Thursday, 27 September 2007

Two Days, 17 Resumés

I've papered this city. Twelve resumés to recruitment agencies, five to the biggest design agencies. Checked out government listings, online classifieds, newspaper ads, talked with locals, pounded the pavement. If there is a job for an intermediate graphic designer with no web skills in the greater Calgary area, it will not evade me.

"From eventime to morning light
the copse was never more than grey;
Darkness did not come that night,
but day passed into day."

Summer doesn't ever really come to Calgary; spring passes unblinkingly into autumn. I went from 25-degree days in Toronto to the 10-degree climate of the Calgary 'summer'. The leaves are changing here, swirling in gentle twisting eddies under the shadow of skyscrapers. Girls who never quite put the finishing touches on their summer figures march determinedly in light dresses, one hand always guarding against the fickle breeze.
The light winds carry Calgary's warmth. The legendary 'chinook', a warm, dry wind blowing north, can raise the temperate from why-am-I-outside to oh-this-is-quite-nice. There is little of Toronto's humidity or blasting winds, which makes the lower temperatures more tolerable.
The PATH network lay under Toronto's streets; the +15 network is above Calgary by--you guessed it--fifteen feet. In the same bold colonial spirit that led man to discover the end of the Pahoia estuary well past the point where the smell of porcine effluvia made progress mildly unpleasant, I set out, sans compass, to explore these dizzying heights.

"...they got the same shit over there that they got here, but it's just there it's a little different."
-- Pulp Fiction

Of course, the stores were the same. There were just more of them, and at a slightly higher altitude. Four stories of stores are connected between 7th and 8th Avenues, running for one kilometre. What makes it confusing is that on the third level it joins with a southern extension, whereas on the second level it joins northward. I missed my compass. I wanted a GPS device.

Calgary is actually easy to navigate when you figure out the basic system: The Calgary Tower (an unassuming air-traffic-control-looking structure) is at Center Street. Roads north to south are called streets, thus 1st St West, 1st St East, and so on. Avenues run east to west, and are similarly numbered.
I stay at 520 7th St West, an area largely populated by hobos. The view out of my dorm window looks like a scene from Waiting For Godot. A few metres from the front door of the hostel is a needle receptacle, and we are advised not to walk alone after dark. I haven't had any problems; they seem to run the narrow range of emotions from mild disgruntlement to low-level civic outrage.

1 comment:

Cybele S said...

Nice talking to you last night. You're an interesting man. :) Cybele.