Travels: Algonquin National Park

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We left on a Wednesday afternoon. After our last exams we had to move out by 3pm the next day, a rule that makes sense in theory but actually causes quite a lot of stress for students living in residence rather than prevent crazy post-exam parties. I traipsed off downtown to collect the hire car for the weekend (a Dodge Avenger), credit card and passport in hand. Driving back to campus required the help of a Canadian friend to guide the way through the treacherous one-way system of Hamilton.

Eventually arriving in one piece, we set to packing the car with all the years belongings of four people. We realised after two that there was no way everything was going to fit – so we dropped off a bag or two at our “traveling buddy” Brandon’s house to pick up later. Continue reading

THE SAKURA IS HERE EVERYBODY QUICK

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If you know anything about Japanese culture, you’ll know that Japan is really really into its cherry blossom (or ‘SAKURA’ 桜). The four seasons – and the flowers and colours associated with them – are celebrated a lot here, because a distinct Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter is something than many Asian countries don’t have. Spring is the most special for many reasons. It marks the start of a new academic year, the time for meeting new people, the weather is lovely and the flowers come out. But the best thing about Spring for many people here, and many tourists from Asia and beyond, is definitely the SAKURRAAAA!

Literally, everyone goes crazy for sakura. Continue reading

“Exploring the Spring”

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人逢喜事精神爽 (rén féng xǐshì jīngshén shuǎng)

– A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance.

I’ve recently gotten to know a lovely Chinese family, and last Sunday they invited me to go to the Beijing Botanical Gardens with them in order to “explore the spring” and see the cherry trees in bloom. Jack is 8 and I thought that “exploring the spring” was the best homework ever. I later found out that he would have to write 250 characters about his experience after the event. A typical example of intense Chinese tuition…

Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms

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