That’s *DOCTOR* Surrey Girl To You

So, I’ve found a new place to live.  I have to tell you I was ridiculously stressed out when I got the news that I had to move.  Like stressed out enough that I couldn’t eat for two days1. There were a variety of reasons for this extreme stress reaction2, including the fact that I *hate* apartment hunting, I hate packing, I hate moving and that this forced me to face a decision that I knew I should be facing.  That decision: Do I move to the ‘burbs?

I am not a suburbs kind of girl.  I grew up in the suburbs and I hated it.  I hated that everything is so sprawling you have to drive places instead of walking.  I hated that you can’t get everywhere you need to go by using public transit3.  I hated all the chain restaurants and big box stores.  I hated that there was nothing to do (though this isn’t quite the same in the suburbs around here as it was in my teeny tiny hometown).  But the fact remains that I work in the suburbs now and I currently spend 7.5 hours per week commuting from Vancouver.  And that’s 7.5 hrs that I can’t use for running or other forms of exercise, sleeping, blogging, or doing freelance work4.  It’s a full workday every week that’s wasted5.  In addition, I spend my weekends primarily at Tod’s, so my place really is more of a weekday home base.  I have to admit that it doesn’t really make sense to pay the higher rent of living in Vancouver and commit all that commuting time when I’m only in my place weekdays anyway. I still will spend my weekends in Vancouver and any weeknights I want to hang out with friends, it’s no big deal to drive to Vancouver, seeing as I’m used to driving from Vancouver to Surrey and back every weekday anyway!  (If it sounds like I’m trying to justify this choice to move to the ‘burbs, it’s only because I am.)

And so I have decided to take a place in Surrey.  A place that is five minutes from my work, in fact.  It’s bigger than anything I could reasonably afford in Vancouver, as well as nicer than the places I looked at in the city6.

Here are the deets:

  • 850 sq ft
  • all new appliances include a freaking DISHWASHER!!7
  • lots of counter space (and very pretty countertops!) in the kitchen
  • a bathtub (my current place only has a shower) with pretty sliding glass doors
  • good sized closets for storage
  • alarm system8
  • rent includes heat, hydro, water, cable9, but not Internet

The major drawback of this place is that there’s no laundry.  It’s actually a pattern I noticed – any basement suites I looked at in Vancouver had laundry included (you just share it with the people who live upstairs), but all the ads for places in the suburbs say “no laundry, sorry.”  I’m not sure what it is about driving over the Oak and Knight Street bridges that makes above-ground dwellers unwilling to share their washer and dryer, but that just seems to be the way it is.  And for me, the inconvenience of going to a laundry mat once every week10 is outweighed by the glory of not having to wash my own dishes EVER AGAIN.

I signed the lease on my new place yesterday and take possession today!  The plan is to move in over February (i.e., moving in a few things here and there and then book movers to move the furniture and heavy boxes on one day).  It means I’ve had to scuttle my plan to do the 30-day yoga challenge, as I just won’t have time for it while packing and moving11.  On the plus side, I’d kept most of my weeknights free with the intent of doing yoga, so I don’t have to cancel a bunch of dinners/coffees/other social occasions (as I would on a normal month).

So – anyone know of any good moving companies?

Also, consider this your forewarning: many of my blog postings this month will likely be about moving!

  1. well, I did have about three things to eat in those two days, but I had to force myself to eat them []
  2. some of which I’m not going to talk about in a public forum []
  3. at least not in a reasonable time frame []
  4. not necessarily in that order! []
  5. I do listen to audiobooks to make it not entirely wasted, but I could listen to audiobooks in the comfort of my own home when I feel like it rather than basing my listening on my commuting schedule []
  6. except for one that was equally nice, but way, way smaller and dishwasher-less, and most costly []
  7. I’ve never in my life had a dishwasher.  And I LOATHE doing dishes. LOATHE! []
  8. though anytime a place has an alarm system, my first thought is “oh gawd, why do I need an alarm??” []
  9. of course, I don’t have a TV currently, but my friend Kim has an extra one! []
  10. or two – I have a lot of clothes []
  11. I’ll be keeping my eyes open for the next 30 day yoga challenge though, you can be sure! []

Comments |13|

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  • No LAUNDRY?! Are you kidding me?

    I would take laundry over a dishwasher any day. Of course, granted, I don't cook much… but still. I know you have a car so I guess getting a laundromat won't be too bad, but all that time waiting there?! Ahhh…

    That is ridiculous that the suburbs don't have shared laundries. It's not like it would be hard to put the laundries in the many garages there are.

    And as long as you know it's just justification… well honestly as long as you don't do the fairly frequent "I'm in the suburbs so I'm going to stay out here and be isolated" thing, I'll be happy. Because you know, it impacts me so much right at the moment.


    • LOL! Yes, it totally affects you so much right now!

      I have way too many awesome friends in Vancouver to stay isolated. Plus I'm under no delusions that anyone will visit me out in the middle of nowhere, so I'm psychologically prepared to be going to Vancouver a lot.


    • I am with you. Our house in Ottawa is the first place I have EVER lived that has a dishwasher, and the one we had when we moved in didn't work well. We replaced it before we had Teddy and we use it all the time now, but I spent the first 31 years of my life dealing with dishwashing.

      But going outside for laundry? The stuff of which my nightmares are made. That was a MAJOR demand I have whenever I move somewhere – laundry in building, if not in suite.


    • You don't have to wait at the laundromat, find a place that does drop off. Bring laundry in Saturday, pick up laundry Sunday. Everything is folded in a way you can never replicate at home, allowing you to fit twice as many clothes, neatly, in any drawer. I <3 drop off.


  • Reply

  • See, I *like* doing dishes, which I know makes me kind of a freak. I find it soothing, piling the dirty dishes according to function, and then making them clean. I like clearing off the counters and wiping them down, and knowing that I'll be able to start fresh in the morning. But it's that kind of organizational anal retentiveness that got me into the field I'm in 🙂


  • Hey now! If you'd never lived in the burbs, you'd never have met us!!

    The burbs were fun when I was a little kid, but the lack of public transportation in Halton region SUCKED. I was lucky that I had friends with cars (like you and my Dave, obsv) but without that, life would have been brutal. Happily, OC Transpo is great for teens and has great routes, so Teddy and any future siblings won't be in the same boat. (I had a number of Guelph friends who came from Ottawa, and a number didn't even have G2s or G3s because they could use the buses to get everywhere. Can you imagine that in M-ton or G-town?!)

    I do not know how you survived moving BACK to M-ton when you were in Uni. It was bad enough for me to move to G-town back for a bit while Dave and I were engaged, commuting to Toronto, and waiting to move to Ottawa. That M-ton time – though I did appreciate seeing you more than if you'd stayed in Hamilton – must have been the stuff of which YOUR nightmares were/are made.


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