Monday, May 05, 2008

Farewell and Good Riddance

In what seems to be turning into something of a hobby, I moved again about a week ago today [1]. An essential part of this hobby is that I underestimate both the time and number of boxes it will take to pack. (It would be quite brilliant, really, if I did this on purpose, since what happens is that the helpers end up doing most of the heavy lifting while I scurry around frantically trying to cram as much random stuff into a shortage of boxes. I'm not so cunning, however.) One of my friends who helped me move had borrowed a pick-up truck from a relative which was returned before I was completely packed. This didn't matter much since I couldn't move the last three boxes worth of stuff without the last three boxes to put the stuff in. Not only that, but I didn't have time to clean up the place either.

So I planned on going back the next day. I managed to injure my foot the next morning on something that was hard, sharp, and not properly unpacked [2]. It wasn't a life threatening injury, but it was severe enough that I thought it in my best interests to head down to the emergency room. (The last time I went to the emergency room was when I was 8. I fell down a waterfall and needed stitches on my knee.) Plus it was on my toe. Which is on my foot. Feet are gross, in my opinion, no matter how much you clean them, and experts agree that gross is a leading cause of infection. For all the waiting, the only thing the doctor told me that I might not have done otherwise was change my socks twice a day instead of the usual once.

It was quite the chore getting home that night, and, needless to say, I wasn't about to go to my old place and finish up packing and cleaning. It took five before I was feeling pain free enough to do the work, and so I spent this past Sunday afternoon completing my move.

For the most part, I was eager to move out of the place. That's not to say it was horrible. The landlord was really nice, and responded very quickly to any problems I brought to him, which is definitely a plus. The place was renovated during the summer before I moved in, so the apartment was in better condition than lots of other student housing (I know I'm not a student anymore, but some habits are hard to break), and the appliances were new, including (free) washer and dryer. It's really not a bad place, and I would recommend it to a friend with little hesitation. There were disadvantages, though, and for me, they were starting to outweigh the benefits. Among the worst things was that the neighbourhood lived up to its reputation. The main East-West street in downtown Kingston is Princess St. I lived north of it. Most students understand this part of Kingston to be rather sketchy, and with some exceptions, it's a place you avoid if you can. This wasn't my first time living in the dreaded territory, but this year seemed to be particularly bad. One morning not long after I had moved there, I walked past my car to see that most of the contents of my glove compartment had been emptied onto the seat. I didn't remember doing that myself, but I wasn't certain that I hadn't until I saw that the ashtray had also been taken out and left on the floor. Someone had entered my car while I was sleeping. A week or so later, the same thing happened. I don't think whoever it was made off with anything other than spare change. They even looked in the trunk where there was some stereo equipment that they could have stolen very easily if they wanted to, but didn't, so they probably didn't want anything more than spare change [3]. Within a week of moving out, I was awoken at about 2:00 in the morning to the sound of a door shutting and footsteps walking past my window (it was a basement apartment). Being in bed, I wasn't quite ready enough to run out and shout obscenities at the perpetrator, so I convinced myself that the noises I heard were that of one of my neighbours, and that I had nothing to worry about. The next morning, however, I checked my car, and sure enough, the ashtray was lying on the floor again. I can't find my cell phone charger, so they probably stole that too. Jokes on them, though, since it's broken. Some might say that it's my fault this happened so many times, since each time it happened, it was because I left my door unlocked. Though I'm pretty sure that leaving your door unlocked doesn't count as an invitation to hop on in and take spare change.

I thought that I had seen the last of that when I moved out. On the Sunday that I returned, the crime spree continued. This time, though, the criminals were bolder, committing their crime in broad daylight. After I had packed everything up and finished cleaning, I went out to move my car into the driveway. As I approached the car, I noticed that the stylized H that adorns the hood of most Hondas was no longer adorning the hood on mine. I had to pause for a moment to consider whether it had really gone missing while I was cleaning, or whether it had actually been gone for a long time and my mind was playing tricks on me. I wasn't sure. Later on, though, I went grocery shopping. When I came back to my car after buying groceries, the outline of the H was glaring at me, as if I was noticing it for the first time again. If the missing H seemed that out of place the second time I saw it that afternoon, then I'm pretty sure I would have noticed its absence if it had gone missing any sooner. In particular, I probably would have noticed it when I walked toward my car not long after arriving early that afternoon. It hadn't been a week since I was left that place, and already I'm glad to be gone.

I'm planning on buying a new car this weekend. Desired features include power door locks and hood ornaments that are not easy to remove. If you know of any, let me know.

[1] Which explains in part why it's been more than a fortnight since you've heard from me.

[2] I was hoping that I'd be able to blame my friends for leaving that hard metal thing where they did, but unfortunately, I was the one who put it there after they all left, so the only one I can blame is myself.

[3] Whoever it was wasn't very thorough. I never did bother to replenish my supply of spare change, but there is still enough for a coffee in one of the little compartments in the dash.

1 comment:

David Tyner said...

I've heard from some people that they leave their doors unlocked to prevent the window from being broken. Of course, they leave nothing of value in the car.