• Jun

    Sleeping at Wal Mart


    Last night I slept at the local Wal-Mart in Langford. It was an eye-opening experience. Since I was there before closing, I had to register my car with customer service. No problem there.

    One thing I really liked is how I was treated by the staff there. Despite being up-front about my situation, I was treated with respect, which was greatly appreciated. I felt welcomed there.

    Afterwards, I moved my car to the outer perimeter of the parking lot as requested and settled down for the night. It actually took a long time to get to sleep, partly because of the unfamiliarity and also because I was studying the comings and goings of the people entering the lot.

    When I finally fell asleep it was dusk, but not yet dark and there were only a few motor homes, some vans and the odd car like mine in the lot. From what I could see, those of us camping out were given a respectful distance by the other patrons in the lot, which was really nice.

    At one point, I woke up at 12:30am and had a look around. All was quiet.

    When I finally opened my eyes at my usual time of 5:00am, I was astonished to find a large cluster of motor homes at one end of the lot, many of which had cars attached. I suspect they arrived after the store closed, which I’ve heard is a common practice. I could have done that, too, but I too tired and needed sleep badly.

    As I was packing up, I heard a number of people talking near the entrance and I was hoping I could score a cuppa joe, so I loaded up my car and drove to the entrance, only to discover the night shift taking a break. I struck out on coffee, but they gave me directions to the local Tim Horton’s close by.

    On the way, I found a 7/11 and stopped there instead. After that, I drove back to Victoria to type this in my favorite Charbucks (Starbucks) in Cook Street village.

    One other thing. Last night I learned that some people park at Wal-Mart for extended periods of time and from what I can tell, that’s welcomed. Of course it’s also helpful to buy something there, too. They have some inexpensive prepackaged meals one can choose from, which are really handy if you’re a traveler.

    © Nathan Segal 2013

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  • Update

    There’s another Wal-Mart, located at uptown in Saanich. Unfortunately, unlike the Langford Wal-Mart, it’s not possible to sleep there because Wal-Mart leases space from the uptown complex. As for overnight parking, that’s not allowed because Robbins owns the lot and they patrol it regularly. The longest you can stay there is four hours.

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