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Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Chinese Bus Tour Day 2

I woke up to a rude awakening from Alan, the tourguide. Apparently, Holiday Inn Select staff had forgotten to set a wakeup call for the group and now it was 6:30AM...20 minutes before our bus was scheduled to leave. I hung up the phone, packed up whatever I could find scattered about the room, washed my face, and ran out of my room for the lobby. There was a free breakfast and morning paper waiting for us there, but I thought this was small consolation for the massive screwup. Every "free" USA Today was tagged with a sticker telling its readers to "Relax..." because it's "Holiday Inn." It seems no one at frontdesk appreciated the irony of telling you to "relax" after they've forgotten to give you your morning call.

Our bus pulled out on time at 6:50AM and we headed for the Big Apple. Alan informed us that Greg, our driver, can't focus well in the morning with movie soundtracks playing in the background, so for this leg of the trip there would be no movies, only softrock hits of the 80s and 90s. Suddenly, the free USA Today was welcome relief. I only managed to read a few pages of the Olympics coverage (USA is number one! on D1...and other countries also competed on D15) before I was overcome with sleep.

By the time I woke up, the sun was up and our bus was parked at a truck stop near Hartfort for a group washroom break. I wandered away from the group to browse the trucker giftshop and was having a tough time deciding between a 5 dollar travel-sized bottle of mouthwash and a 6 dollar trucker cap emblazened with the words "Big Rig Club". Sadly, I only had 4 dollar bills in my pocket so I could only get 2 bottles of Gatorade (I figured if it was good enough for atheletes, it would be good enough for a bus-riding doughboy like myself).

We hit the outskirts of New York City at noon and Alan spent the next 30 minutes warning us of the dangers of New York, starting each sentence with the words, "I'm not a racist, but black people..." and ending each one with " watch out for black people". To spice things up a bit, we were regaled with anecdotes about the time one tourist was pickpocketed and another time when Alan personally saw one black person (or hah gwei, in Alan's cantonese) shoot another one. This caused some degree of alarm amonst our group of Chinese tourists and as we passed through the streets of Harlem I could feel an uneasy tension on the bus. To be honest, I felt a little nervous at this point too. The FUBU clad Harlemites I saw through the bus windows didn't look like the FUBU wearing 5'4" gangsta-wannabe highschool kids I was used to seeing at Metrotown; These guys were the real deal, "dawg". I shifted my wallet from my back pocket to my front pocket and took a swig of my strawberry Gatorade to calm my nerves. I was ready to rumble.

Thankfully, there were few tourist attractions in Harlem which meant that we were able to skip the "hood" and head down to the more glamourous parts of Fifth Avenue in short order. As we passed by the Gugenheim and the Metropolitan museums, I made mental notes of coming back here on my own one of these days. It's one thing to hear about how "overrated" these museums are from the tourguide, it's quite another to discover this "overratedness" through my own cynicism and comtempt for "modern" art. Eventualy, the bus managed to find an illegal parking spot (finding one for a bus in Manhattan is apparently quite hard) just off Time Square and we were each allotted a whopping 60 minutes to have lunch and go for a tour. To be honest, Time Square wasn't as impressive as I had imagined it would be; It's not so much a square as an intersection decked out with gaudy billboards and dizzying neon lights. I spent most of my generous allotment of time at the Hershey store and headed back to the comfort of my air-conditioned bus to get away from the New York humidity. I don't like to rough it.

Next stop: the Intrepid, a retired American aircraft carrier that was converted into a museum. I didn't realize until after the tour that this behemoth is actually parked right across the street from the Chinese Consulate...someone in the US Navy must have a good sense of humor. Imagine coming to work everyday and seeing the might of the American juggernaut right outside your window. That's got to be somewhat demoralizing for the ultra-patriotic communist cadres that occupy the consulate.

I wish I could remember more about the tour aboard this glistening, steel killing machine, but I don't know my B-52's from my U2's so all the planes looked pretty much the same to me. I'm sure they were all powerful stuff, though. I didn't have time to read all the display descriptions, but I think the take home message for the tour of the Intrepid is this: "Don't screw with the US."

Having been shocked and in awe of US military might, we were next treated to a tour of Manhattan by boat. Half way throught the tour, the Circle Line Tour representative pointed out that we could have gotten a similar view by taking the free ferry, so in essence, we got the shaft...but at least he was honest about it. I like that. Aside from getting shafted, I really enjoyed this tour and being able to see most of the island in under an hour. I was so overwhelmed with taking in the views that I almost failed to notice my light headedness and slight nausea, the first signs of heat stroke and dehydration. Thankfully, I have an uncanny ability to recall trivia such as this and was able to resolve this problem by going below deck to get some $2.75 bottles of water.

Last stop of the day was Pier 17, home of New York's finest foodcourt, or so I was told. I'll let you in on a secret: It's not that fine, although being able to see the Brooklyn Bridge while you eat chicken teriyaki is a neat experience. To complete the New York experience I bought a Yankee's cap and right before boarding the bus, I bought a five dollar "I heart NY" t-shirt from a black guy who could say "3 T-shirts for $10" in Cantonese. I thought this multilingual street hawker was wasting his talents until he handed me my change from the absolutely BIGGEST wad of cash I have ever seen. To each his own. To each his own.

Tomorrow we're heading to Washington. USA! USA! USA!

Your Favorite Jerk

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Chinese Bus Tour Day 1

I'm at the Holiday Inn Select in downtown Boston. Today was day one of a four day Chinese Bus Tour (henceforth known as CBT) and I am feeling more than a bit road-wary after a 10 hour bus ride from Toronto.

Before I go on any further, let me attempt to give an overview of a CBT. Chinese people -- those older than 45, anyways -- like to travel with efficiency in mind. The goal of the Chinese traveller is to see as many places in as little time (and as cheaply) as possible, and this is where the CBT comes in. A typical CBT itinery is freakishly long and rivals that of a presidential candidate campaigning for the election of his life. CBTs do not actually offer tourists a chance to really visit any of these attractions, sometimes stopping for only 15 minutes, but it does allow them to get those all important photos of themselves in front of famous landmarks to prove to their friends and family that they have "been there". In that sense, you can think of the CBT as a roundtrip greyhound ticket with free hotel stays and picture stops thrown in for good measure.

This morning I woke up at 5:30AM and got to the strip mall in Scarborough at 6:00AM to meet up with the rest of my group. I'm the type of person who would be reluctant to get out of bed this early in the morning for the birth of his own children, so this was a big deal for me. I haven't seen the sun rise since last winter (when the sun rose at a more civilized hour) and if I wasn't delirious with fatigue I would have taken a picture of this serene morning scene (something about seeing the sun rise above a stripmall makes me all misty-eyed). Instead, I met up with the stocky tour guide and boarded the bus to take an early morning nap.

At 6:30AM we left Scarborourgh and started for Markham, Chinatown and finally Missassaga to pick up the rest of the group of 55 tourists. At around 8:15AM, we left Missassaga and officially started the trip. The tour guide, Alan, introduced himself and his tag-team partner/driver Greg. Like all the other CBTs that I've been on (this is my 5th time) Greg, the driver, is white -- I won't comment on this since any discussion about Chinese people and driving will inevitably detereorating into a dangerous minefield that cannot be easily nor safely navigated.

After crossing the border at Niagra falls, Alan turned on his best canto-mandarine hybrid and told us the itinary for this trip: Today, we'll be going to Boston; Tomorrow we'll head to New York; Thursday it's on to Philadelphia and Washington; And Friday we'll be visiting some caves in Pennsylvania and the Corning Glass Musuem before heading back to Toronto. This message was repeated in fluent Cantonese (obviously Alan's native dialect) and followed in Canto-English for the benefit of the four Korean tourists who must have mistakenly boarded the wrong bus and were now part of our group.

I spent the next 8 hours son the bus travelling at excessively high speeds on the I-90 blazing across the state of New York to Boston. The scenery is really nothing to write home (or blog) about...lots of trees, some hills and fairly green: Nice to look at but not really impressive. It turns out, Alan had just returned from guiding a tour the previous night and was more tired than the rest of us, and so he didn't say much during the 8 ride. Instead, he showed us a series of movies: A Singaporean film called "I not stupid" that I highly recommend; Pirates of the Caribean, that I wouldn't recommend to anyone; And a part of X-men 2, a movie that I am ambivalent about.

At 6:30PM we arrived at Boston and went to our first attraction of the trip: Harvard. The problem with a place like Harvard is that it's so famous that on a summer day, there are more tourists there than students or professors. I was hoping to see grey-haired, pipe-smoking men in a heavy suits engaged in heated debate about the meaning of life with heavy New England accents. Instead, I saw slouching, khaki-clad, American Eagle-wearing types in their mid-twenties talking amonst themselves (probably about how to get a keg through their narror frathouse door.

I watched with some amusement as the throng of tourists, most of them from our group, lined up to take pictures with the statue of "John Harvard", some rubbing his left boot for luck as they posed for pictures. I guess none of them knew that the nickname for this statue is the "The statue of Three Lies" because the inscription on this hunk of bronze, "John Harvard, Founder, 1638," is not true three times over: No picture of John Harvard exists so the statue is not really of him, and if it was, John Harvard was not the founder of Harvard, which was founded in 1636, not 1638. After everyone had their picture with "John", Alan finally told them the truth about the lies and everyone (except those who had just elbowed someone for a shot of the statue) had a good laugh. I'm starting to like this guy already.

After Harvard, the bus drove past MIT for a quick glimpse of its campus. I recall passing what looked like a factory compound before Alan told us that we had just passed MIT. Ironically, the archetecture of one of the world's best architecture colleges is quite...well, lame. I'm sure they do great science though, so Miss Marpole, you'll have to send me some real pictures of MIT when you get settled in so I can see the nicer side of your new school =)

At 7:20PM we checked into the Holiday Inn Select on Blossum St. and 15 minutes later the group met at the lobby and walked over to the Quincy Market for dinner. Orinally built in the 1800s, Quincy Market is one of those convert-abandoned-brick-buildings-into-modern-entertainment-complex type of tourist traps that you can find in almost any moderately sized city in North America. Apparently, Quincy Market is one of Boston's most visited tourist attractions but for the life of me I can't figure out why. It may be true that the food court is housed in a building steeped in rich American history, but it's still just a food court. And the stores --Abercrombie & Fitch, Brookstone (no complaints, I love that store) and Godiva -- can be found in almost any mall.

I just got back from the market and a few minutes ago I tried taking a shower to wash away the bus-grim. Sadly, the drains are clogged and the towels have an unhealthy shade of brown that suggests I should maybe skip the shower tonight and just wipe myself down with a wet piece of paper towel. Come to think of it, everything in this room has a grungy look to it. I think this might be one of the worst Holiday Inn's I've ever stayed at.

Judging from the 3.5 hours that I've stayed at Boston, I think I can say with some authority that this is a pretty nice city. For a city of it's size, it's amazing how quaint it feels. Anyways, tomorrow's wakeup call is at 6:15 and we are heading out for the Big Apple, so I better go get rested up.

Your Favorite Jerk

Thursday, August 19, 2004

I'm Leaving on a Westjet Plane

I arrived in Toronto safely about three hours ago. The flight on Westjet was quite uneventful, but I'll post a more thorough review some other time =) The temperature here is not much different than Vancouver and being in Scarborough right now reminds a lot of being in Richmond, so no homesickness so far.

I got up pretty early this morning to pack up the laptop and left at 9:00AM to head to the airport. I managed to sneak in one more peak at the place where I've lived for the last ten years. In the summer of '94, we moved into that place and I can still remember how excited I was when we first moved in. At the time, the newly planted trees in front of the main entrance were still tiny saplings, struggling to survive but when I saw them today they looked like they were well-established and on their way to becoming majestic neighbourhood fixtures.

The plane took off under a clear sky today, so I was able to get a clear view of UBC, Stanley Park, and downtown Vancouver on the way out. Vancouver really is a beautiful city, and seeing the skyline of Toronto on the way down made me realize how good Vancouver really is. Anyways, more on the flight when I have some more time. I'm gonna go get some rest now.

Your Favorite Jerk (in Toronto)

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Breakfast at Bons and then off to the Quay

Today was my "say goodbye to friends" day. It started off with a greasy breakfast at Bon's with the guys from U-Hill. For $2.95 (including tax!!!!) I got two eggs, ham, toast and pan fried I have a sneaky suspicion that something isn't legit about this place, but it's been around for a while and the food makes me only mildly ill, so I go there whenever I can.

After breakfast, it was time for the requisite group photo, but do you know how hard it is to find an honest-looking, law-abiding citizen outside a 24hour breakfast place who is willing to take a picture for you without running off with your camera? My strategy for picking amateur photographers from the street is this: find someone wearing expensive clothes or jewelary because they probably have enough cash and do not find stealing attractive. In this case, since Bon's was a hangout for backpackers and other grungy folk, finding someone with anything expensive was difficult. Finally, I saw a guy with about $2000 worth of tatoos on his arms and back, and I decided he was probably the richest (and, therefore, safest) guy in the neighbourhood. Happily, my strategy worked and I got back my camera avec la photo a minute later.

Having stuffed myself with grease, I took the afternoon off to pack some more and then took a brief nap before heading out downtown to go visit Lonsdale Quay with some friends. It's been almost ten years since I took the SeaBus and I don't think they did anything to these vessels except giving them a new coat of paint. Nevertheless, the ride was quite comfortable and I enjoyed the view of the North Shore mountains.

I've always liked the Lonsdale Quay. It's really no different from the public markets on Granville Island or Richmond, but taking the Seabus there and everything makes me feel like I've travelled somewhere. Friends and I decided to split two orders of "beaver tails" aka elephant ears aka deep-fried dough coated in sugar. Nothing to complain about can't go wrong when deep-frying.

I decided to sit near the front on the way back for a better view, but this plan was foiled by a teenager wearing low cut jeans and inner-clothing of less than stellar coverage. Not wanting to stare directly at a full moon for the whole trip, I had to restrict my line of sight to my left, thereby cheating me out of a potentially gorgeous views of the Vancouver skyline.

The evening ended with dinner at Steamworks, where beer is great (or so I hear) and the service is slow. Nothing much to complain about here, but the greasy feast from the morning prevented any real enjoyment of the food. I'm sure it would have tasted great if I was nauseaus from the 4000 calories I took in this morning.

I must admit that even though I can seem to be rather unemotional at times, saying goodbye to friends tonight was very hard. The next blog I'll post will likely be from the other side of this country. I hope you stay tuned.

Your Favorite Jerk

Monday, August 16, 2004

Countdown to Toronto

All systems are go for my move to Toronto. Tomorrow I will confirm my flight with Westjet and get ready to head out on Thursday. To be honest, I don't know if I'm feeling excited or sad or both. In fact, I don't know if I should feel excited or sad or both. Frankly, I don't think it has really hit me that I will soon be moving away from the city that I grew up in.

When I started thinking about grad school a couple of years ago, I really saw it as a way to get out of this city. It wasn't so much that I thought the grass would be greener on the other side -- I don't even like grass -- I just wanted to live on my own for a while and see the world beyond Burnaby, PoCo, and Surrey. But now that I'm really leaving, the pesky little things that daydreams often gloss over are coming out to nag me. I'm talking about the little things like severing ties with close friends and family, and saying goodbye to people who I share an uncanny kindred spirit with. You know, little things like that. Things that just eat away at you and make you want to go back to your boss and beg for your old job back and cancel your Westjet ticket. Little things like that.

Anyways My Dear Reader, I know this is a pretty mushy entry, so I hope that you are not dissapointed with not getting your daily dose of ascerbic sarcasm from me today. But if you're still reading, bear with me for just a while longer.

Today's sermon at church was about the "Paradoxes in the Bible". In particular, the speaker emphasized the importance of gaining life through death. Don't worry, I'm not part of a cult whose members try to hail aliens and drink cyanide-laced koolaid to board the mothership. Death here is figurative and essentially means putting to death things in life that turn us away from Jesus. I'm still thinking about how to respond to this message. What ambitions and desires are keeping me away from Him? How do I put them to death? How do I turn away from them?Knowing what we should do and doing it are two different things. I know I should eat well and exercise to have a healthier physical body. I also know that turning away from worldly desires and focusing more on spiritual pursuits will give me a healthier spiritual body. I don't eat well nor do I excercise because I'm lazy and my doughy, squishy body reflects this negligence. But can I afford to let my spiritual body succomb to the same neglect? Today's message really resonated with me and I hope it can change me for the better. Oh yeah, I'm also going to start eating well and excersing (moderately)...starting in September.

Your Favorite Jerk

Friday, August 13, 2004

The Olympics on CBC

I watched the opening ceremony of the 28th Olympiad at home today. One of the benefits of staying at home all day is being able to watch all 202 countries get introduced (I had only heard of about 80 or so of these countries before today).

Thanks to the Greek alphabet, Canada entered the stadium as the 73rd country. I was disappointed to see our Canadian atheletes lugging around really old, clunky camcorders and digicams when only moments before the US and Japanese atheletes had showed off some of the sleekest, shinest digital gizmos I've seen all year. I even saw one Canadian use a cheap looking non-digital camera (like the kind you get for renewing your subscription to Mclean's Magazine). How can we expect our atheletes to compete at a world-class level when our technology is so far behind? If we can't even give them a decent digicam, what are the chances that our countrie's best atheletes are getting the type of non-detectable super-steroids that other nations' atheletes get? I'm a sports purist and I cry inside when I realize that our atheletes cannot compete on a level playing fields because they lack the sort of government-sponsored doping program that other nations have...excuse me for a second, there's something in my eye.

I thought the Chinese team chose a rather odd flag-bearer this time around. Now, I know Yao Ming is a great basketball player but at more than 7 feet tall, he is hardly representative of the Chinese people. It looked like he was leading a pack of midgets for crying out loud!

The biggest shocker for me came when the Hong Kong team entered the stadium admist the loudest cheers of the night. My jaw dropped as I saw the 75,000 spectators jump to their feet to give the Hong Kong atheletes a standing ovation. Sure, Hong Kong is going through some tough economic times and their nascent democracy is under tremendous stress from the Mainland, but a standing ovation? Come on...that's excessive. It turns out I was right. Most of the spectators there probably couldn't even find Hong Kong on a map and they were, in fact, cheering because the Greek team came right after the HK team.

After all 202 countries had been introduced, we were treated to a creepy, make-the-hair-on-the-back-of-your-neck-stand-up performance from Bjork. I think (and I hope I'm wrong on this) the last line of the "song" went something like "Your sweat is salty And I am why Your sweat is salty And I am why." What does that mean? Can someone please tell me what that means? Are there absolutely no female singers in Greece that they have to find this nutjob from Iceland? The whole thing made me wonder if the Greeks had spent a little too much on security and only had enough money left over for either Bjork or Yoko Ono...why they chose Bjork I'll never know.

Well, that about sums it up for the opening ceremonies. Honestly, I didn't think the whole thing was very impressive. I hope the closing ceremonies will be more entertaining to watch. It's a shame they threw in all these sporting events between the opening and closing ceremonies.

Your Favorite Jerk

Monday, August 09, 2004


I forgot to set my alarm this morning so I woke up at 10:30AM and my room was already a furnace from that cursed globe of helium, that some people call the sun. This is the first day since I've stopped going to work that the weather has been hot. It feels stuffy and because I'm not a heat person, I feel generally uncomfortable. When it's cold outside, I can turn on the heat and read a good book while sipping hot coco. But when it's hot, I can't really do anything except sweat and get annoyed at the heat. Which is precisely what I'm doing now.

To add insult to injury, someone has a hired a carpet cleaning company to freshen up their carpets today. I like a clean carpet as much as the next guy, but industrial carpet cleaners are loud and right now it sounds like an Air Mexicana jet is trying to take off outside of my bedroom window.

This morning, I have been going through my old 8mm camcorder tapes to archive them to VHS tapes (and eventually to DVD). I never really liked using my old Sony camcorder because it's heavy and I feel I become its slave when I travel with it. Thanfully, I've replaced this with a newer Canon miniDV camcorder a couple years back, but I still have a stack of old 8mm camcorder tapes collecting dust on my bookshelf. So today, I figured I may as well go through them to archive and back them up before the tapes degrade and become unwatchable, rendering hours of amateur filmaking a complete and total waste.

So far, I've gone through a trip to Las Vegas and a trip to Disneyland. I don't think the Vegas tapes made me want to go back, but the Disneyland tapes made me giddy. There's something very catchy about the "It's a Small World Afterall" ride's theme's almost viral how it gets in your head and repeats itself again and again and again...until you feel nauseaus and want to drink Drano to make it stop.

Your Favorite Jerk

Friday, August 06, 2004

Apple Pie

Made an apple pie with people last night. For self-explanatory pictures, please see below. Now all we have to do is hope that it will go equally smooth tonight when we get 20+ people to make 4 of these suckers. See one, do one, teach one.

Your Favorite Jerk

Thursday, August 05, 2004

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

I've just finished reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. This book came highly recommended from a friend and it immediately grabbed my attention by declaring that it had been the recipient of the 2003 Whitebread Book of the Year award. I was shocked that there was an award given to the most whitebread book of the year because I didn't think that being associated with a bland suburban lifestyle would be a good thing. But upon closer inspection, I discovered that this book was, in fact, the recipient of the 2003 Whitbread Award, a fairly respected British award.

Curious Incident is a pretty straight forward book about an autistic teen, Chistopher Boone, who discovers his potential while solving a puzzling dogicide case (although dogicide doesn't really make sense since it implies that a dog was murdered, but murder means killing a person, not a dog). If you hated that last sentence, you probably won't like the book because it's written from the perspective of Christopher and he often goes off on tangents, providing little bits of trivial information...sort of like what I just did...only better...because Mark Haddon is an author who has won awards and I'm...well, I'm not.

I loved this book because I found the narrative to be creative and at times surprisingly witty. I don't think I've liked another fictional autist character this much since Dustin Hoffman's Rainman, or maybe Mary's brother in There's Something About Mary (you know, the guy who would go berserk when someone touched his ear...hahaha...he whopped them good...hehehe). Anyways, what I'm trying to say is I think I may have a mild form of ADD and it was great reading a book that changed topics every 5 minutes because it prevented me from getting bored and blah blah blah blah...blah blah blah blah blah...lalalalalalala...boooooooooooooooooooooooring.

Anyways, I loved this book. Go read it.

Your Favorite Jerk

Bourne Supremacy Rocks

I'm a sucker for spy-movies (and romantic comedies...but if you tell anyone, I'll crush you), so it was natural for me to go see Bourne Supremacy today. For those who saw the first one, you'll love the sequel. Shakey camera movements aside, the action sequences were fast-paced and very engaging. In today's world of orange alerts, where terrorists/evildoers lurk at every corner, it's comforting to watch a movie about well-tailored spys tracking each other down in familiar and easily-pronounceable cities like Naples, Berlin and Moscow.

I had a lot of time to kill today because I'm no longer shackled to the chains of the capitalist machine that oppresses me with work. I despise capitalism! So, anyways I had time to kill and I went to the mall before going to Silvercity. The problem with Metrotown is that it's full of teeny-bopper types who have no other means of transportation other than the Skytrain. For the most part, these creatures are harmless but their brashness rubs me the wrong way sometimes, so it's always fun to watch them do something ridiculously embarassing. While waiting for my friend to pay for her purchases at Fruits and Passions, two teeny-bopper girls walk up to the counter in low-slung jeans and short t-shirts and decide to start sampling what they thought was a perfume by spraying the stuff all over their faces. I didn't even notice this was a potentially embarassing situation until the ever-so-polite cashier said to them, "oh, these are not for your face...they are for the kitchen...they're air freshners...for the kitchen". I had to use every ounce of my strength to restrain myself from dropping to the floor and rolling around in laughter. Sometimes I think I'm just evil.

In other news, it doesn't look like I'll be able to go down to Washington this summer. I was hoping my friend, who works at Microsoft, would be able to take a day off in the coming weeks so I could go hang out with him, but with Windows XP SP2 coming out, he's been very busy trying to ensure that the safety of the world's computers are in good hands. I was informed that MS held a launch party for SP2 today, but my friend seems disappointed that the party was rather dull. What did you expect man? It's a party for the launch of a SERVICE PACK for a faulty operating system? Would GM throw a lavish party to launch a mass-recall of a broken cam-shaft in their line of Jimmy SUV's? Didn't think so.

Your Favorite Jerk

Monday, August 02, 2004

Lynn Canyon

Okay, so I've always said that the outdoors were overrated, but I'm man enough to admit when I am wrong. Today I went to Lynn Canyon with the folks (I figure I should get in some wholesome family fun before I leave for Toronto) and I must say that the experience was quite pleasant.

I especially enjoyed walking across the suspension bridge because it reminded me of going across the Capilano Suspension bridge. And because Lynn Canyon has free admission, I felt like I was putting money in my pocket just by walking across the bridge...cha-ching!

Lately, I'm feeling like a tourist in my own hometown. Part of me is anxious to see as much of Vancouver as possible before I leave, and I'm finding all sorts of things that I never really appreciated before. I seem to have an uncanny ability to discover great things right before they becomes obsolete or no longer useful. When I bought my 5gig 1st generation iPod after waiting for 2 years, Apple came out with a cheaper, better iPod less than 2 months later. I'll probably find out five years from now that I'm actually a stockmarket guru, capable of making crazy cash on Bay Street 2 weeks before I come back from grad school in Toronto. Note to self: find out if I am a dormant stockmarket guru when I arrive in Toronto this summer.

Oh, here's a cool picture of a scene at Lynn Canyon Park. The lighting makes it challenging to see the striking dissimilarity between white people and us Asians, but if you squint you can see that all the white folk are half naked and having a blast in the water, while all of our aZn brothas are on the shore and under the shade. I think this is why Columbus, a whiteman, discovered the Americas and not Ching Chang Ling, a farmer in Anhui who was too busy trying to figure out how to stay cool under the sun.

Your Favorite Jerk