda

One month in Victoria

Yesterday, Val and I celebrated our first full month in Victoria. It feels like much more than a month since we arrived with our luggage, tired after sleeping only a couple of hours the night before (the last-minute rush to pack or dispose or clean everything out of our old apartment ate up the night), and carrying a dazed and frightened Mushi into our new home.

I guess it feels like much more than a month because we’ve done so much throughout: unpacking, figuring out places to shop, learning the bus and bike routes, familiarizing ourselves with the University of Victoria—nothing feels routine yet; every day is still new in some ways. Still, some patterns begin to form: I bike almost every weekday to the University (it’s a 20-25 minute ride uphill from our place), I arrive at my office between 9 and 10am and leave between 5 and 6pm (I’m a bit embarrassed to admit I’m still not used to 40-hour work weeks, but these seem to be standard for profs and students at the labs where I work). Val and I cook together when I get home; sometimes I do the cooking, when Val has evening lectures, a couple of days a week. Sometimes, not too often, we take a bus downtown and go to a restaurant, or walk to Fernwood Square or to Hillside-Quadra Village. During the weekends we clean up (it’s a bigger place, so there’s more to do!), do chores and shopping, and if it isn’t rainy I spend some time tending the garden, which is fun but frustrating: after hours of work, it looks just like it was when I started. Val has so much reading material she usually has to work during the weekends too. We’ve also started meeting people, and our agenda is now peppered with a couple of nights out with new friends each week. All in all, it doesn’t feel like we’ve been really exploring Victoria a lot yet; going downtown still feels like being a bit of a tourist, which I realize is probably OK for our first month in the city. However, I feel much more familiar with our neighbourhood, and with some areas of the University, and when I come home it does start to feel, little by little, and once again, like I’m coming home.