blog revival in a land "down under"

We landed in Perth four days ago, after a relatively smooth journey (YYC --> YVR --> SYD --> PER, approximately 1 + 15 + 4.5 hours of air time). I think it's probably the longest trip I've taken, but it didn't feel terribly long, so that was nice.

Since I haven't blogged in about 4 years or so, I thought this would probably be as good an opportunity as any to (at least temporarily) revive this thing. But I make no promises, maybe this will be the only post for the whole trip. Hah. I felt that there are lots of things I want to share, but facebook/instagram for whatever reason don't feel like the right places to do them. Also, this has the benefit of being quickly scannable (unlike a video, unless you play it at 2x speed, but yea I've never had success with vlogs so that was also off the table). Okay, enough rambling. Let's recap what has happened since landing! (Oh, since I realized that this is technically still a public sort of thing, I'll just use letters for people. Unless I come up with amazing code names at some point. In which case, this will get extra confusing to read.)

We got picked up from the airport by sister E and her daughter, Z. I haven't seen them in 8 years (they left Calgary in 2010, I believe) so it was really nice to see them. We brought our stuff to their house, which is really beautiful, and after a quick tea we went to the city. Perth, from what I've gathered, is really made up of a bunch of smaller suburbs and cities... but this concept makes no sense to me because Calgary is just one giant city with communities in it. I still have no idea if these are really separate cities with their own local government, or if they just call themselves a city but they're actually still all part of Perth. Anyway, we went to the "downtown" area (known as the CBD [central business district], in Australian ... lol). We walked around a little bit and then bought our "SmartRider" cards to use for transit. Transit here is expensive. More on that later.

After that, we went for lunch! What would you have for lunch right after landing in Australia? Kangaroo steak? Vegemite?

Nope, I'll have me some ramen !

and seared salmon sushi rolls!

and wagyu beef and salmon sashimi!

So if you know anything about my eating habits and preferences, you'll know I was a happy camper. 

This took enough time that we had to head back home so that sister E and Z could cook for the evening's meeting. They eat dinner together every week for their YP meeting (which I think is sweet but also seems very tiring and potentially not sustainable for serving ones/parents...). On our way home, we stopped by Coles to buy some groceries. It's kinda funny because to us, Coles is a bookstore... but here it's definitely a grocery store. We walked around to get a bit more familiar with Aussie groceries, and picked up some interesting TimTam flavours that I'm pretty sure we don't have back home. 

After going back home, taking a shower (an attempt to wake myself up, plus let's be real, I hadn't showered in a while) and cutting some fruit, we were off on our way to the meeting. It was quite nice; we had an enjoyable time "release-reading" (which many of us might think of when we hear "pray-reading" but it's a bit simpler) and singing some songs. We split into two groups after - high-schoolers (there is no junior high or middle school here, so high school starts around age 13) and uni/young working saints. I think all the students weren't around though, because July is a break between semesters. Oh, we also met a sister who knows my sister from when they were both in London (she was in the FTTL and my sister was short-terming). Anyway, the second part of the meeting was a bit of a blur... we prayed and read together, but while we were reading, I would sometimes blink and my eyes wouldn't open for a while. 

Needless to say, it was nice to sleep that night. 

But it was also good that we pushed ourselves to stay up during the day, because I think we adjusted to the time zone relatively quickly. The next morning, we went out for breakfast at a really cute cafe that was nearby (just randomly in the middle of suburbia). Perthians (I think Australians in general) also really like their coffee so I've been enjoying that too.

Should've taken more pictures but the food was too good...

Yum, flat white

Once we finished breakfast, we went to the meeting which was a combined meeting of all 3 districts. I suspect not everyone was around because of the aforementioned semester break, and I believe there was also some kind of national university conference in Sydney as well. It was good to meet with the saints and enjoy the Lord's table together. 

We went out for lunch after the meeting, this time to a Vietnamese restaurant (all of my favourite things, seriously...). Also, sister E spoiled us by feeding us all this good food. She told me that hopefully if my family (extended family) hears about it, maybe they will come and visit. (hint hint.) 

Alright, this is getting long and my battery is dying so... tune in next time to hear about our airbnb, or Curtin University, or some other adventures here in Western Australia.

Burger cupcakes

Every time I try to start blogging again, I inevitably fail, so I will just post at random.

I helped make burger cupcakes with some young sisters the other day, to bring to our home meeting. We got the idea from Pinterest and found that lots of people had done it so it was pretty easy to get ideas for all the components.

Bun: vanilla cupcake
Tomato: strawberry slice
Lettuce: green icing
Patty: brownie
Fries: sugar cookies
Ketchup: strawberries (blended), with a touch of lemon juice and icing sugar.

There were so many components, we ended up using mixes for almost everything except the icing. If you made them all from scratch, this could be at least a half-day project...

You can't really see it, but the box was also homemade! We folded origami boxes and coloured them with red sharpie stripes (for whatever reason, I had five red sharpies in my drawer).

Being epic

In a generation of entrepreneurial college drop-outs and geniuses, I feel like it's getting harder and harder to be an average joe.

I want to learn stuff and do cool things (I've recently been looking at a lot of Internet of Things related companies, thanks to my 500 project), but I don't want work to run my life. Is it possible to have both? (and I don't fly for this "do what you love" business, because one day I think I'd want to be a mother, but still do awesome stuff like design IoT applications or create nice user-friendly GIS apps, and I wouldn't classify the two as one and the same).

Anyway, I guess I will find out one day. Or maybe I won't find out, which could be an answer to my question.

I probably shouldn't worry... God does all things well :)

(end of random musing.)


Calgary is having a hot chocolate contest for the month of February and I have had some tasty hot chocolate :) I didn't take any pictures today but I got to try the Raspberry Delight from Leonidas and it was really good, probably my favourite so far. The intense dark hot chocolate from Lindt was also really good, which I was happy about -- I had high expectations from these two.


Happy 2014, if anyone is out there...

It's been a long time since I've blogged, but I realized (as I was looking back at my blog) that soon the description will not be true -- my last semester is dawning, and I will not be a college kid much longer.

In order to document this crazy journey of being a student (from elementary all the way until now, my fifth and final year of university), I'll try (note the word try...) to update the blog a little more frequently than once every five months.

We'll see what happens :)

To start off, a throwback of sorts... this is extremely embarrassing now that I look at it, but even as a kid I've always been interested in keeping track of my thoughts, I was just never very good at keeping up with keeping track of my thoughts. I somehow managed to dig up an old journal. You can have a snippet of former me, I was weird (in person) and much weirder (on paper). I wrote a lot of poems, which is weird, because I don't do that anymore.

I wrote it on paper so I will do my best to recreate it in the digital world, short of scanning it.

"Mar 7/03

Dear Journal,

AAAH! I'm having a MAJOR panic attack. Ahia got a certificate in the Kiwanis and if I don't... I'm... well.


to add to the other poem...
Always and ever trying to please
Never have I ever been at ease,
Always so stressed, to do this and that
If only to think about where I'm at.

Always frighted, fearing the soon
Thinking and pondering at the rise of the moon
Always so constant in having troubles,
That come, go, and pop like bubbles.

Always can't stand what everyone wants
Under attack by stressing that haunts
Always having expectations to live up to
The coloured mood is always blue.

There. I think I'll call it "Always" (Always(1), Always(2)) etc. I'm so freaked.. I'm gonna go now. CIAO!!


PS Sorry this entry was so short... here's a haiku:
A couple of words
When put together can be
Very sad: Good-bye

Well... bye,

I'm embarrassed to admit that that poem had a lot more crossing out and drawing in new words and stuff. (The first poem.) The reason I'm embarrassed is because I think I was legitimately so fueled to write this poem due to stress about a piano competition (Kiwanis -- well it's technically a music festival, but in my eyes, it was like a competition.) Reality check -- I'm not a pianist. So in the grand scheme of things, it wasn't a big deal. But hey, maybe I should appreciate my younger days, when that was the greatest of my worries.

Who'm I kidding... If I had Kiwanis nowadays, I'd probably be just as stressed.

In other news, that haiku was pretty snazzy.

Til next time (assuming there is a next time.)

Eind (for now...)

I haven't had the time/energy/motivation to post a wrap-up blog, so here goes...

First, my final mini-trip within the larger adventure was a beautiful vacation in Greece. Of course, the country is pretty well-photographed so the pictures are nothing new, but I can safely say that it is a beautiful place (especially the islands, I wasn't a huge fan of Athens.)

Windmills on Mykonos island. They look a bit different than Dutch windmills :)

Windmills at night.... because I think it's pretty.

Failed night shot of Fira, Santorini

Santorini island is a destination of many cruises....

The world-famous sunset at Oia (which had people cheering once the sun dipped below the horizon...)

This is the best shot of the Parthenon that I could get.... they were doing a lot of restoration work, and it was swarmed with tourists.


Internship adventure in summary (i.e. cities that I visited in some way, shape or form)...

the Netherlands
Enschede (where I lived!), Vlaardingen, Leiden, Delft, Almelo, Hengelo, Groningen, Schiermonikoog, Utrecht, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Giethoorn, Zwolle, Maastricht, Eindhoven, Haarlem, Venlo, Baarlo
Antwerp, Brussels, Gent (or is it Ghent? I actually don't know the English spelling), Liege, Kortrijk
Dusseldorf, Berlin, Munich, Hanover, Freiburg
Paris, Versailles, Strasbourg, Loire Valley, Mont St. Michel, Normandy beaches, Lille
Bern, Geneva, Lausanne, Basel, Interlaken
Madrid, Seville, Granada, Cordoba, Valencia, Barcelona
Marrakesh, a tiny bit of the Sahara desert
Athens, Mykonos, Santorini
United Kingdom

Not sure if I missed any places, but anyway, it's a lot more travelling than I usually do when I'm in Calgary.

KĂžbenhavn! aka Copenhagen

A "brief" glimpse at the long weekend of adventure-ness (my first time to Scandinavia!)

The train from Germany to Denmark goes on a ferry!

For real! And you get out of the train and can take pictures and eat food and stuff.

A drink with some alcohol content that I actually enjoy (admittedly, it pretty much tastes like Martinelli's, but it feels cool to be drinking Swedish apple cider =P).

Did you know Lego is Danish? 
I didn't ...

Lego mock-up of one of the really touristy spots of Copenhagen (Nyhavn, aka New Harbour)

The "free town" within Copenhagen. Interesting, but gave me a weird vibe when walking around, though I can't quite describe that it was.

"Hey, there's something under construction behind this wall, so we'll put some art on it so you feel better about missing out on what used to be/will be here."

Live version of Nyhavn.

Close to the hostel... not sure if this was art (it had the name of a cafe on it) or an accident-turned-billboard...

The way iced tea should be. (I'm addicted to "housemade" iced teas in this continent, restaurants that do their own iced tea are awesome....)


The famous little mermaid. I think this explains why I had "Part of Your World" stuck in my head this morning....

My wannabe-artistic-but-failed photo of Tivoli Gardens, the second-oldest amusement park in the world.

Slightly better picture of the Gardens, later at night.

This was at the train station and (sorry for the epic window glare problem) but U of C'ers, does this remind you of something?!

Anyway, that is all for now folks. Tune in next time to hear about interesting realizations I've had.
OR it will be another wait and maybe some pictures. We shall see...

A spike in viewership!

For whatever reason, there was a big increase in pageviews today, so I felt inspired to write another post :).

Recently, my brother and another brother came to visit! It was pretty exciting. We totally touristed the clogs off of these tall Dutch folk. In just four (+ two) days, we managed a bunch of stereotypical Dutch things:

We visited Keukenhof (huge flower gardens, surrounded by even bigger tulip fields..)

Kinderdijk, a UNESCO world heritage site featuring old windmills that do not seem to spin anymore....

Amsterdam, during the last Queen's day (or is it Kroningsdag?) of... this generation. We didn't get to see the King and Queen live (like in-person) but we did see them on big screens and we witnessed a legit coronation, not just one that you see in a movie.

Also experienced (but not pictured):
  • pannekoeken (hooray, Dutch pancakes!)
  • FRESH stroopwafel (I do not know if I can go back to the storebought ones, especially if it's from Superstore....)
  • uncannily beautiful weather (something I would classify as NOT typical Dutch....)
  • fried Dutch fast food (including fries with awesome sauces, kroketten and bitterballen)
  • other random Dutch-type fast food (doners are the burgers of Europe... and I got to introduce my brother to a kapsalon, haha.)
  • the charming city and parts of the campus in Delft
  • Indonesian food
  • a little bit of hot pot with the saints in Delft :) delicious
  • (falling down the stairs, but that was just me. And in fairness, the stairs in this country are called "traps" for a reason)
  • Konninginenacht (Queen's night) in The Hague -- we only stayed for an hour though, but it was enough time to see most of the carnival going on
  • the city centre of Arnhem
  • dinner with my former flatmates, including playing 30 seconds (a Dutch game, where you try to describe items on a card and your team has to guess), Taboo, and teaching them how to play telephone pictionary... which is always ridiculously awesome when you play with people whose first language isn't English (the Dutch are amazing at English, but occasionally the difference between a 'quad' and 'squat' gets them xD)
So, as you can imagine, I'm pretty exhausted. This, coupled with work, and insane allergies that make it hard to breathe.... I think I will go to bed now.

on faith, food and flying
The thoughts and experiences of a college kid on faith, love and life in pursuit of Christ, the loveliest One, while enjoying misadventures and quests for food, which so happen to take her around the world.
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