Sunday, July 4, 2010

Thoughts and Observations

Here is a collection of thoughts about my trip to Canada and where my head is at currently.  They will be put in either bullet or headline form depending on whether, by some calculus on my part, they merit headlines.

A noted cultural difference
In Canada when you are walking a dog, it is customary to greet passersby.  However, someone told me that Asians, in Canada, will not return the greeting.  I guess this is because this greeting practice would be impossible in Asia where you pass thousands of people in a day.

  • I finished reading the novel Wiseblood by Flannery O'Connor.  I read in the novel in the Library of America edition of the Collected Writings of Flannery O'Connor -- the one new book I bought in Canada.  The events described in the novel seem inexplicable and yet when you think about where the characters are coming from, the story makes a lot of sense.  The characters, trapped in a world view, do things that make sense to them but not to others.
  • At the school, there are more pretty girls than I saw in all of Chilliwack, B.C.
  • There was a Zellers store, in Brandon, that must have had twice the floor space of a Carrefour in Wuxi, and yet was manned by only two cashiers.
  • The novel Dune is the book I read on the bus these days.
  • I got a free pass to Expo!  I don't know if I will use it.

Recovered Notes and Pieces from the 2010 AKIC Canadian Odyssey
Some of the settings I went to in Canada were Luddite so I had to write notes on to paper.  Here they are transcribed into this blog:
  • Jenny says there are hardly any signs in Canada -- compared to China she is correct.  A shopping mall, to her, looks like a building in the Wuxi New District.
  • Andis sees lots of pasty whiteness.
  • Tony likes Canadian dogs.
  • Affluence.
  • I am in YouTube loading heaven.  I have uploaded over a hundred videos to YouTube while on the Odyssey.
  • Gift giving -- a mine trap for me -- wife telling me implications of -- I don't ever want to give or receive any.  "Books not good house-warming gift?"  "Seemed fine to me.  Arrggh!!"
  • Wife puts me to shame.  She is a good house guest -always offering to clean and giving proper attention to everyone.
  • Tony went to the beach for the first time at Harrison Hot Springs.  With a pail and shovel, he was in heaven.
  • I was able to watch the USA -- England World Cup match.  I saw the goals, left the game early, and missed nothing else.
  • Rock throwing heaven -- the Vedder River in Chilliwack, B.C.
  • A man at the Agassiz Museum tells me to learn Mandarin and Hindi in preparation for the future.
  • Went to Bridal Falls -- an over 50 metre high water fall.  Tony was again in rock-throwing heaven.  I saw a biker dude but he wasn't a member of the HH.  Public toilet at the site was powerful -- don't tell Al Gore!
  • Went to a museum in Agassiz. Tony loved the old caboose on display -- he didn't want to leave it.  Guide in museum showed us how a horse hair, attached to two pieces of metal that pivot, can be used to measure the humidity.
  • At Harrison Hot Springs, Jenny buys souvenirs while I watch Tony play on beach.  I watched other "laowai", some tattooed, likewise supervising their children.  I wouldn't have seen such a sight in China - the laowai, that is.  Jenny takes Tony once she finishes buying some curios.  I notice Chinese own the convenience store near the beach.  Sister tells me beach never frequented by locals.
Cloverdale Tim Horton's
We stopped here after sister had picked us up at airport.  It was my first time to step into a restaurant in Canada in over five years.  The clerk seemed very polite.  Every customer in the place seemed old and shabby.  Everything seemed eerily familiar.
We (the K family) stayed at my sister's house -- a three level home with garage, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, but not so much yard.  Jenny can't help but be impressed with the affluence.  Sister drove me to Chilliwack's "rinky-dinky" Walmart -- I thought it was wonderful because I saw so much that I hadn't seen for so long.  I bought a 25 dollar pair of hikers, and Smarties (which Tony later took a instant liking to).
We (my sister and I) took Jenny to a London Drug Mart and a Real Canadian Superstore for her first Canadian retail shopping experience.  She was very interested in the selection, variety, and pricing of the goods.  We had a hard time dragging her our of the stores.  However, she said prices were much more expensive.
There was no Flannery O'Connor to be found in the used bookstore -- I did buy Dune by Frank Herbert.

1,000,000 Views on Youtube!!
I first started uploading videos there in 2006.
I don't want Germany to win the World Cup!
Even though I am born there and so could claim some allegiance, my time in Wuxi has caused me to want to discard the claim.  I want to see a country win that hasn't won the Cup, before, or for a long time like Netherlands, Spain, or Uruguay.

No comments: