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!
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.
[via Lovisa Burfitt]
1. When I grow up and move into my own loft apartment (which also will mean I have plenty of cash to shake off from an imaginary tree), I will deck it out in Lovisa Burfitt.
2. Because I have no idea how this genius of a woman manages to make Chanel lippies look like the Empire State Building.
3. Or maybe I’m just a little loopy because… did I mention I’ll be making my maiden trip to NYC this weekend?
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.
Walking from J‘s apartment on Rue St. Urbain down to Chinatown was way easier than I thought it would be. I pretty much walked into the world of rapidfire Cantonese, wok hei smells wafting in the air, bolo buns and Asian hairsalons. The nice thing about Chinatown – in London, Montreal, San Fran or anywhere else, really – is that for just a little while, I lose the geography and it just feels like a place where I belong, a place where I feel safe and where I know the food is pretty much made the same way as it is back home. The way my grandmothers do it – flavored with soy sauce, oomphed up with sesame oil and served with condiments in little white platters.
Excuse me while I have a tender, fobby moment.
My first foray onto Canadian soil has taken me to Montreal. This is the city my best friend now calls home and the city where I’ll see the people who made the summer of ’09 so special. These factors made Montreal special even before my plane touched down, but after just one night in the most cultural city in Canada, I already think this is going to be one unforgettable vacation. Plus, milk chocolate praline crepes make for a nice first meal just about anywhere!