Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ah-mayy-ziing Canada: Year End 2011


Gearing up for the year 2012, I have returned for my year-end blog posts. It has been a tiring year--I just got my test scores for PSAT and ACT and they were very, very horrible. On another note, I had a fast-paced, productive, good year. In fact, in ending the year, Canada is where I had least idea of a place I’d be.


It was the city of Scarborough, in the greater Toronto area, where my family and I have spent our Christmas weekend. Waking up at 4:30 like every time we had to travel a great distance, I also had the great opportunity of sleeping in the deepest way I ever could in a car. It was uncomfortable, rubbing my derrière on the leather seat, leaning my head like I am being choked. But uncomfortable-ness-es aside, on the way, I have noticed probably Canada's most obvious and greatest impression: hospitality. They are very generous, especially in giving way to drivers who seems to be hurrying, and everybody seems to know where everybody is going. It’s the best kind of hospitality you can’t probably get in the US, where the person behind you honks with impatience. And Canadians would probably even gladly overtake a slow Chinese driver with an appreciatory gesture.

My experiences in Toronto, Canada were not as great as New York. In fact it was more fun than my experiences in NY. Downtown Toronto had these high-rise buildings, which, by the way, I’ve learned, are not open on Christmas, and also construction everywhere. The most apparent difference between New York and Toronto is the latter's suburbanized feel and wide roads. Unlike New York, to which it has been compared often, the New York North is very generous to space. Right in front of the former city hall, an ice skating funk is widely open to anybody (who has ice skates, of course). I myself had the pleasure of having this experience. I fell down only once, after four rounds of continuous resistance to falls and slips and attempts of skating like a Kristi Yamaguchi or something. On the other side (or wherever it is, I have not gone in there) is Toronto's Times Square. I have not stepped in the place, but passed by it in the evening as we went to a relative's house.  It seemed lively, but less than Times Square. Rather, it looked peaceful, less crowded than NY Times Square, and just elegant. It still has those wide screens, like the ones in NY.

The day before, we went to Canada's side of Niagara Falls. It was very elegant. You could see a double rainbow just in front of you (the ends, however, were way too outreaching). There were some big stores, a casino, an amusement park, and some other things that you wouldn't find in the American side. I know; it’s unfair, but in the end, there are two sides of everything.

This post wouldn't probably be complete without a list of my Christmas presents. To be honest, I did not really have any actual wish for Christmas. To not want anything that I don't have, though, is not my specialty, so I will not go to that side. One thing I remember from this year's sermons in church is to 'freely give, freely receive.' although I don't know how I have done that, I know that I have given the best I’ve had (for now) and that I have received just what I ought to have.

This has also been a year of joie de vivre for me. My family and I got our permanent residence cards in February (which means we have to wait five years to be permanent residents of this country); I got an iPhone from my aunt, as a part of her Christmas gift for me; I had a more-than-amazing time in Canada; and next year we may go to the Philippines! (Speaking of Philippines, I offer all my condolences to all fellow Filipinos who lost their loved ones in the recent typhoon Washi.)

And this post will not be complete also without my new year's resolutions. I will limit my list to only three bullets this time because I may forget them.

FIRST BULLET: more sleep, more exercise. I have not really had a consistent sleeping time. Sometimes, i sleep as far as twelve, and recently, especially on the holidays, I have slept as far as until four in the morning (like, right now). I also want to begin my walks and runs again. It’s not very bad for me, and i am not shy to do it. I just don't make myself time for doing them.
SECOND BULLET: plan ahead. I have become lazy nowadays, as you may have noticed in the lack of blog posts (which are also in part of writer’s block). I also have a problem called procrastinating--my newest nemesis.

And, lastly, THIRD BULLET: dress more “sharply.” This is one of Ben Franklin's virtues and I realize I have not been really good with how I clothe myself. Sometimes, my dress is just wildly inapt for a certain occasion. I am learning, though, and I will do my best to lure away the vanity and insecurities that may interfere with all possible circumstances.

That's all. Have a great 2012!

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