A stranger in my own city

Here I am, sitting on my bed at 12am, typing away at what is my conclusion post of the time spent back home for winter break. I cannot fathom how much I will miss this place, but mostly the people, and the food of course. So many things have changed since I’ve been gone and all of it seemed to have hit me real hard after I began to notice things. It was a good hit as well as a bad one. But overall, it was a nice emotional-gathering of the mind for me, to bring me back together after my dreadful exams (which by the way, am still waiting on one more result and it’s killing me slowly).

So here’s a compendium of my short trip this winter back home (there are pictures, woot). Be warned though, it’s going to be a fairly lengthy post. 🙂

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It all started with the frantic packing away of necessities at 2 in the morning the night before my flight, rummaging through my closet to find just the right pieces of clothing to bring along without over packing (which I usually do), and surprisingly enough, this time I under-packed … extensively. I think it’s the unsuspecting snowboard bag giving me false impression of already bringing too much but it was so underweight that I regret not bringing back more (but thank god I didn’t). I had recently purchased my very own snowboarding gear, I love the sport oh so much, the thrill and the excitement of going down a hill just gives you such an amazing feeling. This would be my first time trying the gear out so I’m super ecstatic!Photo 2012-12-25 4 18 19 AMDeparting and arriving on Christmas day wasn’t exactly the ideal plan but I figured I was my family’s “present” so that was quite exciting! (haha, that was so cheesy) As I was leaving Montreal, I was bestowed with this magnificent sight, I couldn’t help but snap a quick photo before the stewardesses saw me. It was really like a white Christmas out there, and seeing this made me even more joyous in arriving home. (Although let’s be honest here, home weather isn’t really ideal christmas weather, it’s more like raining cats and dogs, if you can guess where I’m from)Photo 2012-12-25 4 28 38 AMI’ve always loved flying above the clouds, the image out the window gives you such a nice and serene feel that you are above all and all the burdens have been lift off your shoulders and you have no worries. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve always wondered if people were to live above the clouds (all the weather shenanigans, etc. and if scientifically capable), life would be so much more peaceful and lovely. Being able to see the sunrise and sunset is just so calming.Photo 2012-12-25 6 35 43 PMComing home to my first homey dinner of the break was so soothing. It felt like old times again and of course, no one can beat my grandparents’ cooking! I think I miss the most when I’m gone was the feeling of other people surrounding you almost 24/7. Living alone gives you perks but you do need people around you at times but I think having a roommate and living with family is completely different, it’s just not the same feel (if y’all know what I mean).

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What kind of a Christmas would it be without presents?! Well, being a stereotypical Asian family, we usually only celebrate Christmas to a certain extent as well as its importance in our culture is quite minuscule. But presents are always nice 🙂 A friend of mine got me a camera lens mug that I had been wanting for a while not but never really got myself to buy one. I was so surprised when he gave it to me because having not spoken to him for a long time, he got me something super amazing and useful! My mom got me some extremely tasty green tea melty kiss chocolates. For those of you who don’t know me, I love anything green tea. You can say I’m obsessed, but since it’s also healthy, win-win for me! I don’t know why but my brother demanded 3 gifts from me. Being a big sister who likes to spoil him, I complied… The mug is one of the 3 I had given him, it was so cute I wanted to keep it for myself! I found the little spoon part of the design exquisite and unique and I’ve also had an eye on a cup like this for myself for a while now. The other 2 gifts were not photographed but I got him a Canadian monopoly set with an electronic machine (even I was super excited to play with it) and a box of Pokemon instant noodles. (They weren’t exactly from me but if you refer to my Japan post, my friend asked me to give it to my brother!) Man, I spoil him too much.Photo 2012-12-27 3 23 48 AMCruising through downtown streets at night with no one around, I had forgotten how exhilarating it was to drive, as well as marvel at the calmness of the non-existent nightlife here. I began to have old feelings of loving this city come back to me. Why did I ever leave? Oh yea, because I wanted an adventure. But what a great city to spend most of my life in.Photo 2012-12-27 5 12 40 PM Photo 2012-12-27 8 59 43 PM Photo 2012-12-28 6 26 11 PM Photo 2012-12-28 6 27 16 PMStrolling through downtown doing a bit of Boxing day shopping as well as having a girls’ dinner reminded me of how pretty it is. The lights, the vast streets, the busy-yet-calm bustling of people, and the way the city shines from the rainy ground just after a quick shower. I couldn’t stop looking at the lights, let alone focus on the many grand shops available here that aren’t back at my second home.

And thus begins my snowboarding journeys:
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Day 1: my friends and I faced not so ideal conditions for beginner/intermediate boarders/skiers. It was extremely foggy when we got there and it stayed this way until late evening as well. One memorable part of this day trip was the fact that one friend and I managed to convince our other 2 friends to go up to the peak of the mountain, to YOLO. Us 4 girls being frightened enough already of the height that we were getting, beneath the mist and fog, we saw moguls.
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At that point, I thought to myself, “Oh my god, please don’t tell me this is the only way down.” My heart literally dropped so many times while still on the gondola. I cringed so hard but soon realized up top that there were other trails down which settled my nervousness.Photo 2012-12-29 3 59 04 PMBut when we also got to the top, I saw the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my whole life. I was above the clouds, the sun was just beginning to set yet it shines beautifully along the clouds and the snow. The view was absolutely stunning and unbelievable. At that point, I literally could not believe what I was seeing and how could something be so big and vast. It made me so tiny and at that point, I knew exactly how small I was in this world.Photo 2012-12-29 6 12 23 PM Photo 2012-12-29 8 53 25 PMHonestly, I’ve been boarding a couple of times now but I’ve never really mastered the art of carving. I would usually just “falling leaf” it all the way down but at a much faster speed and it would be enough for me to go down greens and blues. But it wasn’t enough for me, I bought my own gear, might as well be good at it. This trip wasn’t all that successful in learning to carve but I think that if I tried just a bit more harder next time, I’ll get it or at least how to turn without thinking I’ll fall over, panic, then actually fall over.Photo 2012-12-29 11 47 05 AMIt was all in all a good day for practice runs and getting more used to my board, by the time it was around 6pm, it got super foggy and conditions were extremely horrible. I couldn’t see a person 5m away from me and that was kind of scary. So we all opted to go home but I gotta say, what a workout. I could hardly move my body even 2 days after. It had gotten to the point where I asked my mom to help me out of my sweater … hehe.

Day 2: I was so determined to learn to turn/carve. I went with my friend who I thought was pretty pro so he could teach me! We bumped into another friend of ours on the mountain sporadically and he tagged along as well.
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Conditions for this mountain was pretty great in the early afternoon but then it started raining and that was kind of dangerous for us to be snowboarding still. But here’s another beautiful sight I had encountered while on this mountain. I really get inspired when I see landscape like this because it’s so beautiful yet there are really no words to describe it because you really have to be there to feel it.
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Surprisingly, after many many trial and error runs, I had finally gotten the hang of it! I was so happy and proud of myself! Thanks a million to my 2 friends who stayed with me the entire time going down the green run so that I could learn to carve. Much appreciated. I am a regular and now can really jerk back my right foot when I turn! WOOOOOOOOT I could not describe how happy I was and I hope that I’ll remember this for the ski trip coming up soon when I’m back at school!

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Traversing in this city is one of the many things I love about this city. The skytrain system is easily accessible and pretty cheap compared to other cities as well. Not only do I actually enjoy taking the skytrain, but it’s also super easy for me to get downtown within a medium amount of time. I enjoy spending time on the skytrain sitting by myself, just listening to my music and minding my own business. The smoothness of the train track along with the beautiful scenery along the way gives me time to think and reflect.Photo 2013-01-03 2 03 12 PMPhoto 2013-01-03 10 59 58 AM
I had the chance of visiting the school I was supposedly going to attend at first before choosing something else. A lot of my friends were rooming in one of the residences and I had the chance of sleeping over and experience the classes there. I loved how there were residences for upper years so that it was so easy for them just to chill in the main lounge and be able to mingle and meet new people. I wish we had that too but our campus is far too small for that. When I walked on campus the next day, attended one of my friend’s class, and met up with some old friends who are going to school there, it almost made me wish that I had stayed there. But then I realized and thought of how much I’ve learned and experienced living on my own and moving so far away that I came to a conclusion that I made a good choice of not going there. Even though every now and then I’ll think about what it could’ve been if I had gone there, I think that in the end, where I am now is where I ultimately wanted to go.Photo 2013-01-05 2 24 14 PM
Visiting some places like my old work place brought back a lot of memories. Like racing back and to my work station during lunch because there was only one person operating the kiosk, getting food from my friend who worked at Timmy’s, and just admiring the university connected above the mall. I’ve seen a lot of neat things while working here, although sometimes a bit odd, but very interesting.Photo 2013-01-05 9 57 49 PM
Another thing I really love about this city is its modern infrastructure. It really captivates the mind and makes you visualize things like you’ve never done so before. I think I really like the modern-ness feel to the architecture and I’m a huge fan of modern architecture. Too bad because where I goto school now, the whole city’s infrastructure is breaking down little by little. 😦Photo 2013-01-05 5 34 42 PM
And thus concludes this well-spent winter break. Here’s a cheesy photo I made with a cliche quotation to end this post. But with all due respect, although it’s cheesy, it’s undeniably true. But I think in my case, it isn’t an actual location that’s my destination, but a state of mind. An adventure to achieve a certain state of mind emotionally which consists of my destination. Whether it is about growing up and maturing, realizing what I haven’t realized before, seeing things and understanding, or whatever, I’m on that adventure and nothing will stop me.

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