Category Archives: Winter

Flu shots – yay or nay?

I have never had a flu shot in all of my 52 years, but this year I am contemplating getting one for many reasons.


One, I work in the public field, around coffee and food, every day.  I am sure no one wants their server coughing and hacking all over their coffee and food!  Second, my parents are older, and I certainly don’t want to get sick and have them get sick because of me.


I am not someone who gets sick very often, but if I can do something to hopefully prevent that from happening, then I will.  In my awesome home country of Canada, flu shots are free.   Are they free in your country?  How much are they if you have to pay?  Do you get the flu shot?


China surprises!!

​It has been over six months since I arrived and I am still learning new things each day when I am out. These are some things that may surprise you about China:

Pedestrians have no rights. Seriously we have no rights.  We walk whenever there is a break in traffic.  Cars do not slow down for you. Sometimes it feels like you are risking your life by crossing 8 lanes of traffic. I have become very good at maneuvering my way across the roads.
Public transportation.   It’s a very different experience here. At small stops, a lot of the time the bus simply slows down enough for you to jump on and then takes off before the door is closed. You need to be quick!  It is very cheap to take the bus ~ only 1 rmb (about 20 cents Canadian). They pack on the people ~ like a sardine can. People push, they sometimes are aggressive with their pushing. You learn to push back. I also have learned when the best non crowded times are to get on a bus!!
Stray dogs. This is a very sad part of the area I live in. Many people within the gated area have dogs as pets. But outside of this area, there are a lot of stray dogs. They look frightened and sad, but it is still better to keep away from them. There have been many times I have seen parents make their child run away from them. Its sad.
Snow removal. This city amazes me with the snow removal!!  They waste no time getting out the snow ploughs and shovels to clear the snow. And the amount of people who are doing the shoveling is astonishing. Men and women of all ages. Once the snow stops falling, they get out their brooms and start sweeping the snow off the roads. It really is awesome to see how they do it. They do not, however, use any salt. Its very slippery some days!!
Shopping centres.  If anyone has a noise sensitivity, you need to be aware of the noise. And this isn’t from the shoppers. The different stores have people standing there, with microphones, yelling about their sales. They talk over one another. I know this now and so plan my shopping on days when I know I can handle the amount of noise I will encounter.  And in the supermarkets, they have people offering free samples and they are very pushy!!  I know to say BU now (no) and walk away. 
These are just a few examples of surprising things I have encountered. It still amazes me that some of these things happen!!

Harbin Ice Festival 2017

I came to China with an expectation to see many incredible sites. I have been in Changchun since August and had yet to travel, until this weekend.

Winter break is here so I am on holidays, and having read about Harbin, I was anxious to see the city and sculptures.

Despite the incredibly frigid temperatures, I have immersed myself into this beautiful city and have seen the most amazing ice sculptures in the world.  

If you don’t mind being cold, and even if you do, this is a place to see. The food, the people, Saint Sophia Cathedral, and the Ice and Snow Festival ~ I am so happy that I made it here!!