Category Archives: Hanee

Toronto Islands

Weather’s been getting way better these days! Definitely affecting my moods now that it’s sunnier and I don’t have to spend the days indoors in my still window-less room. (I have two lamps and a curtain now though so I can at least pretend that there’s yay!)

Me and a group of friends checked out Toronto Island last weekend – been meaning to but didn’t really make sense to go in the cold. Toronto Island’s about 15 – 20 minutes away from the downtown Toronto harbour by ferry – and it only costs 6.50 for a return trip. It was surprisingly peaceful and nature-istic there … might be spending more time over there especially now that I have a bike and can ride away from the crowds!

It was a pretty good day when we went, so we dropped by a sobey’s on the way and bought some barbecue stuff. Also, one of Chuck’s friends, Salom, brought his wife and baby there so the day was filled with baby cuteness. Per this photo:

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Neighborhood Pictures, Nick from Taiwan, Haircuts

So am currently talking to my sister on Skype while writing this. Putting some posts up so you guys get a general look at what the place I’m living at is like.

What it looks like just outside my apartment in the morning.

This is a park near my house.. around 10 minutes walk away? I guess it won’t really be used once winter comes though.

Hit the jump for the rest of the post.
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JX and GoStop

Hello, there!

This is Hanee – the guest blogger! Tah-dah! Jian-Xin was kind enough to offer me this section of his blog last night when he was completely into a sense of self-fulfillment after renovating his blog. He was also kind enough to let me write anything and post any pictures of him, so I guess I will be sharing things he doesn’t write or post here (especially things he might be embarrassed to talk about).

Lately, Jian-Xin has been into learning Korean card game called GoStop, ever since last weekend when I and one of my best friends, Anna, taught him how to play it. This game is basically about gaining points by pairing up each card set. The rule is simple, but usually quite confusing to people playing it for the first time since there are 12 different sets composed of 4 cards each. Jian-Xin was just learning it so he wasn’t winning at the beginning, but surprisingly doing good enough that he wasn’t losing all that bad. In fact, he was learning fast, frequently taking away all my cards. We were recording points earned in each round, having agreed to this wasabi-punishment rule – anyone with the least point by the end of the game was to enjoy a teaspoon of wasabi paste.

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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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