Unfortunately, half way through working in week 3, I fell sick and had to have a few days off work. But for the time that I was at work, it was awesome; I had an absolute blast. The views were amazing, and Westcan Painting were perfect. We were working in levels 22 and 23 in an office building in Vancouver and I was pretty much just cutting in and rolling. Cutting in is brushing in the tops, bottoms and the corner of a wall with a paint brush where the roller cannot get to. This is the exact same as I would back home with the same methods. The only difference is that oil-based paints are completely banned here. This paint is illegal because BC (British Columbia) is trying their best to be environmentally friendly and the oil-based paints hold a lot of damaging fumes. The company I worked with has approximately 55 tradesmen and 5 apprentices, so I didn’t get to see any other apprentices there, but I did work with 2 tradesmen, a Canadian named David, and Walter who is from Poland. Because this was a union site, there were a lot more protocols to be followed. All painters must wear long white pants, steel cap boots, a white shirt (no singlets allowed) and a hard hat. The apprenticeship system is mostly the same to back home, the only differences are is the time period spent at TAFE or school, and the Red Seal test which is taken by all apprentices at the end of their time at school to be fully qualified.
I’d like to thank Westcan Painting for giving me the opportunity to work within such a big organisation. Getting to and from work was a simple 35 minute trip on the Skytrain each way. I had only ever been on a train once back home but I’m on it nearly every day over here. No matter where you go and what time of the day it is, everyone is always nice to you, they’re always willing to help you if you need and to give you time out of their day to show you around.
One afternoon after work I decided to go from where the Skytrain begins its’ travels all the way to where it ends. It’s about an hour ride in total and the amount of different gorgeous scenes there are to see is indescribable. You go from seeing tug boats hauling massive tree logs up the river to seeing the beautiful mountains with snow on top and the sun hiding behind the peaks.
On the weekend, I decided to go shopping in Coquitlim, which is a 30 minute Skytrain trip away. I noticed that inside the shopping centres or ‘malls’ that they call it here, they have the exact same shops as us but with different names. For example, their “Sports Chek” is exactly like our “Rebel Sport”. Oh, and also, when you buy something here, you always have to take into account the tax because in Canada, tax isn’t included in the original price.
After seeing Coquitlim, I travelled back into downtown Vancouver and seen the infamous “steam clock” which is a major tourist attraction, and then jumped onto a boat to head over to North Vancouver to see more suspension bridges and to go on a walk through the bush or as they call it a ‘trail’.
On the way home, I ran into a lovely Canadian family who often have Australian exchange students who stay at their house. They have had students from Toowoomba, Cronulla and Cairns. Canada is a spectacular place to be in, especially Vancouver, I definitely do want to come back here in the future and I would catch back up with this family. The family is wanting to come to Australia within the next few years so while they’re in Brisbane, I’ll be their tour guide and show them around.