Friday, March 12, 2010

Imagine What It's Like

[Reprise from a post written September 2009 on Challenging the Commonplace]

Imagine what it's like to have yearned for a tiny place all your own, a tiny house or a trailer, one whose maintenance fits within your budget and where you and your furry companions can live in peace.

Imagine that someone comes forward and says to you: "I'll buy you a tiny house or a trailer; just find a place to put it."

Imagine that, feeling hope for the first time in a decade, you try and you try and you try and nowhere can you find land on which to place a tiny home. No RV pad is available, although there's no shortage of used trailers for purchase. No land is available that hasn't restrictions on the type of structures allowed; houses must be of certain minimal dimensions, they must have this or that amenity, and so on.

Imagine then that you must say to your potential benefactor: "I can't accept your gift of a tiny place. I can find nowhere to put it."

Imagine hope fading.

Imagine that the same someone comes forward and says to you: "Alright, if I can't buy you a tiny house or a trailer, then let me buy you a scooter. Then you'll be able to get about without pain. Just tell me the total cost, including insurance, and I'll send you the money."

Imagine hope rising.

Imagine enthusiastically checking online and deciding with the help of your potential benefactor whether it should be a Honda Jazz or a Yamaha Vino. Imagine scouting out the prices, learning about the licensing and insurance requirements, adding up the costs. Imagine reporting back your findings and the two of you deciding on the Vino.

Imagine the excitement growing, not just yours, but hers too...

Then imagine thinking: "Wait. Consider what you're doing. You don't live in a secure place. This is a high-theft area. There's nowhere to keep your scooter safe, nowhere to keep it plugged in: no garage, no locker, no area inside the building. There's no carport, no awning under which your scooter can be kept from 30 to 40 cm snow dumps, no protection from the snow plow when it comes to clear the parking lot. The scooter will be exposed to vandalism and theft and the elements all year-round; and there's nothing you can do about it."


Possession of a scooter depends on relocation to a more secure residence.

Now suppose that word came in the spring of a rare, subsidized, seniors residence. It's one of the few rental places in this province, subsidized and not, that accepts pets.

Imagine someone applying to that development and the applicant being put on a waiting list.

Imagine hope waits.

ETA March 12/10: Possession of a bicycle also depends on getting a more secure, accessible residence, since I wouldn't be able to carry one up and down the three flights of stairs here. An electric bicycle could serve the purpose as well as, and be cheaper than a scooter, something my benefactor and I discussed a few weeks later.

Later in the year, I also heard of a second subsidized housing development that would accept pets. It, too, is on one of the Gulf Islands. This suggests that smaller, more close-knit communities and ones nestled in a natural rather than built environment, see the oddity of humans being forced to separate themselves not just from flora but fauna too. It's not a natural circumstance that we live lives isolated from the natural environment.

I applied to that second housing development, but have yet to receive an acknowledgement. Have called twice, using SkypeOut, and each time got their answering machine. Not having a phone, I've been unable to leave a number on their answering machine. Perhaps they receive applications and never send acknowledgements, or they didn't get my application, or they've declined to put it on their waiting list and haven't communicated that to me.

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