Bittersweet Goodbye

In a few days’ time, I will be hopping on a plane back out East for my new job. Which I guess by this point is not really news, or a surprise, given the nature of my blog posts from the past year.

I think it’s been evident that I’ve loved working and living there, and I am excited to continue my journey there for the next 7 months. Moving is always a struggle, a challenge, but the payoff and the lessons that you learn are just so rewarding.

What makes this time different from the last time I moved was that my summer gig was a very last-minute, rushed, whirlwind-type of affair. Between my offer date and my start date, I had 13 days to find a place to live, plow through stacks of paperwork, and physically move myself over. Less than 2 weeks’ notice to pack up and rebuild my life! It was insanity, but the kind that made me excited to get up in the morning.

This time, I received my offer 2 months in advance. There was plenty of time for me to absorb the information, find a place to live, and slowly start to tell friends, family, and people in my social circles about me leaving. And in the last month, I have been pleasantly surprised by the amount of people in my life who have reached out to me. Who I have been able to spend time with, re-connect with, and remind me all over again about why I love this city so much and the people in it.

I’ve been so touched by the kind and encouraging words, messages, and Christmas cards. This has hands-down been the best winter break/holiday season ever, and I honestly cannot believe that I am leaving in 3 days- it just isn’t really sinking in. The past month has been kind to me, and I have been very happy.

It also just makes it that much more difficult to leave it all behind. The more time I spend with loved ones, the more I admire my beautiful hometown with that gorgeous backdrop of nature, the more reluctant I am to leave.

But the fact that it is so hard for me to leave this time is a huge blessing. Thank you for giving me so many reasons that make it difficult for me to leave, that make me miss Vancouver before I’ve even left. I’m truly lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life who I will dearly miss. And I am lucky to have a piece of my heart in each city.

All the best for the new year, my friends. May it be filled with realized dreams, accomplished goals, and a sense of joy and wonder. This isn’t goodbye- just a “see you later”.

(Literally, because I have to finish my degree this year. And who knows- I may be back to visit sooner than you think 😉 keep in touch!)

London Travels: Grand Museums & Friends

The past couple of days were still tumultuous, but have been really fun.

On Tuesday during the daytime, things did not go according to plan… to say the least. I won’t go into detail, but at least the evening made up for it. I got to meet my friend Matt, who lives in the UK and who I’ve known for 3.5 years now. The blogging community back in the day blessed me with a few long-standing good friends, and he was one of them. So it was really cool to meet up in person.

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My friend Matt and I!

We met up at Westfield, the nearby sprawling complex of a mall. We walked around for ages, chatting and deciding where to eat. I was really craving Asian food after days of burgers and pizzas, so finally we settled for Penang.

They had a good selection of Malaysian appies and entrees for decent prices, but drinks were on the steeper side. I ordered the Char Kway Teow, which cost £8.25, and a Banana smoothie that was nearly £4.00.

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I don’t have a photo of my actual meal, but the drink was presented very nicely!

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Derp friends

Afterwards, we walked all around Westfield again, buying candy from Waitrose, laughing at silly cards at Paperchase, and (obviously) strutting our stuff at H&M.

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I bought this skirt that I ended up wearing all of the next day

We had a lot of fun and it was really cool to have someone to hang out with halfway across the world. We spoke as if no time had passed at all. It was especially cool because he had a pretty strong British accent, but sounded just like me the moment he spoke Cantonese. Wish I could have that.

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Thanks for hanging with me, Matt! 🙂

Observation #4 (may be a bit TMI): London toilets are really, really difficult to flush for some reason. Takes 3-4 tries at times. And my brother tells me that men’s urinals all do not have flushing capabilities, which makes the men’s room always reek.

The next day, my family and I headed to the world-famous British Museum. It was really beautiful, but didn’t feel much like a museum because it was unusually packed with people. PACKED. It felt like a shopping mall on Boxing Day. Why?

Because admission was free.

I don’t really understand why it’s free when they could charge a small price and solve the evident problem of overcrowding, while still making a profit. This seems to be the case with most museums here in London.

But despite that, it was a very cultured day. I got to see the Rosetta Stone and Cleopatra’s mummy in real life. They had an excellent Egypt exhibit, and the architecture of the building was breathtaking.

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Cleopatra’s mummy

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The Rosetta Stone!

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For lunch, I got to have Korean food. Real, authentic Korean food in London. As I said before, I was really sick of Western food (I live off of Asian food and I miss it every time I leave Vancouver) so I was overjoyed. I ordered a Bibimbap with sides of Kimchi, Bean Sprouts, and Miso Soup, and it was the most delicious thing I ever had.

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And for dinner, we ate a cozy restaurant near our hotel for the second time, called Giraffe. I had the Parmesan Chicken Schnitzel Kiev, which was Parmesan crumbed chicken breast with garlic and herb butter, served with mash, a side salad, and roasted lemon.

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And to top it off, I got my photo with an iconic red telephone booth!

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(I should really get another that is less blurry before I leave.)

And that concludes my adventures for now! I can really only post two days at a time, or it’ll be too much to read in one sitting. More to come soon!

Why You Will Never Know How I Feel

There are a million ways I could answer this question.

When somebody hurts you, is your first inclination to let them know how you feel, or to brush it off and pretend it never happened?

Why will you* never know how I feel? Because darling, I have too much pride, and I’ve already lost a great deal of it dealing with you. In my head, never speaking to you unless you talk to me, and pretending like nothing happened is the most effective way in dealing with situations like these. No matter how much it hurts, you will never know, and I will never reveal what I am thinking. You will think that I am doing just fine. And I am. I really am. My very subtle efforts at communicating just how fine I am have seemed to work. I wanted to prove a point.

It’s better off this way. Why rip the bandage off a wound? I am not one to run away from my problems, but when things are just beyond repair, why bother trying? Talking about things doesn’t always make it better.

And the best part is, over time I really will believe that I am fine. Because wounds heal, and life goes on. And honestly, there is nothing that time can’t heal.

And I can really say I am fine now. It’s a nice feeling.

But it was a long journey getting to this point.

*You is plural. Interpret this piece however you like, however I tried to make it fit multiple aspects of my social relationships.