Oh Canada!

I had wanted to do a post while still in Shenzhen but a) packing took its toll and I would pass out way too early b) Seeing too many people before hubby and I left also took its toll c) I also started getting sad about leaving so blogging would have brought out those emotions.

All said and done, I’m glad I’m back on North American soil.  Only back two days and I just feel more relaxed, mainly from the lack of crowds here. It’s not humid like crazy which is what makes summer so nice here.  Seeing friends for a week in Toronto then off to our final destination in the states.  Too tired to be excited.

I’ve still got a wackload of film to scan and photos of Shenzhen to edit, so will do more blogs about Shenzhen for a little bit.  Have run out of film so will try to take some photos of Canada on my little digicam.

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O Canada

I’ve been back at my parents’ home for a week now and it’s been both refreshing and fun.  It’s been stressful being in China for the year and sometimes it’s just a bit necessary to go home to things, places and people that are familiar to me.  Being away also makes me realize what exactly about living in a foreign country can stress me out.  Things I’ve noticed so far are having less people on the streets and in public places in general, and not having to communicate in another language.

It’s also been my first Canada day weekend celebration in years! Hubby and I went to Ribfest. Quite the awesome sight! You’d definitely never get this type of event in China.

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Sunday we headed to Niagara-on-the-lake for a nice wine tour and dinner afterwards.  I wanted to head there last year but it just never happened. I learned my lesson though: next time I probably wouldn’t try heading there on one of the busiest long weekends of the year!

Here are a few photos I managed to take. I’d definitely try to make a weekend of it next time and try the bigger wineries.

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Shenzhen isn’t noted for a city of culture, history, or well, touristy destinations.  Hanging out with this blogger really changed my perspectives of this place and its citizens.  The more I think about it, the more I realize, Shenzhen’s history is about its constant changing settings. You are constantly seeing buildings revamped, torn down, and made way for new ones. In the last three years, I have seen more changes than I’ve seen in Canada in 10.  It’s amazing how quick buildings are torn down or built, and you have to wonder if anything is permanent, buildings or people. I have seen numerous migrant workers and foreigners that it’s hard to keep track who is coming or going.  Then again, this is the first place I’ve stayed overseas for longer than a year so I am able to see these changes.

Taking photos is an interesting way to look back on the developments of this place.  I can see though, why Shenzhen is overwhelming at times:  constant shiny new buildings, mass amounts people coming and going throughout the city and dealing with constant change (on numerous levels).  I find this place very overwhelming too. But the only places I have found comfort is wandering around the older areas where the buildings are crumbling, but people still live there, or morning markets where people have a sense of belonging and know what to do or where to go. I wonder do all of Shenzhen’s people care about the fact that the landscape of this place is constantly changing, or not because they are all temporary residents anyway?  Do I fall into this category?

I will admit, I have a pile of things I want to start (such as planting my own garden, freezing meals for weekly meal planning, etc.) but I am waiting until I go back “home”, which makes me feel like a migrant worker (well, basically I am) even though I’ve established some roots here.  I often question if my curosity for documenting and thinking about change here connects me to Shenzhen, as we’re both in a sense “migrant”.

I’m thinking about incorporating some of these thoughts as part of my artist statement I’m planning in writing soon, but I’m still going to have to mull this over.

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I’m really starting to get into Ashtanga yoga these days. I feel the wonderful effects of it after I am done, and how accomplished I feel when I advance in a routine or am able to do a pose I am not able to do before. I’m currently on a 45 minute routine and am looking to go further at the end of this summer.

I recently purchased the David Swenson manual (awesome Ashtanga yoga teacher btw, I highly recommend his DVD) so hopefully in the summer I am able to squeeze in 3 sessions a week when I’m over at the in-laws. Last summer I was able to have some time to myself, but it’s a little bit hard when you’ve got nieces, nephews, and then a whole slew of people to see. Crossing my fingers.

This is the first time in my life that I’ve really committed to a fitness routine, and I’m really hoping I’ll continue with this.  It’s been a hard road for me, this fitness stuff, and routines are often difficult for me to implement. So yay for something awesome I’ve accomplished!

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