Tag Archives: adventures

Merry Christmas and on to 2019 we go!

I have been very absent lately – carpal tunnel is preventing  me from being on my computer for too long.  Awaiting results in the early new year to find out next steps to be taken.  We may have free health care – but it’s not a quick process for us.

 

Despite the issues of that, and health issues with both parents, 2018 has been a good year for me.  I saw many accomplishments of mine, and of my children, followed through and succeeded.  I have had an article published in a Canadian magazine (Our Canada), did some public speaking, dabbled in art, and in general have had a very positive year.  I am heading to Europe in January for a vacation, and then later in the year Africa is calling my name.  I am excited for what looms in the future for me.

 

I hope to be back blogging soon on a more regular basis.  I want to wish everyone a happy holiday season and a very Happy New Year!   Here’s to the future and to 2019!

 

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​Discovering Chile ~ and myself

When I decided to travel through Chile, I did the basic research of the country, read information about each city I would see and looked at pictures.  I made myself a list of must~sees, but really I just wanted to discover what Chile was about. The people, the food, the way of life. What I didn’t expect was to discover so much about me.

Chile is a very long and narrow country.  The country has such a diverse nature to it.  From the glaciers in the south to the desert in the north, and the Andes creating a border with Argentina, Bolivia and Peru ~ there are so many unique qualities to this country it is staggering.  The natural beauty of this country is overwhelming. It has taken my breath away on more than one occasion.
There is also a great variety of food to be found. From Peruvian to sushi, from pizza to Chinese, you can find almost any kind of food here.  And the pastries!!  Its a good thing I walk at least three hours a day here!  I have yet to try Chilean wine or Pisco Sour but I will.
The people here struggle with English but are still anxious to help. They want to teach me Spanish and I have been trying ~ it is getting better.  I have met incredibly lovely people on my travels, and all ask where I am from, why am I in their city, have I tried Empanadas or the pescado, have I enjoyed a Pisco sour and, my favourite question ~ where is my husband? The older ladies seem genuinely concerned that I have no husband and am traveling solo! Their reaction amuses me.
The lifestyle here is similar to Europe ~ relaxed, easy going and very family oriented.  Siesta time is fascinating ~ stores close, families gather at a park, and they play, eat and rest. Such a difference from China where the children are so busy all the time that they are tired and not relaxed at all.
The thing that has struck me most is what I have discovered about myself.  I no longer care about materialistic things, I have all that I need.  I have discovered how strong I am, both physically and mentally. I have also discovered my limitations (Macchu Picchu is off my list).  But most of all, I have discovered that, regardless of what others think about me, I am very proud of what I have accomplished and how far I have come.
They say travel changes you. I don’t think it’s changed me. I think it has awakened me in how I view the world.  I have a different attitude now. I am more accepting. And I have said this many times but it bears repeating ~ I am so grateful for this amazing journey I am on.  I am grateful for the opportunities that have been give. And I know its not over ~ I have many years left.
So I am just going to keep on trekking and exploring!

China quirks

I think quirks is a funny word. It’s a word I like teaching!  But in this instance it’s not a funny word. It’s unusual things that I find slightly disturbing and things I won’t miss when I leave China.

1.  The spitting/horking that everyone does. If it was just spitting and just men doing it, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. But everyone horks and its probably the most disgusting sound a person can make.  And when I see fashionably dressed women walking toward me, then hork and spit ~  they suddenly don’t appear so fashionable anymore.

2.  The constant noise. Noise pollution here is almost as bad as the air pollution.  I feel like every store is competing with each other, not for customers but to see who can be the loudest.  Seriously, it’s so annoying that I try to avoid busy areas now.  I am lucky to live in an area where I can get everything and avoid some of the noise!  My area is loud too, just not as loud as other areas.

3.  Children using the streets/sidewalks/wherever as their personal bathroom. It’s disgusting and yet parents seem to be okay with it. And the babies with no diapers and parents letting them go wherever. I just don’t get it.

4.  The smog. How the population is as high as it is baffles me. How they survive without apparently having serious lung problems is beyond me. And smoking in the smog. Double whammy.  These people must have lungs made of steel. 

5. Let’s talk about the smoking. Coming from North America where it’s illegal to smoke anywhere is a blessing. These people smoke in restaurants, bars, shopping centres, pharmacies, hospitals, clinics and school bathrooms. The adults are doing this. And they think it’s funny to see kids pretending to smoke.  Frightening.

6.  The squat “toilets”.  Thank goodness almost everywhere I go has either one regular toilet or a handicap toilet.  Oh and having to carry tissue with you everywhere. Because it’s not provided. Add that to my list of things I’ve learned to never forget!

7. Washroom facilities at my school.  I am lucky there is a regular toilet on every floor at school. But there is no hot water. No soap. No paper towels or air dryer. And on the one floor, the regular bathroom does not have running water in the sink. Seriously, isn’t it time to upgrade?

8. One of the most disturbing things is street meat. There is a street vendor that I pass on my way to the shopping center.  I know what he is cooking because they are right there in a cage for all to see. I refuse to eat pigeon. So gross.

Am I going to miss anything about China when I leave? Yes of course ~ there are so many things I will miss but the above things I will not miss at all!!