Despite my carefree days, I actually try to have a productive day, each and every day while I’m unemployed. Of course, the word “productive” is subjective and can mean different things to other people. For me, being productive means doing something with that day (or evening) that I normally would not be able to if I were working. That’s the ultimate value of this time, being able to do or experience things without being shackled by a job. At least that’s my personal view on this.

Now, if you think about it, it’s actually pretty easy to have a “productive” day. If I sleep in until 2pm, get lunch at 4pm, and wind up going to bed at 5am, by default that’s something you normally can’t do if you have a regular job. That’s kinda cheating though because that’s just a lazy day. In my mind though, it doesn’t take much to have a real productive experience. I consider going to a movie matinee during the week to a great experience. While people are stuck at their desks, I’m in a theatre just to myself, watching a movie in complete comfort.

Today was one of those days where I was inspired to be productive. I woke up at 11am, ate some breakfast, and then had to go to the nearest Service Canada government centre to send in a document related to my EI application. That took about 20 minutes and it was nearing the lunch hour so I decided to go to Longtail Kitchen for their awesome Thai chicken wings. Normally, there’s no way I can go to Longtail for lunch so the day was already off to a good start.

After lunch, I had to head into Vancouver proper to get my haircut. When I’m working, I have to get my haircut at a 7pm timeslot during the week because my stylist doesn’t work weekends and with my schedule, that’s the earliest I can get to the salon. Since I’m not working, I can now get my haircut in the morning, afternoon, and I guess even the evenings too. For this particular day though, my appointment was around 2pm. It was the first time I’d been at the salon in the bright sunshine of the afternoon since probably February of 2015. It seems trivial but I found great delight in having my hair cut during a weekday afternoon.

Once my hair had been shortened, I hadn’t planned on anything else but while I was on the bus to the Skytrain station, I had an idea. I let the bus go past the stop for the station and I kept going into Chinatown and then into the shadier area of town where there was a fatal daytime stabbing just days before. Undeterred, that’s where I got off the bus and walked a short distance to the No. 5 Orange strip club.

Now you might wonder why I’d go one of the most (in)famous strip clubs in Vancouver at 3:30pm in the afternoon on a Tuesday. I know for a fact that the afternoon is a terrible time to go a strip club. It was not a surprise that when I walked in, there was no one dancing on stage and just two “entertainers” casually looking at their phones at the bar. There was just a handful of dudes sprinkled throughout the bar. I had my pick of the seats, though I will point out I did not sit at the front row. The reason I went is just because I could. I suppose I could have gone to a mall as well, as technically that’s a place I could not normally go to at 3:30pm on a work day but let’s just say the No. 5 Orange has a bit more character to it than a mall.

As far as strip club experiences go, it was pretty terrible but I didn’t care. I had one beer while I discerned who else was with me on a Tuesday afternoon. There was a group of what looked like construction workers who might have left a site early that day. There a guy in a suit by himself. He was the only business looking guy in there. A few of the strippers seemed to know him and made a point to go over to his table. A lawyer perhaps? There was another gentleman, about middle-aged, who was at a table with two strippers on each side. I don’t want to sound like a bastard but I know enough about the world that those women are there because that dude keeps the money flowing to them, either with drinks, tips, or private dances. I’m not judging though because it’s his money and to be honest, he seemed really, really happy. The highlight of the afternoon was seeing this super old dude sit right by the stage. I believe he is the oldest man I’ve ever seen at a strip club by wide margin. Like he was so old, he walked very slowly to his seat and he seemed almost fragile. You know when people get so old that they get that gaunt look and their skin seems to be just stretched over their skull? Well, that’s how old this guy was. At one point though, I looked over and there was a dancer right next to him on stage who seemed barely in her 20s, with an amazing, flawless, naked body, her legs splayed wide and high into the air for him to see all her secrets and desires. It was at that moment I realized that old dude was doing ok in life. I doubt I’ll make it as far as he has but if I do, I don’t even think I’d have the energy to walk into a strip club. Seeing him made the whole day worth it.

I didn’t stay much longer after that, mostly because I was getting hungry again. I left after I finished my beer and walked two blocks back into Chinatown to get a bowl of pho. It was delicious as most pho is and I made my leisurely way home after that.

As far as days go, today was indeed a most productive day. I did many things I could not do if I was working so I’m pretty happy about it. Tomorrow is another day and while I have nothing planned, who knows what I’ll decide to do.

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