Category Archives: Flying Away Somewhere

Way back home

Currently hogging two seats on the bus on the way back to Toronto from Montreal. Tried to upload a video before but its just not working. Oh, the videos i took on my crappy phone camera are too bad  quality to be watched anyway.
So yeah, back to work tomorrow and Wednesday and Thursday, and then koko is coming over Thursday night. Hmmm haven’t told him that hanee is the one that’s going to be picking him up at pearson yet. Ill try and talk to him soon. Or if you’re reading this then i guess i won’t have to!
I guess the next week is going to be a big week, heading to niagara falls on the Friday i believe..
Plus, i haven’t really decided yet, but this girl came by the apartment just before i left for Montreal to let me know that’s she’s moving out due to a family emergency. Haven’t had a chance to look at her place yet, but the rent isn’t that much higher.. if its a nice room ( and apparently its got a big window) then i might actually think about it. Ill check out the place first i guess.
Anyway so yeah, Montreal’s done, it was heaps of fun and really interesting! Montrealeans have quite an awesome culture that’s for sure.

Thanks again Thomas and Francois for hosting me and jack while in Montreal! We’re really grateful anxiety hope to repay you somehow someday. Salut!

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On the road to Montreal

Currently sitting on the most comfy bus trip that I’ve ever been on… me and jack are heading to Montreal for the weekend, will be back home Monday around midnight, just in time for work slash school haha.

We got here early so got one of the best seats on the bus, the very front of the second floor. Trips lookin good so far!

Had our lunch of fruits and a salmon slash ham sandwich, and just woke up from a short nap. Back hurts, but the fact that we have space to put our legs up makes up for that haha.

When we get to the station (metro berri uqam), we’re buying a three day metropass and heading to bonaventure station to meet our couchsurfer host.
More details will follow as we get to know him!

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Weather’s awesome by the way.

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What probably will be my most profound memory from Toronto

… will most likely be taking the ttc. I’m on the packed like crazy Dufferin bus, passing by the Dufferin mall right now. This bus is often late, always packed, probably except only on the early morning schedules. Also, Dufferin street recently got named as the worst street in uh.. Ontario i think.
Riding the bus feels more like the rollercoaster than anything, with all the potholes and bumps in the road.

…well, im only complaining though.

..and the trains smell.

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Boiling Hot Thunderstormy Tornadoes

Hello Hello! Currently Im at the Starbucks along Yonge / College St. waiting for Hanee and chatting, looking for jobs and just generally updating!

Its boiling hot at the moment outside, i very nearly died trying to move my luggage from the lockers at the bus station of Bay & Dundas to the backpackers haha. I have my umbrella though because apparantly there’s a tornado storm warning for Toronto at some point in the present/future. Yesterday however, was a party of rain showers, thunderstorms and lightning flashes – You’d almost think you were at a strobe-light party! The weather here seems to be very undecisive and all over the place.

Anyway- No flat whites. No roundabouts. They drive on the wrong side. Paying for stuff here is weird – eg. when you see something on the shelf for 20 bucks, you’re gonna end up paying more about $27 / $30 bucks, minus tips.

Weirder are cell phone plans… so here you gotta pay for everything. like EVERYTHING. A standard Roger’s plan (not really much prepay here) is like $10 service fee – $10 unlimited calling within CA $7 texting, $5 for Caller ID, and little charges for stull like call forwarding, voicemail, call waiting, group calling. Its bullshittt. And did i mention you have to pay for receiving calls and texts as well?
So whatever that amounts to, add govt. service tax, and round it upwards about 10 – 15 bucks and there you have it. Strange.
(Mel if youre reading this and get deja-vu, forgive me)

News of the flat-hunt: First place I saw was a total stunner. Underground room with space for a queen bed, no windows, smelt slightly of urine, beside a yoga room.
..pass

Second place was.. okay, nothing much to say.

Third place was a couple of subway stops away, not too far from town, would be living with a South American husband and wife. I told him that I’d call him back this evening after i’ve checked out a couple more places today.

Today, Im gonna check out a homestay that i’d found – the lady hosts quite often and id only stay for a month. Which I reckon is quite good for me as It’d give me proper time and a base in which to find a job. As well as time to look for a possible Oct 1st place to live! So hopefully that will turn out well… details later!

….
Im just waiting for pictures to upload,,, la la lalala humming to starbucks music…

..thanks Kazu for seeing me off at the airport!!

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Oh My Goodness How Am I Going To Survive This

So here I am in Toronto. Tally up one more naive, hopeful asian guy among the 5 million residents (49% of which are foreign-born) and who knows how many tourists here. Its a city with an interconnected system of subways, buses and steetcars, ‘loonies’, ‘twoonies’, and no flat whites. It’s also the place in which I am sitting here quietly thinking to myself ‘Where the heck am I meant to fit in here’.

My flights went well, although there was quite a lot of turbulence and thunderstorm action near the end. Seats were pretty good, there was an empty seat beside me on both my flights, which was pretty sweet. The Auckland to San Francisco flight ended up being delayed for an hour and a half, almost two hours – which almost made me miss my connecting San Fran to Toronto flight. Luckily it was delayed by an hour as well.
US Customs turned out to be pretty straightforward, though there was this one security guard that was really macho and made everyone really tense.

“YOU ALL BETTER STAY IN LINE TILL ALL YOUR BAGS GO THROUGH OR YOU DO IT AGAIN! YEAH, I CAN SEE YOU – YOU BETTER STEP BACK, YEAH I SEE YOU”

Tense, man. You probably had to be there though. Furthermore, enveloping all the hubbub of customs was the constant background noise of lost people being called for. English, French, Korean, Chinese, Japanese or German, you name it. It was literally nonstop though, because each foreign language had to be repeated in English as well. Strangely, its kind of fun not being the lost one this time.

Flight NZ4806 – Dinner – Butter Chicken (dry tsk) with rice and peas
Brekkie – Choco Chip Pancakes w/ Honey which were pretty good once you’re in the middle of your fourth movie and have bleary eyeballs.

ARRIVAL – was awesome, the plane banked pretty hard a couple of times, giving wonderful views of the marvellously super-flat and monstrous city that is Toronto. Before I realised it, we were on the tarmac, taxiing off into the dark.
The amazing smoothness of that landing however, was hugely overshadowed by the fact that there were loads of other huge international flights arriving at roughly the same time. I stood in line for Customs for nearly an hour and a half, shuffling along half asleep with three bags, bad breath and BO. When I finally made it though there were no problems and was soon waved along by the officer on line three, a.k.a ‘pretty cool sideburns guy’. I collected my baggage and shuffled along to meet Hanee.

..I’ll update a little more later, along with some pictures. I’m pretty tired at the moment and since i have to move along to the backpackers tomorrow, I figure I’d better catch some sleep.

[ okay, I was going to stop there, but Hanee is bleeping me on skype insisting that I keep going ]

Sooooooooo we got free coffee today from Coffee Culture. Upon ordering our Chai Latte and Regular Coffee Brew, the lady serving us gave us not two, but three cups of coffee. When we pointed out her mistake and subsequently tried to pay, she then did some sketchy calculations -ignoring us- and proceeded to GIVE us money instead.

All in all, after trying to balance it all out, we ended up with two coffees, a bottle of spring water, AND we were 0.70 cents up.

..I think im beginning to like Canada already.

Also,
[4:19:53 p.m.] Hanee: “say hanee is taking a great care of me”
[4:20:14 p.m.] Hanee: “she taught me how to cut stuff using chopsticks”
[4:20:31 p.m.] Hanee: “hanee is kindly and patienly teaching me korean”
..is what Hanee said.

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Man oh man, How spoilt we are.. Day one slash two!

If you hadn’t caught on the title – I’d won the trip to the UK! From getting a call from Jade and looking at mine, Emma’s; Andrew’s; Oliver’s; Helen’s; Anthony’s; Angus’; Dan’s; Myee’s and Tran’s faces on the plane picture on the myoe website…. fast forward to a grueling plane trip:
1 – Wellington – Sydney at 6am
2 – Syndey – Hong Kong (9 hours)
3 – Hong Kong – Heathrow, London (13 hours)
….and we’re now having the time of our lives, despite it being only our first day in London. We’d arrived at around 5am, so we were pretty wasted, but well worth it! (The excitement of finally being pretty much covered for our deficiencies anyway)
London.. is grey. Cool, but grey. In a good way.
This place (Hammersmith Road?) looks like it just came out of a Coronation Street episode, and Tesco’s less than a minute away! Freaking awesome. Of course, this is besides the spending money, phone topups, breakfasts, dinners, tube tickets and room that we’re getting! In-room showers beats freshening up in airplane toilets ANY day.

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The UK group starts to form! …after the jump.

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