It is very true when they say that if you can drive in Ho Chi Minh, you can drive anywhere in the world. It is also true that crossing the road here is an art that must be perfected by tiger courage aided by a can of 333 Bia.
But for all the mad bustle on the roads (and the incessant and needless honking), I find that the Vietnamese people have a very quiet, gentle air about them. They sit on the side streets people-watching, chatting to each other in a sing-song lilt, smiling shyly when you catch their gaze. It’s a contradictory city, quite like Bangkok. I suspect that might be why I like it so much.
Snow, which as usual, London couldn’t deal with. But which my very tropical mom was very thrilled about.
Chinese New Year brought dumplings and crazy costumes to Raymont Hall. And Candice to London.
Back to St. Gallen for the first time in five years. And Zurich provided some much-needed sunny days.
Some sunny respite: The calm before the essaywriting storm.
Essays x 5, Redbull cans x 90, Readings x ∞, Life x 0
Back to sunny Singers for the World Cup (damn Paul) and Super Junior fangirling!
One more month with my nearest and dearest, with the shadow of the dissertation never far behind.
Back to London for dissertation hell. May in a repeat, with a non-existent supervisor (not my fault) and extremely last-minute cramming (entirely my fault).
Farewells, birthdays, farewells.
Goodbye London, Bonjour Montreal! This was easily the best decision I made all year.
Three weeks in Montreal became two months (the second-best decision I made all year). And we went to the concrete jungle where dreams are made of.
Christmas back in London. No crazy cooking sesh or even crazier boxing day sales this time; just good company and lots of Home Alone guffaws.
It’s been a good ride.
I’m ready for 2011.
Bonne année à toi!
Est trop Amo ut invenio. I really loved as I found; found all of you.
I will never forget you.
Last weekend in Quebec City was a slip and slide affair; at least for me, with my traction-less boots. They don’t seem to religiously load the streets with an obscene amount of rock salt like they do in Montreal. In any case, I didn’t have to attract unwanted attention with my numerous near-falls; people there just stared as if they never saw an Asian in their lives. Sure way to score a gasp-and-point moment in QC? Put four Asians and one Egyptian together, and go forth in faith.
So I played the young padawan for the day and shadowed the Jedi knight of photography – the very amazing M. With my (comparatively) tiny E-P1 and his family of lenses, we set off for the Plateau, hoping to catch as much daylight as we could. While the light issue wasn’t on our side, I think we did pretty okay in the end. That’s probably what I appreciate so much about Montreal: there aren’t a copious number of cathedrals and travel-guide-endorsed museums to scope out, and the beauty really lies in the neighborhoods and the faces on the street, if you just look a little further than the pages of Lonely Planet.
P/S: You should also check out M‘s pictures here. You can thank me later.
from a spacey hippie, a dangerous Little Sister and errr, a random Belgian Roman we picked up along the way!
I must be more than a little demented. Last night it was absolutely freezing in M-City, especially since I just got back from Ottawa, but I just wanted froyo. I paid the dear price of not being able to feel my gums after that, but hey, we had cookie dough and PB chips in there!
There are a great number of things that fascinate urbanites ceaselessly. Apple picking on a full-out sunny day in Rougemont has got to be one of these things. We get to take in these things that city slickers were never fed in an upbringing full of Lego, Nintendo and a steady diet of daily Simpsons episodes. Rubbing an apple fresh off the tree on your shirt and then taking a huge bite straight after has got to be one of the simplest and yet most satisfying things in this little life. It looks like I may just need to move to a place where there are plenty of apple trees for the picking.
Most (actually, all) of the Korean dinners I’ve had in this lifetime have been tame and civilized sit-down affairs. This totally changed last night, because T. Bazinga, my brother from another mother, came cruising back in town and brought his homies along for the ride! A-to-the-tezy, V-to-the-izzay!
On the less dramatizin’ side of things, I got to see G again, and the guy’s done so well with an amazing girlfriend (Hello T!) and also D, who at last granted me a 2/3 sincere smile (a vast improvement from the 1/3 smile I got in Tokyo). A year on, and these people I met at Kangaroo Hostel are pretty much still the same bunch of dudes knocking back pints of Sapporo on the bridge and hostel rooftop, all while attempting to shimmy to Nobody, Nobody but’choo!
Oh, but I hear the hot tune’s Taeyang’s Wedding Dress now, as Q and T.Bazinga quite unfortunately attempted to demonstrate for me on the car ride home.