About the Author: It's just Jim 🐧 On this site, you'll find my posts in various forms: serious, playful, media-based, audios, and more! The underlying theme is identifying my slices of life to paint the present with my past on the site itself.

Chemainus | Huh, Where? | VT1

This post will bring you to a small town on the seaside named: Chemainus. Take a right from the main highway and you’ll find a town full of murals, history of first settlers, and integration of indigenous stories. This is going to a series of posts under the VT title and tag. Tag links can be found below.

Regardless, this small town had stored a very big surprise for me where I least expected.

Screenshot of google map that shows the location of this store, address is 9752 Willow St. Chemainus. BC. Postal code: V0R 1K0

Do note, the site in this picture is not correct. However, I assure you that the store very much exists. You can access it via Google Maps here.

Of all the unexpected places that caught my interest and attention was this store called “Rare Essence” which essentially is a beads store. It’s definitely a store not seen in big cities. There was a rather large space with multiple tables, each table had assortments of beads, pendants and more.

My picture of a wall in the store full of beads hanging on strings that can be bought and used. They are in different colours (gradient from top row from white to yellow, then green to dark blue in bottom row).

All the walls were filled with bracelet, necklace, pendant making items. It was incredible to see all the options and how I could make the items myself in the store if I wished (or assemble it at home). You would think that I would spend at least 1 hour in this store… and you would be correct.

Here’s the funny thing about life. My ferry back to Metro Vancouver was approaching and this meant I only had 10 minutes left. That was the most intense rush I had to choose some things from the store before leaving. Yes. I found this odd store after being in the town for 2 hours in the final 10 minutes. Knowing that I would not be back here in a few years, it places time as a factor.

Why would time be a factor? Well…

Here’s a question for you

I want to ask you. How old is too old to learn?

At this store, there was an old lady who was managing this store, as you would see to expect from the atmosphere and vibe this store provides. The antique exterior, wooden floors and pillars, ancient town designs certainly play its part in delivering that tone.

She is definitely the jolly, kind, elderly lady who humored my questions and offered ideas. She definitely had a sense of humor and quick on her thoughts. But the most impressive note I have for her is:

How impressive is it for someone to master an entire point of sales system with digital tap-ready payment options in a small store (albeit, still a tourist attraction)?

I wouldn’t be surprised if she had a cash register that dings and the cash came out. Heck, I was fairly certain and convinced that was going to be the case.

Yet she had a relatively new Asus laptop with a graphics card at her counter ready to input the codes from the beads to automate the total costs. She also accepted tap as she whipped out those white scanners you would see at a restaurant that shows “12%, 15% 22%” tipping screen. You know exactly which device I am talking about.

Yes. She cleared my urgent 10 minute order quickly and deftly I was impressed. She told me that she was learning and still needs time to get used to it. BUT. In my eyes, she’s a great example of always learning for life. She handled this new technology and new form of POS perhaps even better than our local cashiers who grew up with phones and internet.

Her age was certainly in the elderly range. And this is why I am impressed and captivated by this small tourist attraction town called Chemainus.

It is a pity that I only had 10 minutes.

See you in VT2.

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