Friday, August 24, 2007

The Parallel of Travel: Camille's Farewell & A Tour of Edmonton

Traveling is strange in that you say goodbye to people, yet always seem to meet them again. While Camille departs today for her Qatari adventure, Dave, a friend I met on the Kiwi Experience bus in New Zealand, showed up on Edmonton's doorstep. A tourist in my own city, we wandered the 8-block West Edmonton Mall complex, rode the Mindbender (world's longest indoor roller coaster), people watched at the Waterpark, and ate at the Greek stalls in the food court. It's always fun to watch tourists expressions as you tell them that yes, WEM has a mini-golf course, waterpark, amusement park, glow-in-the dark golf, casino, hotel, ballroom, billiards club, submarine, Santa Maria replica, not to mention the flamingos.
Dave & Sapna at Professor WEM's mini-golf, & Dave with his Nemo game prize.

Camille's farewell party was a fun night at Brewsters, with blueberry and raspberry beer (ok, so I'm not sure there's anywhere other than Brewsters that actually makes beer that tastes like blueberry and wheat pancakes, but it's good! I guess wings night and baseball games made the lounge packed, but that made it all the better!

Natasha, Sapna, & Camille: Saturday's breakfast at Moxie's (great despite our hungover waitress!)

Wednesday's Brewsters pics:

From top left: Camille & Evelina, Adam, Brad, Camille, Evelina,
Camille & Olivia, Camille & Sapna, Camille & Shelly
Have an awesome trip Camille!...Check out her blog for updates.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Edmonton: Home for Now

Two weeks have passed since my plane landed; I'm still in deja-vu mode. Like walking into the past, walking back to last year...Whyte Ave, South Edmonton Common, West Edmonton Mall, the University of Alberta campus. While it's great to see everyone again, find old friends, to go for coffee, to spend my days in job interviews... 2 weeks may be the beginning of the end of my stay here.

Europe-bound, I will spend my days working to save, nights brushing up on foreign language skills, weekends painting, catching up with friends and studying for that GMAT test in case a Master's program in Europe finds its way into my life.

So while my life this year may not be as exciting as our Singapore beach weekends, cultural 4 day trips & crazy Reisegruppe Alkohol adventures, I will continue this blog. Please keep checking back; I'll do my best to keep it exciting---so far California is on the list for the fall, India & a stop in Singapore close to Christmas.

Here's a couple pictures of me back at home:

From left: Me & Camille with Minnie & Tigger, her two poodles, and Santino, Sacha's new Boston Terrier puppy!

Check out Tino's very own blog!

Also, I got home just in time for Edmonton's annual Fringe Festival (plays, music, street performers and the like). Stephanie and I spent the evening watching a couple of random plays; the first a comedic story of lesbian lovers with a political edge, the second a twisted, plotless, dance of drunken lovers looking for meaning in life.

While Our Kind of Love is An Ugly Love deals with the acceptance of homosexuality, the expression of love for the sake of status (through marriage), and the need to embrace our feelings, Something Red throws the violence and pain of relationships into one emotional frenzy. The choreography of the dance movements is skilled, yet little clue is given as to what or why events actually occur. An unemployed criminal, university student, ex-"streetboy", and a working woman in a drunken stupor and broken relationships. Craziness!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Vancouver: Back on Canadian Soil

Vancouver for a couple days...the ocean, the beaches, the shopping. I have to remind myself to walk on the right side of the sidewalk (not the left), filter coffee is considered normal, Canadian dollar prices are not misprints, and yes, the line at Tim Hortons will always be that long. Just a couple days, but still a taste of the temperate rainforest, ocean waters, slightly more humid air, and mild climate that Alberta lacks.

The Capilano Suspension Bridge walk was more hype than real attraction, although our over enthusiastic 66 year old tour guide kept things interesting. Walking through the forests, even in the rain, was a great way to occupy the day.

Not to mention the shopping districts and great places to eat, Kitsilano, Metrotown Mall and Robson Street. Hanging out with a couple of boys from the hostel...Oliver (from Germany) makes it clear how ridiculous the coffee at a regular restaurant (Moxy's) took them 30 minutes to figure out how to use the cappuccino machine, and then they served us cold coffee!

From left: Erik & Oliver... Sapna, Zita, Emer
The International Fireworks Competition Finale was held that Saturday night in Vancouver...China, Canada and Spain. It was really a great show, with synchronized orchestral music, in Stanley Park. Right on the oceanfront, we watched the sunset, and a half hour show. To be honest, Spain seemed the best (other than, ofcourse, the HSBC Finale Team, which put on an amazing show). Funny thing is, they never did mention who won!

We followed up our evening with a few chocolate martinis...they are actually not too sweet and quite good...tasted like icecream!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Farewell Singapore; I'll be back!

A couple last nights wandering the city with friends. It's only once you leave that you realize everything you'll miss...from the nightlife to techie malls to the cheap fresh fruit juice. I'm hoping to do a few days stopover on the way back from India in December. And all of you in Europe, I'll be there next year! This post is mostly for the pictures, and the memories...

Left: Damien, Sapna, Kristin G, Kristin M
Below: Kristin & Kristin @ Loof Bar, Centre picture (from left): Sonja, Mark, Herman, Anne, Sean, Jens, Roland

Kristin & Sapna@ Insomnia
Kristin, Kristin, Sabrina, Jens
Mark, Sapna, Kristin