Category: Travel

"Harry Potter and the Cursed Child"

The ups and downs of moving to a different country

Almost forgot about this blog again! I’ve been nursing a migraine on-and-off for the past several days, so I’ve had a lot of time to myself with my own thoughts.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, as I try to settle into my new job and my new country. I think now that I’ve gotten a better sense of how things work in this part of the world, I’ve been trying to figure out if I regret moving across the Atlantic Ocean.

The answer is that I don’t know yet.

In defence of the TTC

I’m one of those people that tries to avoid arguments and heated discussions. I mean, they’re fun sometimes – pretty much when you try to trash my team in front of me. Like nope, only the fans themselves can trash their own team because they’re the ones who actually experience the pain when it happens, therefore they are allowed to trash their own team – but when it comes to netizen comments or social media comments in general, I try to avoid them. In fact, the last time I left a YouTube comment was a positive one.

But today, because of the TTC emergency shutdown during morning rush hour, I came across a friend’s Facebook post who shared a news article about the incident, and commented by saying that the TTC is trash and they’re not doing enough to become a better transit system.

Now look, I ride the TTC five days a week. My commute is 1.5 hours long. That’s 3 hours everyday. 3 hours that I could use more productively. So if I have the right to complain, I have it, but to say that the TTC hasn’t done anything to better themselves in the past few years is a lie.

Oh, the places you’ll go!

Look at that! Two blog entries in one week! This must be some sort of world record! I kid, I kid… But before I dive into today’s blog, I just wanted to let everyone know – because obviously, my blog sees loads of regular visitors, so that’s why I’m using the word “everyone” – which reminds me that I haven’t set up Google Analytics on this new domain yet – that I reread my previous blog entry and made some edits to it. My blog entries are statistically unproven 99% word vomit, which means I don’t reread or edit my blogs after I click “publish”. Apologies if you’ve noticed any pronounced grammar errors in my past entry!

Anyhow, I met up with two of my longtime friends today, and on my way home, the get-together made me daydream about all the places I wanted to visit in my 20s and 30s.

Having left Toronto, I now appreciate its multiculturalism

A month later, I think I am finally ready to talk about my experience in Brazil. This blog won’t list all the different things I did in Recife and in Rio de Janeiro, but instead, it’ll talk more about the aftermath of it. As I had mentioned before, I had taken a lot of photos of my two-week vacation in the country, and you can simply visit my Facebook photo album here if you would like to take a look. But to be honest, most of it is just me standing in front of a beautiful view looking out into the Atlantic Ocean. There were a lot of palm tree photos too. One of the first things I remember saying to my Brazilian friends when I arrived in Recife was, “You guys have palm trees!” Being Canadian, I have never seen a palm tree up close, and I saw so many of them in Brazil! Some palm trees were so tall, they were deemed the tallest in Rio. (I’m talking about the ones from Jardim Botanico do Rio de Janeiro!) It seems so silly that I was making such a big deal out of seeing palm trees but these little things made my trip more enjoyable.

Extreme over-worrying

I’m about two days from boarding my first ever airplane in over 20 years (which means my first flight ever, because I was 3-years-old on my first one, so I don’t remember anything about it), and I am just so anxious about it. What if I go to check-in and they tell me my seat isn’t actually confirmed, and Orbitz has been fucking with me the past six months?! What if I get some really bad seating partners?! What if they lose my luggage? This is so nerve-wracking.

And I realize that I haven’t even updated my blog yet, about how I graduated from a seven-year-long undergraduate career earlier this month. I’ve been so positively obsessed with the World Cup the past couple of weeks. Maybe I’ll do the next day or so. I’ll just have to get up really early today… In maybe six hours.

Returning to the December days

The past month has been really crazy.

But firstly, happy new year! I’ve committed myself to five new year’s resolutions so far, but I won’t be sharing them here just yet! There is too much to document from the month of December! And I think I’ve already started to forget some of the things that happened, so I am relying purely on my Foursquare calendar check-in history to make sure I’ve got all the important points documented.

Travel newbie

As mentioned in my previous blog, I will be going to the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 next summer! I will be travelling alone for my trip to Recife, but will meet up with a friend in Recife for a couple of games (hopefully), before heading off to Rio de Janeiro for (hopefully) a quarterfinal game. Luck has already been on our side yesterday, when the World Cup groups were drawn, and our only confirmed ticket so far will be for the United States vs. Germany game on June 25th. We got incredibly lucky! I had a feeling we would end up watching a match featuring less prominent teams, but somehow we managed to get the Group of Death as Group G. Insanely lucky.

Instagram

  • Imagine living here. You'd be completely undisturbed, with nothing but pure nature around you. Such a beautiful country. 🏞️ (Throwback, obviously.)
  • When it's the last day in #Porto, and you want to take some final photos of the beautiful square in the city, but you don't have time to check your photos, and it isn't until you're on your way back to the hotel to grab your luggage so you don't miss your flight (which ended up being delayed for an hour), do you realize that the sun was so bright that afternoon, the best photo editing you can do is to make the photo black and white. #RunOnSentence 🇵🇹
  • Dinner. Brussels sprouts and a bowl of mussels cooked in white wine sauce. 🤤
  • This is not really the typical photo I share on my Instagram account, but because I liked the experience so much, I decided that I want it as a permanent photo on here.

This photo was taken just after I alighted from the metro train at the airport station. I sat by the window as it rolled into the station, and was able to watch the futuristic style architecture of the airport building stream past the window. I also really liked seeing the train tracks be directly embedded in the grass all the way from the last station to this station. The whole futuristic look of the building in the background behind the green grassy train tracks is such a pretty aesthetic. Kudos to the exterior designers who planned this. ✈️🌱
  • 70+-year-old port wine from Portugal. 🇵🇹 (Not really a fan of port wine, but this is decent.) #WineTour
  • Oh god, this dinner was so heavy. A full glass of green white wine (filled to the brim, as I've already drank most of it), a francesinha (a classic Portuguese dish; a layered meat sandwich dish coated with cheese and a slightly spicy gravy (?) sauce), and then with fries. 😵 As I mentioned in my Instagram Story, this is peak Portuguese, as I was watching a football game (@slbenfica losing 2-0 to a 13th ranked team) on a TV screen at the same time. 🥴🇵🇹 #DrunkWithCarbs

P.S. I'll have you know, Anthony Bourdain paid a visit to this restaurant during a trip to Porto. Legit. 💁🏻‍♀️ #AnthonyBourdain