I was expecting chaos, mayhem, and frantic over-budget preparation, but Whistler is ready. What construction is still on is placid and small-scale. In fact, the only work-related phrases I overheard were “ahead of schedule, almost done, let’s take a break”, and “totally primed.” Whistler is almost holding its breath for the onslaught, I think, but it sure seems ready.
My steez here was to find out what my job description was, and to sort out a place for my bro and I to live during the Games. Done, and not done. I’ve been chewing through my cell minutes, driving to and fro the breadth of Whistler, studying maps and knocking on doors. Sigh. I’ve learned a great deal, and am very glad I made this mission. It’s invaluable to learn the town so well while I can still drive everywhere and park everywhere, and I wangled my way through the front line of security at the Athlete’s Village to meet the right people and get a sense of what I’ll be doing Games-time.
Accommodation on the other hand… I was parking in different neighborhoods and knocking on doors, randomly- a very humbling experience. I was forcing myself to knock on the doors of the really nice homes, too, since I’ve learned from hitchhiking that the prosperous are often very nice and generous- perhaps those attributes contribute to prosperity. People were unfailingly nice to the strange mendicant on their doorstep in the dark, generous with advice, and I got to hear many peoples’ opinions of their neighbors, neighborhoods, and the Games. I met quite a cross section of Whistler life, from transients to councilmen. What I did not meet was anyone who could offer my brother and I a garage to pack the scamp-mobile in for February. I did get many magically coincidental connections and leads for not exactly ideal conditions but certainly possible ones. Also started thinking about paying work to fill the days between volunteering and applied for a couple jobs. Best of all, I found that event tickets are on sale in person in Whistler. They’re intended for Whistler residents, since all the buses are accounted for now and passage north will be totally locked down during the Games. So I scored several cheap tickets that we thought we’d lost all hope of since the online sales closed. We’re going to see luge, bobsleigh, and X-country events.
Whistler Village is sweet at night. The trees are thickly festooned with blue-tinged led xmas lights, and they look awesome. I was clambering around making a spectacle of myself trying to get a shot that captured the effect of the road lined with these icicled trees. I didn’t manage what I sought, but found shooting from the ground up into the trees made neat constellation effects. In the paper, two municipal workers were getting letter to the editor heat for taking eight hours in a cherry picker to wrap one tree, but they can’t all have taken that long, or they would’ve had to start in August.