"When the world is running down, you make the best of what's still around"

Not a Happy Little Vegemite

By Shanathalas

I am very disappointed to find out that Kraft Canada is no longer supplying Vegemite for sale in Canada. Its been about a week since I had a bit of the black dregs of the last jar of at mum’s place. Now I’m starting to go into withdrawal. Just the thought of vegemite and butter on toast makes me start to drool. There now seems to be a black market for vegemite here in Vancouver. A local merchant is selling small jars of the black wonder for $11.95 + tax. He fedex’s them in to meet the needs of the local aussie’s who need their fix. Yesterday I baulked at the price thinking it was crazy expensive. But now as I go into the vege-dts, I’m thinking “hey, it might be worth it”. All I need is just one hit…

Addendum: This was the official response for Kraft Canada.

From: Kraft - Canada Kitchens
Date: Jul 26, 2006 11:27 AM
Subject: RE: Your Comment/Question

Thank you for visiting and for your interest in VEGEMITE Autolyzed Yeast Extract.

I appreciate your interest in our products. We agree that this is an excellent product, and we are sorry to tell you that it is no longer being sold.

There were not enough consumers buying this product to support its continued production.

We hope you continue to enjoy our other great Kraft products!

Again, thanks for contacting us, and I hope you’ll continue to enjoy our products.

Kim McMiller
Assoc Director, GCR Consumer Services


“Will take verbal abuse for food or money”

By Shanathalas

No, this isn’t a post about how I haven’t gotten a job yet. This is about the massive problem of street people in Vancouver. While walking down Denman Street the other day I actually saw a homeless person with the above sign. Young and old, there are just so many people begging on the street here. Its always been a bit of problem in Vancouver (you’re a lot less likely to freeze to death on the streets in Vancouver than anywhere else in Canada), but now its gotten so much worse. And to top it all off, our evil, criminal, fuckwit of a Premier is bragging about the 3.1 Billion dollar surplus for the province this year. Sure, if you get rid of all the teachers and nurses, kick all the mentally ill out of the hospitals, and completely descimate the welfare system, you can save a lot of bucks.

The politicians claim the street people can get a job if they want to. But seriously, who’s gonna hire someone with no fixed address, no phone, no decent clothes, and no education. And to top it all off, many of the homeless are seriously mentally ill. Though Vancouver has a very low umemployment rate at the moment, it seems employers are asking for more and more in their job adverts. Pay rates aren’t great, and the cost of living in Vancouver has increased as we move toward the Olympics in 2010. There doesn’t seem to be any sort of plan by either the city, provincial or federal government to get these people out of the vicious cycle of homelessness. It makes me so sad.


And now …..some fennec foxes

By Shanathalas

A New Home

By Shanathalas
Jai and I have managed to snag ourselves a new apartment after only three weeks in Vancouver. Located in the beautiful “kitsilano” area of Vancouver (Sydney-siders, think Balmain) it has two bedrooms and loads of closet space. It also has hardwood floors, all the cons (I’d say mod cons, but they aint that mod), a rec room with a pool table, an outdoor pool and a tennis court! As our stuff won’t arrive from Oz for another month or two, were going to rattling round the place for a while. But tomorrow were going to IKEA :)

You Must Be This Tall To Ride

By Shanathalas

Neck, back and low blood pressure problems be damned, today we went to playland. My childhood amusement park still has one of the few original wooden rollercoasters…you know, the ones that look like they’re about to fall down at any moment. I had a serious fear of the coaster as a child and only ever went on it a couple times as a adult. Jaime coaxed me onto it again and it was just as terrifying as I remembered. It doesn’t have any of those well-fitting harness-type bars the modern rollercoasters have, but the generic straight bar across the car which doesn’t help keep you in car (holding on for dear life does that). The bar’s only purpose seems to be bruising your ribs as your thrown forward on the upward track after a massive drop. And there are some serious drops on the Coaster. I haven’t screamed like that in years…it was great.

We also went on a bunch of less terrifying but very fun rides, played minigolf and air hockey and ate those 12 for 3$ mini cinnamon donuts. It was Fun-tastic!


One Week On - Observations

By Shanathalas

Well its been almost a week since we waved Oz goodbye and arrived in the city of glass. Now looking at our time here I can make a few reflections.

1. I sound a lot more Australian than I thought I did. While the lot downunder may think I sound super-Canadian, I really don’t. Talking to the Vancouverites, I can hear myself sounding so aussie. Maybe I should stop saying things like “flat out like a lizard drinking” and “chuck a sickie this arvo”. I wonder how long it will take for my accent to acclimatize? (< - note the “z” ;)

2. Australians really are tall. While living in Sydney I found myself feeling short for the first time in my life. Even some of my best aussie friends refer to me a as a hobbit. I thought maybe I had just never noticed being short before. But now that I’m back, I really am average height again. Jaime’s noticed (and enjoying) the lack of giants in Canada. Must come from having to duck down to enter the igloos.

3. The air is beautiful. According to the news the air here is currently at “bad” levels of airborn particles. Vancouver on a bad day is so much clearer than Sydney on a good day. Walking home tonight I could smell flowers, grass and the beach (the good beach, not that low-tide smell). Of course, this is in between the great wofts of air that smell like pot.

4. Slow news days. Thanks to a culture of crime and serious sensationalisation, Aussie news is always very serious with massive crime and horror to report. Vancouver does not have any equivalents of “Today Tonight”. While there is a small amount of crime, accidents and annoying politicians doing stupid things here, they still have to fill the news with human interest stories. One day they had a story about how a grizzly bear in a Golden (an interior town) animal reserve had managed to escape his enclosure twice. The first time he was recaptured near a wild female bear. Apparently, the keepers at the animal reserve felt he was getting a bit frisky, so they decided to neuter this bear named “Boo”. Well Boo wasn’t having any of this, so he escaped the second time and is still at large (hopefully getting a little action). What makes it so amusing, was that this made the news for a second night in a row. On the second night they had a indepth look at how Boo had escaped. Apparently he lifted a 400 pound door, shorted out and then scaled a 12 foot electric fence. I guess the thought of having his cajones removed was motivation enough to Boo.

5. Eating out = downfall. Jaime and I had grand plans to eat healthy and get fit when we got here. But that plan is being thwarted by the fantastic food here. So many good, inexpensive restuarants. I think we’re going to have to use some serious willpower not to put on weight. But then again, the scales should go up a bit, we’ve both just gotten taller.


Happy Canada Day, eh?

By Shanathalas

Today is Canada’s national day of celebrating being Canadian. Unlike so many Canada Days of the past, it was warm and sunny, rather than pissing with rain. We spent the day down at the Vancouver rowing club in Stanley Park enjoying a few cold bevvies.

Wildlife spotted: 1 x Harbour seal, many canada geese, 1 X raccoon, 3 x Blue Herons and a very clever crow.