Christmas in Victoria

by Greta Olsson

The apartment on the 11th floor, with a magnificent obstructed view of the harbor and city, would go for $1400 or $1500 in Los Angeles. In Victoria it's $575 Canadian or $350 US. I'd seen two other places in the same price range: one with a great location and the other with an amazing, generous size. I wanted all three, but immigration said no senior citizens are allowed beyond six months.

"Can I leave for a week and then return?" I asked.

"You must leave for six months," came the reply.

It's called seasonal living. It was a great disappointment because Victoria is a fairyland of beauty and interest.

I'd been burglarized seven times in Los Angeles, and so moved to a low crime area - Port Townsend, WA, a Victorian fishing village - where I've now been burglarized five times. Hence my need to move again.

Nine tenths of my things are in storage. I think I'd like to buy a car, rent a room in several cities, and try out new places before making the final move. Do write me if you know of such a place, or are willing to rent out a room in your own home. I don't smoke and have no pets, always pay on time, and have an A++ credit rating.

Ms. Greta Olsson
1930 Lawrence St, Apt 37
Port Townsend, WA 98368-7939
(360) 379-1934

Los Angeles had two streets that went all out for outside Christmas decorations. People would drive for miles to see these places. Victoria has a city lights tour that is out of this world. There is house after house, and block after block with expensive, elaborate decorations so overwhelming that I asked the tour guide whether the Canadians had any money left for gifts - or was the decoration of the city their gift to everyone.

One large house went beyond everything to include not only animation but real people as part of the scene. It looked as though thousands had been spent on it - rather like the best hotel or department store in a major city. Yet it was but one place among many.

Our guide drove down one fully decorated street and said that last year only two houses were lighted; this year, everyone! Very effective were some with only white lights hanging from the roof, thick full and rich, looking like icicles but feathery and lacy. An added touch might be white lights framing the door and windows.

Even the Naval Yard and Admiral's house went all out. One enormous ship had lights all over it. The Admiral's home had a display of colorful lights in the outline of a sailboat, which was almost lost among all the other things that yard held.

Victoria is so wonderful that it is a temptation to enter and stay illegally. Many U.S. People do. However, if they are caught at the border trying to re-enter Canada, they will not be let in. They then will have the problem of getting someone to go into their home to pack and ship their things. One couple even bought a home and had three children in school. Too bad. They are illegal.

I'm quiet myself and need to find a place that is super quiet, with no kids within a mile and no loud or continuous music. A good view would be a joy. Can you help? I honestly don't know where to go next.

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