Three Things They Don’t Tell You about Banking in Canada

So last week I tried to pay a bill from a US company using my Canadian accounts.

Big mistake. Huge.

And it’s a legitimate bill! One I want to pay. The company that helped me get my work permit has finally charged me for their services. I want to pay them as soon as possible. They deserve it!

And yet.

I went into the bank, spent about half an hour there, and in the end still wasn’t able to send the money. Why not? Well, let me share some of the things I discovered…

Nothing is Free

Back in the States, I was used to — spoiled by — all the free banking services available. Free checks! Free accounts! Free credit cards!

Not so in Canada. Canadian banks are apparently unable to tap into Wall Street’s billions to make them solvent, and so they actually charge for things.

There’s a monthly charge just to have an account. Any account. For each account.

You want checks? Yeah, those will set you back $50CAD just for basics.

Pulling money from an ATM? That’ll cost you, if you’ve gone over your transaction limit.

Yes, transaction limit. There’s a limit to how many times you can use your account, before they start charging you more fees.

So when I went down to the bank naively thinking I was going to wire the money, they sat me down and explained that each wire transfer (I needed to send three) would cost $50 to send. Not $10. Not $20. $50. A piece.

Needless to say, I did not end up sending the money by wire!

Nothing is Simple

My bank in the US was entirely online. Need to send a wire transfer? Fill out this web form, submit it, done. Need to pay a bill? Add the bill’s account info to this list of payees, choose how much to send, done. Everything, and I mean everything, was done via the online interface.

In Canada? Not so much.

At first, I thought it was much the same. I was able to open an account entirely online. Even managed to put money in it, once I’d figured out how to send an international wire (again, without having to go into a bank anywhere).

But then I got a notice that my account(s) would be closed if I didn’t present myself, in person, to a bank in Canada by X date. Said date was a full month before I was planning on being finished packing and moving up from California.

So I had a bit of a scramble to get everything packed and shipped from the US so I could get up here in time to walk into a bank and prove that yes, I am a real boy.

That turned out to be just the start of the things I needed to do in person.

Opening a credit card? Go in to the bank, because you don’t have any Canadian credit.

Sending a wire transfer? Go into the bank, we don’t trust you to do that online.

Need a debit card? Go into the bank and have them print one for you, because we’re not going to send you the one we promised.

Need that debit card to actually work? Hahaha, oh my sweet summer child.

Granted, every one I’ve interacted with at the bank has been lovely. Not rushed, genuinely interested in helping, just great people. But the fact that anything beyond giving my account information to other companies so they can auto-deduct money from my account requires at least three steps, one of which is always going into a branch, really slows me down. Speaking of which…

Nothing is Fast

Okay, I take that back. If another company has your debit info, they can take money out of your account very quickly.

But anything else takes lots and lots of time.

My credit card application took six weeks, seven tries, and an hour-long visit to the bank to be completed and approved.

The checks I ordered to pay the US bill will take two to three weeks to get here.

The debit card I was supposed to get when I opened the account never came.

Sending money back home to my wife takes a week (not the promised 48 hours).

Conclusion

In short, banking in Canada requires a lot more patience and time than I’m used to. Not that I can’t get used to it, mind you, and I know I should be grateful that — so far — everything has worked out, just not in a timely fashion. Things could definitely be worse.

But again, something I wish I’d known before moving here, so I could have better prepared myself for it.

Keeping Score: May 27, 2022

Steady progress this week. I’ve set a reminder to write, every day, and I force myself to do it. Even when I’m exhausted after a day like Wednesday, where I had a solid block of meetings from 7am till 1pm. I grab my notebook, set a timer for fifteen minutes, and don’t let myself do anything else till the buzzer sounds.

I’m not always drafting during that time. Sometimes, like this week, I’m brainstorming, looking for ways to punch up the current draft of the new story. Sometimes I’m outlining, like I’ve been doing for a new story that’s brewing in my head. But no matter what, I’m working for those fifteen minutes.

As a result, I’m about ready to do a second draft of the piece that started out as flash, and has grown into a short story. I’m also ready to do a first draft of a new piece, a horror story that first unlocked for me last year during a Clarion West online class, but sat on the shelf while I worked through my writer’s block. (Oddly enough, the current approach I’m taking to the story came to me during another Clarion West class, on Sunday)

Oh! And I wrote two more flash pieces last night, based on some prompts given out at the Victoria Creative Writing Group meeting. One of them is a fun little thing I might polish a touch and then send out. The other is yet another story I’ve been carrying around without knowing how to approach, and the second writing prompt of the night gave me exactly the right angle. I think this one might be a longer piece when I’m done, but at least I’ve got a first draft now, something I can edit into shape.

How about you? What do you do to keep yourself motivated (I take classes, apparently, and join writing groups)? Are you making good progress in your current projects, or does your writing process need a shake-up?

You Can’t Ship That to Canada!

I have a love-hate relationship with Fedex.

On the love side, when I was searching for the best way to send books and clothes up to Canada, they quoted me an incredibly cheap price — less than $300USD — sold me boxes, and helped me re-pack some items. My first five boxes spent a week going through Customs, but they made it here safe and sound.

On the hate side is…well, everything else.

After moving into the apartment in Victoria, I went back to San Diego for a couple weeks, to pack up my remaining books and personal items (ok, I’ll admit it: toys). I ended up with seven boxes this time, which barely fit into our little EV. But I managed to get them downstairs, into the car, and then into the Fedex store — the same one I’d used before — to ship out.

The total was quite a bit higher this time — $800USD — but I paid it, confident that these boxes, too, would be treated well and arrive soon. Got on my flight the next day, feeling proud of getting that big thing done before I left.

So I was shocked and dismayed when my wife sent me a photo— as I was crossing from Vancouver on the ferry — showing those same seven boxes, stacked neatly outside of our house in SD, with no explanation from Fedex as to why.

I checked the tracking info for the shipment, and sure enough, it said they had been delivered (!) to San Diego, having been rejected by Fedex as soon as they picked them up from the store. The reason? “Improper Shipment.”

I confess I may at this point have uttered several curses which are not appropriate to type. With one stroke, Fedex had turned my accomplishment — getting my office cleaning out to make room for my wife’s family — into one more burden placed on my wife, who now had to deal with seven very heavy boxes.

This is the part of the story that, were this a movie, would be told in montage. Scenes of me on the phone with Fedex, alternating between tapping my foot as I wait on hold and raising my voice in frustration to the poor customer service agent on the other side. Scenes of me tapping away at my computer, hunting for information online that Fedex itself did not seem to possess (the one explanation they came up with — “your shipment was missing its commercial invoice” — was easily disproven when my wife found the commercial invoice taped to one of the boxes).

Finally, finally, we would get to the good part. I found an employee at the local (SD) Fedex who dug around enough to find out what really happened: It turns out you can’t ship your stuff from the US to Canada via normal Ground shipping. You have to use Express.

This is mind-boggling, to put it mildly. How does it help Canada to make me pay more to ship there? They’re going to hold onto it anyway, to inspect it at Customs, and I’m fine with that. Please, open my boxes and gaze upon my reading selection! Just…don’t make me pay $300 a box to ship it, huh?

But! This Fedex employee said as a way to apologize for the hassle, he could re-ship the boxes for me, Express, without charging me anything extra. The one condition was that he couldn’t have someone pick them up, my wife would have to bring them in. On a weekday. Before 6pm, so he could be there to process it.

And my wife came through! She had a Friday off, so she scheduled a contractor to come to give us a project quote, and had him load the boxes for her. Then she spoke with the Fedex employee about what to do, drove them to the Fedex store, and dropped them off! She sent me a photo of the receipt with one word: Done!

…Only it wasn’t done.

Because the very next day, I’m Facetiming with her, and what do we see? A Fedex truck pulls up to the driveway. Starts unloading seven very familiar looking boxes.

Confused, I had another look at the receipt she’d sent me. And sure enough: They’d shipped them Ground again.

At this point, our little movie would be no dialog, just a series of bleeps.

Somehow, my wife convinced the Fedex driver not to leave the boxes with us. Somehow, he said he’ll take them back to the warehouse and they’ll ship them Express this time.

So my books and speakers and keepsakes are…somewhere, right now, in a kind of shipping purgatory.

The moral of the story? If you’re moving to Canada, and you want to take more stuff than you can pack on a plane, just get a moving pod. It’ll be cheaper, and a lot less hassle.

Keeping Score: 20 May 2022

Writing slowed this week, but didn’t stop. I got through “Draft 1.5” of the new short story, which brought it to a healthy 2k words, inching out of flash territory.

I already have three areas I want to touch up next. The ending, in particular, I think needs to pack more punch. But these will be smaller changes, so I’m letting the story cool on the shelf, so to speak, before coming back to make them.

Meanwhile, I joined a critique group! After a meeting of the Victoria Creative Writing Group, one of the other new members put out a call for folks to join in critiquing each other’s writing on a regular basis. We had our first meeting last night, and I think it went really well 🙂 It’s a small group (there’s just four of us total) but that means we each get plenty of time to give and get feedback. At the end of this first session, we even had time to do a 15 minute writing exercise, and I got another flash piece out of it!

I feel so lucky to have been accepted into the group. Many thanks to the organizer, and to the VCWG for bringing us all together.

Written with: Ulysses

Under the influence of: “Never Let Me Go,” Placebo

Why Victoria?

Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal…These are the big, bustling, Canadian cities that most folks have heard of, the ones that most new immigrants head for.

So why did I choose to move to Vancouver Island, instead of Vancouver?

To be honest, after living here full-time for just a few weeks, my reasoning is already shifting. As the Oracle says in the Matrix:

…you didn’t come here to make the choice, you’ve already made it. You’re here to try to understand why you made it.

But! I’d like to set down my original reasons for picking Victoria, in the hopes that my research can benefit others who might be contemplating a move to Canada.

Our Requirements

My work is remote, so in theory we had the whole of Canada to pick from. In practice, though, we had several constraints on where we could live.

No-go Ontario

Our first, oddly enough, was our dogs. We have two of them, one a German Shepherd/Lab mix, the other our “pocket pitty,” a 45-lb pit bull mix.

It’s the latter that gave us the constraint. You see, the province of Ontario has banned pit bulls, full stop. You can’t breed them, you can’t bring them into the province, you can’t keep one as a pet. If they think you’ve got a pit bull, they can seize it, and make you go to court to prove it’s not a pit bull. If you fail, they kill it.

This is a ridiculous law, and I hope it gets repealed soon. Most dog bites are from small dogs, who (obviously) are more likely to feel threatened by people and thus lash out. Pit bulls themselves were originally bred as “nanny dogs,” to watch over children. Children.

Anyway, since we’re looking for somewhere to live long-term, even if we weren’t going to bring the pups up immediately, there’s no way we could settle in Ontario. So Toronto, Ottawa, all those communities were out.

Non, merci, Quebec

Ok, so what about Montreal? Or Quebec City? The home of poutine, what’s not to like?

Here we had two more constraints, both related to my wife.

The first is that she’s got Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD). Basically, the words you say aren’t the ones she hears. It’s like she has an autocorrect constantly running in her head, and it’s just as inaccurate as the one on your phone. So the prospect of having to brush off (and perfect!) her high school French was daunting. I speak French, so could help her out, but who wants to live in a city where you have to depend on someone else all the time to get basic things done?

The second constraint was simply the weather. I know, everyone knows it’s cold in Canada, and my wife’s no wimp. But she had major jaw surgery twenty years ago, and still has metal screws in her face (under the skin, goodness). In cold weather, those screws hurt.

So Quebec was out.

The Rent is Too High

That left British Columbia. I know I’m skipping over the Maritime Provinces — see the problems with Quebec, above — and Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba — ditto, with a side of “I’m from Texas, I don’t need to live in Canada’s version.”

We looked at a couple of different cities. There’s Vancouver itself, obviously. Further east you’ve got Kelowna and the Okanagan, and Kamloops north of them, both regions that are supposed to get less rain than the coast without the severe winters of the eastern provinces.

All three were enticing, but here again, we had constraints that narrowed our options for us.

For one, the plan shifted from both of us going up at the same time to just me, so my wife could stay behind and move her mother up to San Diego (that’s a whole other blog post). Naturally, she would keep the car, not only so she could get around San Diego, but also because our vehicle — a 2021 Chevy EV — is currently under recall for battery issues. And you can’t bring a car into Canada if it’s under recall.

No vehicle ruled out anything that’s not sufficiently urban to have a walkable downtown core. So Kelowna and Kamloops were both out, as being too car-dependent.

That left Vancouver, and though I’d heard good things about the city, I soon discovered one thing everyone said was completely true: The rents are absurd.

Not so absurd that there are a lot of places available, mind you. I started checking rental sites — a half dozen or so — multiple times a day, looking for units in areas where we thought we’d want to live. If anything came up at a reasonable price, it was usually gone by the time I contacted the building manager. Anything that lingered was out of our price range.

We had an extra set of constraints there, because we wanted to keep the house in San Diego (so my wife’s mother could live there). So we had to be able to afford both the place in Canada and the house in SD. Our already tight budget got tighter.

I was starting to despair of finding a place in time, when I got the idea to look at Victoria.

The Obvious Choice

And I’m glad I did. Victoria ticked all the boxes: Walkable downtown core, where I could get all my chores done on foot. Reasonable rental prices in modern buildings, so we wouldn’t break the bank. Available units, so we could move in when we wanted. Close to Vancouver, so in a pinch I could commute to network up there. And far enough south that it’s the only weather station in Canada to record a winter without going below freezing.

So Vancouver was out. Victoria, and Vancouver Island, were in.

Better All the Time

In hindsight, the choice was obvious, but at the time we fretted. We’d never been to any part of British Columbia, so we were judging everything from other people’s reports, scouring Google Maps, and watching video walk-throughs sent to us by building managers.

Since coming here, though, I’m glad we picked Victoria. Vancouver is gorgeous, but so big and expensive. Everything feels so accessible here; I can walk out my door and fifteen minutes later be in a park with bright flowers and tall trees, where the sounds of the city vanish. Or go down to the coast and gaze across the Strait at the Olympic Mountains. Or pop into one of dozens of coffee shops for a warming cup.

So if you’re looking to make the move to Canada, I urge you to do your research. Have a look at the laws of the province, to see if any are going to rankle. Set a strict budget for renting, and stick to it. And have a look at cities outside the big ones; you might find something smaller fits you better.

Keeping Score: 13 May 2022

I’ve written a new short story!

Last Saturday I turned a corner, mood-wise. After not being able to write for six months, I sat down and hammered out the first draft of a new flash piece. The story is something I’d been mulling over for a while; I had the genre (noir/crime) and a line of dialog, but that’s it.

But Saturday morning I sat down and told myself to write something, anything, even if it was crap. And the whole story came tumbling out of me.

It’s a huge relief, to know that I can still do it. Even if the draft is terrible, it exists, it’s mine, and that means I’m not hopeless as a writer just yet.

I’ve spent the week since working on a “Draft 1.5”, as I’m thinking of it. I’m still too close to the story to properly edit it into a second draft, but as soon as I was done with the first draft I started seeing areas where I needed to go back, add depth or look for a more creative angle.

In particular, the motive for the crime bothered me. The one in the first draft felt too pat, too cliché. Not real enough.

So one morning I took out my little notebook and went through the characters in the story, one by one, and wrote a description — personality, circumstances, and appearance — for each. I had only vague ideas of the characters when I started, but by the end of the exercise I had them firmly fixed in my mind, along with a better motive, and plot changes to reflect that.

Thus I’ve begun another draft to incorporate those changes. I know there’ll be more drafts after this one, including a proper second once I’ve let the story sit for a couple weeks. But for now I want to make this first draft a little stronger.

If you’re struggling with writing, and not sure you can hack it anymore, let me reassure you: You can! You might just need a break, or to try a different genre, or a different format. Me, I needed all three, including permission from a writing instructor to drop my current project altogether. It’s scary to contemplate, but liberating in the end.

Go forth and write messy drafts, write bad dialog, and create some one-dimensional characters. Whatever it takes to get the words out, to get your mind working on the story. You can always, always, clean it up later, but you can’t do anything without that first draft. So get to it 🙂

Written with: Ulysses

Under the influence of: “Model Citizen,” Meet Me @ the Altar

Three Things They Don’t Tell You About Moving to Canada

It’s taken six months, but I’m finally here, in Canada, for the long term.

Immigrating, even from the United States, is no joke. Things have gone relatively smoothly for me, but even so, there’s been a few surprises along the way. Since they’re things that folks usually don’t tell you when you’re thinking of immigrating, I thought I’d set them down here, so future immigrants can come better prepared.

So here are the top three things I wish I’d known before moving:

No Health Care

I know, Canada’s a single-payer system. Universal health care, and all that jazz.

That’s true, but what’s also true is that Canada’s system is really 10 different systems, because each province handles health care on their own. There’s no single, federal system you can carry with you from province to province.

Instead, when you first move to a province (waves) you have to sign up for their health care system. Does immigration tell you this? No. I had to learn from a co-worker.

To sign up, you’ll need a SIN. What’s a SIN? It’s a Social Insurance Number. That you get from the federal government, at a Service Canada station. You can’t get it till you arrive, work permit in hand, though. Good luck getting an appointment; they’re backed up 4-6 weeks, depending on where you land. For mine, I had to go stand in line for four and a half hours in downtown Vancouver, and I only got in because I showed up right when the Service Canada centre opened (even so, I was in the back of a line that stretched out their door and around the corner).

Ok, you’ve got your SIN. You’ve submitted your application to your province. You even did it online, because you and your province are fancy like that.

Now you wait.

And wait.

And wait.

…you see, the provinces are all backed up. So they straight up tell you it can take 3-6 months for you to get onto the province’s health care program. And even if you do get on, if you leave the province for “too long” (say, to take care of a family member back home), they’re drop you, and you have to start the process all over again.

Till then, you’re in legal limbo.

Wait, you say. This is Canada, how can they do this to people and call themselves a free country? Well, you see, it’s because you have:

No Power

That’s right. You can’t vote. You can’t run for office. You’re a person that works and pays taxes but has absolutely no input into the political system. You basically have no rights, save what they dole out to you.

This was brought home to me when I was waiting in line to go through Immigration at the airport. It was a large room with bad lighting, and chairs arranged in four rows, all facing a set of raised, plexiglass-enclosed cubicles. There was no signage, and no one said anything to me as I entered. I sat in the chairs, because everyone else was sitting in the chairs. I didn’t know what else to do.

Every so often, the figures behind the plexiglass would call out a name. Someone from the front of the line would stand, excitement on their face, and present their papers, to see if they would get through. We’d shift forward a few chairs, and settle back into waiting for our own turn.

It quickly became apparent to me that most of the would-be immigrants in line with me did not speak English as their first language. They seemed to have a language in common — they appeared to be from East Asia, but I don’t know enough about those languages to guess which one they spoke — as I saw multiple unrelated groups chatting with each other or asking questions.

It also became apparent that the Immigration officials had no translator, and no patience for those who did not speak English fluently.

I heard them yelling at people to get out. I saw them throwing translation cards at people. They taunted them, made fun of them, and generally verbally abused anyone that didn’t have a simple, up/down, fluent-English case.

It was terrifying.

They didn’t physically assault anyone, while I was there. But I realized they could have, and then what would I do? I felt rooted to my chair, afraid to speak out or help, because it would threaten my own ability to immigrate.

So no, the province doesn’t have to help you get your paperwork in order. And no, they don’t have to give you health care when you arrive. You have no political power, so they can write you off.

No Credit

Speaking of power, you don’t have any credit power, either. Because your credit history, back in your home country? Doesn’t matter here. They can’t access it, so you effectively start over from zero.

This might not seem like a big deal, until you try to get a bank account, or rent an apartment.

(I say rent because if you try to buy you’ll pay upwards of 20% extra as a straight-up tax when the sale closes. If that doesn’t discourage you from buying, then you’re probably rich enough you can smooth over the difficulties I’m outlining here)

Here’s the catch-22: You can’t rent an apartment without a bank account. Your landlord is going to want to know you can afford to rent the place. Without a credit history, your only recourse is to show funds in a Canadian bank that can pay for it (and also be used for automatic withdrawals every month). They’ll also likely want a secured bank draft for any deposits, once again drawn on a Canadian bank.

But you can’t get a Canadian bank account without a residence. Naturally enough, the banks want to be sure they’re only opening accounts for folks that are actually Canadian residents.

And even once you manage to solve that problem, if you’re thinking of maybe buying a car or getting a nice, points-based credit card, think again. You don’t have any credit history, so you don’t qualify for anything. In some cases, you not only won’t qualify, you can’t even apply without a Canadian phone number (oh, did I mention that? you’re going to want to swap out your home cell for a Canadian one. what’s that? you’re not ready to tell everyone and every account your new number? too bad)

Conclusion

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sorry I moved. Vancouver Island is absolutely beautiful, the folks who live here are quite welcoming and friendly, and it’s nice to be living in a place with reliable public transport again (because I don’t have a car, you see).

But immigrating hasn’t been easy, and I’m still working through the kinks. I’m still waiting on access to the province’s health system, for example, and I just now got a Canadian cell.

So to others thinking of moving to Canada: Go for it. Just be prepared for a bumpy ride if you do.

Keeping Score: 6 May 2022

Time to start these up again, as well.

Other than Monday’s blog post, though, I haven’t written anything this week. I wake up tired, having slept fitfully the night before. I stumble into the shower and then into my work chair, only to stagger out eight hours later wondering if I can justify taking a nap before dinner. I never do, though; I just catch up on personal chores (one thing they don’t tell you about immigrating is how much friggin’ paperwork you’re going to be doing, constantly, forever), shovel food into my mouth, and then slink off to bed.

Rinse, repeat.

Tried to break the routine last night by going to an online meeting of the Victoria Creative Writers’ Group. Thought meeting some local fellow writers would be a nice one-two punch, both getting me out of lonely shell here and giving me a bit of inspiration.

It’s worked in the past. Every time I’ve come out of a Writers’ Coffeehouse session — run by Jonathan Maberry — I’ve felt pumped up, ready to write for hours.

But something must be truly wrong with me, because it didn’t happen this time. Felt like dropping the call multiple times, and turned my camera off so I could cry. It made me feel more isolated, more lonely, not less.

Because here were a dozen or so folks who were settled into Canadian life. Two were teachers. One was a nurse. There was one person who had moved here from Alberta, but otherwise no recent transplants like me.

And I thought: What am I doing? I had a network back in San Diego. I had writer friends, and meetings. Encouragement given and received. How could I hope to insert myself here? With every word out of my mouth I prove that I don’t fit in.

I know I’m being overdramatic. Canada is not yet so culturally far from the US. And yet.

So I’m going to look for inspiration elsewhere. Planning on taking a hike this weekend, either to Thetis Lake or just around Beacon Hill Park (neither of which I’ve seen), depending on the weather. I’ll walk among the trees, take some photos, and try to clear this melancholy from my head.

Wish me luck.

Written with: Ulysses

Under the Influence of: “Sorry for the Late Reply,” Sløtface

Greetings from Canada!

Wow, it’s been — six months? — since I posted anything here. That’s the longest gap in years, maybe ever?

I can explain. But in the words of Inigo Montoya, “No, it is too much. Let me sum up.”

Starting in late October (2021), I had a series of shocks, some personal, some work-related, that basically brought all my writing to a halt. No progress on the novel, no short stories, nothing. I stopped submitting, stopped revising, stopped even thinking about the work.

The break gave me the mental space to deal with everything that was happening. It also let me re-examine some of the ways my life was structured, in particular where I lived and how that fed into my own anxieties.

In short, I’ve moved to Canada. Victoria, BC, to be exact, on Vancouver Island.

I’ll post more about the experience of immigrating — which has been an adventure, even for as short a hop as this one — but a recurring thought I have as I walk around town is: I should have done this years ago.

Some history: Back in 2004, when Bush II won his second term, a lot of us liberals talked about heading out, to Canada or Europe, as a sort of “vote with your feet” protest. Some of us (not me, obviously) did it, and some of us stayed behind.

At the time, I thought of staying as a type of defiance. I was sticking it to the Republicans — many of them in my own family! — who chanted “love it or leave it.” I insisted I was just as patriotic as they were, I just thought patriotism meant taking care of people — women, children, etc — that the GOP wanted to leave behind.

But now? Now I wish I’d followed the instinct to leave. I had a friend that moved to Vancouver, and while we stayed in touch he keep urging me to move out, that the city was beautiful and there was plenty of work for engineers like us. I laughed it off, but now I wonder. Getting into Vancouver in 2004 was still affordable (!), my wife and I could have built a life there before housing prices went through the roof and the number of doctors went off a cliff.

Better late then never, I suppose. Because it is beautiful up here, between the mountains and the forests and the sea. Victoria reminds me a lot of Galway, Ireland, in both the good and the bad ways, a blustery, scruffy port town with green growing everywhere you look.

And now it’s home.

Written with: Ulysses

Under the influence of: “The Bends,” Radiohead