Saturday, November 12, 2005

Friends are those rare jewels in life that are strung together in perfection

Had a wonderful day hiking in the Gatineau Hills with old friends from uni: Hoining, Hana, Caroline, and Sebastian. How i forget th of being surrounded by felle feelingow IDSers (International Development Studies), where conversation flows like wine and there is never a dry moment but only a faint pause for reflection.

I love having my mind challenged and learning and inquiring, it's when i feel most alive and open to acquiring knowledge. While nibbling on delicious scones, topics discussed ranged from the state of the developing world today to the origin of the word 'tarrot' to the inefficiency of the tsunami cleanup in Acheh to trying to master Slovenian tongue twisters.

Most of the fall leaves have fallen and a lot of the paths were muddy and wet, but there is a raw beauty to it and the air is crisper than usual this time of year. Every breathe inhaled is like gourmet food for the soul.

We then went for a bite at this little cute Quebecoise cafe in Old Chelsea. A quaint place with loads of ambience, it was the perfect end to a great day. PLUS they serve a wicked lentil soup!

Hanging out at home with Mom and Dad has been nice, comfortable and familiar. We have been pouring over the hundreds (literally!) of pictures from the 3 weddings and watching the home videos too. It's great to see the captured memories since all i really recall are certain things that have sort of morphed together into one big picture; i attribute that to excessive giddiness at the time. In any case, it's nice to see the different perspectives that our guests got from that day.

Caught up with my good old friend Allison too one evening over peppermint hot chocolate and espresso brownies - (how i love the fact of being able to get such treats again, and so readily too!). Allison and i have known each other since we were toddlers - i don't even remember meeting her we were so young. She and i have remained close friends despite time and distance and she made the long trek out to Urumqi to be my bridesmaid at our wedding in Sept.

There are no words to really describe how i feel about our 20+ year friendship, but the word 'humbled' comes to mind. It was beyond words to see how happy she was and how her trip to China has left such a positive imprint on her life.

In a nutshell, being in Canada again has not posed any problems of reculture shock, although i didn't even anticipate it at all. It's nice to drive again, to have a selection of cheeses and breads to choose from, an infinite supply of dark chocolate at 24 hr conenience stores, the ability to read, write, and speak fluently again AND be understood!!!

Of course i cannot wait to return home and start our new life there. Everyday it excites me more and more. We've already looked around and found a place to rent: 26th floor with private rooftop, balcony, ceiling to floor windows. Anxious to get settled into a more set routine and looking forward to the day where i don't have to look into my suitcase (aka portable closet) for a clean item of clothing.

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