Tenerife: Siam Park

“I’m going first,” I demanded as J and I inched closer to the top of the tower and the entrance of the dreaded vertical water slide.

My owlet eyes gaped at the attendant as she unceremoniously folded arms over chests, checked to see legs were crossed and shoved people over the edge. Screams followed as each final flick of hair disappeared over the drop. I took a deep breath and marched to where she was seated. The water tugged at my ankles. I clutched the sides of the slide before whipping my arms across my chest as requested. Not even a glimmer of a smile of reassurance before she thrust me into the drop. I didn’t even have time to scream. Continue reading “Tenerife: Siam Park”

Tenerife South: They Call Me Mellow Yellow

“Oop pardon me sweetie. HEY SHERRY MOVE! SHERRY! MOVE! BAHAHAHA SHE WANTS TO GET BACK IN,” the boisterous, shrill voice of the woman flapping at her friend standing in the aisle granted me just enough of a gap to squeeze by, hop across J’s lap and into my seat. My opinion of the gaggle of ladies next to us was torn. They had brought the party to the plane. I definitely admired their ability to drink, shriek and guffaw for the entire four hours of the flight, but their party hour exuberance was wearing thin. Continue reading “Tenerife South: They Call Me Mellow Yellow”

Kanchanaburi and Erawan Park

You’re an exchange student with no to very-little money or even student debt that you don’t want to deepen. Yet, you’re in another country and you don’t want to waste the opportunity. Continue reading “Kanchanaburi and Erawan Park”

A Chai Exhibit: March 10th

It had been a long and terrible night. Stirring from my sleep as sunlight filtered through the blinds across my eyes, I was overjoyed to find myself feeling quite a bit better than when I had gone to sleep. Just a friendly and wise note: if you attend a shot-luck, participate moderately and NEVER take a super-shot, a concoction of all the hard liquor available (and there was a lot), smack in the middle. I will never, ever do that again. After a number of terrible hours in the early morning I finally slipped into a wonderful sleep. Hours later I woke up, luckily without a headache, and my stomach had settled. Still, I felt a gross grogginess. After a lot of grumbling and groaning I found myself walking from the bus station to the event I had promised to cover for the student newspaper, Omega. I was attempting to absorb the crisp morning air and wake myself up, but by the time I arrived at the Commodore Grande Café and Lounge I was still groggy and instead feeling utterly worn out.

That blissfully changed less than five minutes after I swung the door open. Continue reading “A Chai Exhibit: March 10th”

Traditional Chinese Medicine Presentation

Uncomfortably shifting my legs, for the tenth time I contemplated my decision to choose the floor over the chairs lining the sides. The mats surrounding the small table had seemed so inviting, and so exotic. The chairs in comparison had seemed to be placed there for those interested in the event, but not willing to fully immerse themselves. They’d seemed like crutches. They were cultural prisons, like always choosing a fork over a chopstick. In comparison, the mats had no restraints, no enclosures and, I would soon realize, no support.

I’d gleefully set myself down on a mat off to the right, savouring the feeling of freedom after being bound to a chair all morning. An hour in the novelty was gone and I found myself restlessly fidgeting. I had never stayed in a cross-legged position for this long before. My legs were falling asleep and my back was stiff from unfamiliar effort. Occasionally I wistfully eyed the chairs, longing to get over myself and rise to those thrones. Eyeing my fellow observers I noticed one woman, then another, unabashedly unfold their legs and stretch them before themselves. Inwardly relieved I followed suit, sighing in bliss as my legs were released. Content again I could once more take in the fascinating presentation before me. Continue reading “Traditional Chinese Medicine Presentation”

Chinese New Years Dinner: Kamloops

I gasped when I saw the envelope housing my ticket to the Chinese New Year dinner. It was a golden symbol overlaying a striking red background. The red envelope represents good luck and the colour symbolizes good fortune and joy in Chinese culture. The entrance to the Grand Hall in the Campus Activity Centre, where the dinner was hosted, was swathed in the colour.

On a side, but important note: since red symbolizes happiness it should never be worn at a Chinese funeral. Unlike western culture, white is the symbolic colour of mourning in China, but black is acceptable because it’s been adopted. I blame the Internet, particularly the Wikipedia article about Chinese colours, for beginning my blog post about the New Year with funeral talk! Continue reading “Chinese New Years Dinner: Kamloops”