Mong Cai

One day, sometime after Christmas, a large group of us drove up to Mong Cai for some apparently cheap cheap shopping. It was about an 8 hour drive north, as it’s right on the Vietnam/China border, which is why things there are so cheap. This, my dears, is where you can get all the legit Luis Vutiton and Verascae clothing and purses, if that was your desire. The scenery there was gorgeous, though the roads, as always, were rocky at best.

However, you had to bargain your ass through everything in the market, and if there’s one thing I hate, it’s haggling. Just let me buy things at the right price, people, and stop trying to rip me off. Ffuuuu. I’ll just let other people do the talking for me, however, and I’ll just pay whatever price they say. I don’t care.

It’s a bit bad though, because I’m not holding Canadian currency, spending Vietnamese dollars is like water. Just here, I’ll pay for this, this and that, and before you know it, I’ve run out of cash. Horrible mentality.

We stayed at a family friend’s hotel that night and were served the absolute grossest meal I’ve ever seen. Well, gross because we were so Canadian that we couldn’t bear to even look at it. Actually, most of my family couldn’t, even the recent immigrant. So, the parents were forced to eat it out of politeness while the rest of us starved ourselves, waiting to go somewhere else to eat. You know, if I were served this in Canada, I’d probably eat it. Actually, if it was anywhere else, I would have eaten it but because I have a really skewed perception of Vietnam, most likely in a negative way, I just couldn’t bring myself to eat it.We did get served this wonderful corn juice though, which was boiled and mashed corn, slightly strained, and mixed with a condensed coconut milk of some sort. So sweet, so fattening, so delicious.

Silkworms stir-fried with bean sprouts and onions.

Sauteed lizard.

Fried gator.

Stewed lizard.

This cold-blooded cooking though, blehh, so gross. Even looking at the images now, I remember the taste, the chewy, sinewy texture, the toughness. *shiver* Nope, no sir, can’t take it.

Mong Cai was uneventful for the most part. We went shopping during the day, went back to the hotel at night, did a little karaoke, and then slept. We left the next morning. I was a little miffed because I thought we were actually going to cross the border and going into China, but no, we stayed in Vietnam.

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So.. I went shopping.

I haven’t been for a long time due to financial issues (read: unemployed) and it was fun, until my feet hurt. 4.5 hours at at the mall, I guess makes up for my absence the past month or so. My friend needed a dress for an upcoming wedding, in Montreal coincidentally, and while looking for dresses and shoes, I fully realized that if I were to win the lottery, my closet would be way too full. But I think that’s a good thing.

I don't understand fashion sometimes...

When I win the lottery, I think the first thing I would do is give myself 5-10 thousand dollars and go shopping. I’d bye shoes and dresses, and cute tops, and skirts, and all that fun stuff. I think I’d then have to buy a new house with a closet big enough for all of that. Many times during long car rides, my brother and I start planning out what we’d plan to do if we win the lottery. I don’t think I would go all out glamourous. I wouldn’t buy a mansion (maybe just a convenient condo), I wouldn’t buy a big fancy car, no ferraris thank you. I’d continue doing what I do in the field that I love (hypothetical future), and just have no worries about money and being able to buy a picture frame without comparing for a few dollars, or picking up a game that I want. Buuut that’s all in the future, you know, when I win the lottery.

In the meantime, here’s a slideshow of my present life: trying things on and knowing I can’t buy them.

Look! A pretty dress I can't afford. :D

Also starring: shoes.

These weren't my deal, but I tried them on for a friend in love with unicorns.

Wow, looking at all the shoe pictures in a row made me realize that, that day at least, I think shoes with bows on them are fucking cute. You guys can donate to my shoe fund if you’d like. I didn’t buy anything shown above, but I did buy this sweet shirt dress for 15$.

This is not a cameraphone photo, this is photo booth. -_-

What is this?

This is a new blog, to update you, cher(e) reader about my life because it is oh-so-brilliantly exciting. And because you love me so.

Along with moving away from the Montreal area that’s been my home for just about six years, I’ve also vacated blog posts from my tumblr account. Though, I will still be posting random photos and videos over there.

June 29, 2010

Dan Potthast, the Wonder Years, the Supervillains, and Streetlight Manifesto. We went to see them at the Metropolis.

Taking a Photo

This was my second time seeing Dan Potthast in concert. Clad with his black glasses acoustic guitar, he stood on the stage, solo, interacting with the crowd, and with not a bit of uncertainty or nervousness. None that I could see anyway. He sang ‘Fan’. First time I saw him, he introduced that song by saying it was written when he locked himself in his room for a couple weeks, and eventually ran out of things to write about. The song is about a ceiling fan. I think. He also took out a camera in the middle of the performance and took a picture of the crowd. And then of himself and the crowd. Glorious.

The Wonder Years were nothing special in my eyes. The lead singer danced oddly. More punk rock, less ska.

I had heard a couple of songs from the Supervillains and they are so ska it hurts. A beautiful blend of ska and chills reggae beats. Wonderful energy on stage. Mr. Saxophone player (google tells me his name is Jonathan Cestero aka Smally) was wearing a Spain jersey because Spain had beaten Paraguay that day in the semi-finals? Quarter finals? The one where there are eight teams left. I had worn mine too, but left it in the car because I didn’t want to ruin it. I was still wearing red though. I shouted, “Españaaaa!!!!” but he didn’t hear me, seeing as he was on stage and playing songs and whatnot. But after the show, on our way out, we passed the Supervillains table and he was standing there. I shouted for Spain again, and THEN I HUGGED HIM. OH MY GOD AN ACTUAL (kind of ) CELEBRITY HUG. WOOOO. I thought that was the highlight of my night. But moving on…

Partial group photo - Too many members to fit into one shot

Backtracking to Streetlight Manifesto’s set: They were headlining yet again, and this was my fourth time seeing them. As always, right up front, pressed against the gate. Beautiful. Of course, the biggest name in third wave ska, aka punk ska, etc etc. They always put on an amazing and energetic show. The security were very friendly, spraying us with water. My hair got caught on a crowdsurfer’s something and I was nearly decapitated. It was fun. Hohoho. After the show, Adrienne got a set list and because she loves me, she gave it to me to keep and it was wonderful. After the show, we said goodbye to Claire, and went for a beer. The new Station Sports at Berri is huuuge.

Here is the best part of the story though, on our way back to the car, we passed Streetlight’s tour bus. I saw people. I jumped and waved. It was awesome. And then Adrienne and Andrew convinced me to go ask for an autograph. I hesitated, but then I went. Luckily, before the concert, my overactive imagination convinced me to bring a sharpie, and that I did. I went up to the bus (those things are mighty tall), jumped up and down to get their attention, and then I think it was Mike Brown (Mr. Saxophone) who came out and they brought out Tomas Kalnoky (holy crap I’m still freaking out) and he signed my setlist.

[Insert mega freak out]

I tried to play it cool. It didn’t work. It was Judy gone into hyper fangirl mode. I talked very fast and I don’t remember what I said, but it was the greatest moment of my life. Andrew, I want that video. And then I walked to my car.

And while driving them home, I started crying of joy. I was not my most gracious moment, I’ll admit.

June 30, 2010

My entire life fit into the whole of my little Honda Civic. Well, save for a bookshelf and my books. How I miss them, but there just wasn’t enough room in the car. I will be going back in a couple of weeks to pick that up and a few other knick-knacks that I left behind. I drove down to my new home. It took about 7 hours because we were stuck in Montreal traffic for a while. Half of the way was in the dark, and I have learned that I do not enjoy driving in the dark. Not one bit. Well, long distances anyway.

July 1, 2010

I went to a barbecue for my cousin’s birthday. I was hot.

July 2, 2010

Errands

July 4, 2010

Beach times

July 5, 2010

OCAD orientation, where I met up with another Montrealer whom I went to college with for three years. And then met another Montrealer who knew this other person that I went to college with for three years. It was a long day. I was there from 10:30 till about 5 pm. A fun day, but a long day. First day by myself since I got to Toronto, and I was talked into signing up for a new credit card. Woo!

I was making my way back to Sauga from OCAD and was driving through downtown Toronto in rush hour. As I passed the traffic lights however, I noticed that none of them were on. For some reason, I just thought that Toronto turned off their traffic lights during that time (wtf?). And then I passed by an intersection and a business type man was directing traffic. That’s when I realized there was a power outage. Didn’t know it was so big though. Anyway, as the man was directing traffic, people standing on the corners and in the cars were smiling and taking pictures of him as if it was so weird for someone to be doing such a nice thing. I’ve seen a few minor black outs in QC and this just always seemed like the norm for me to have someone there directing traffic. Oh Toronto, that’s discovery number 1.

July 6, 2010

Uruguay vs Netherlands game

Tiny sofa... or giant lamp?

Claire and Adrienne came to  visit me for the day from Montreal. What wonderful friends I’ve got. We went through antique shops in Parkdale to look for furniture for Claire’s new apartment. I bought this delicious hot pepper sauce from one of the stores. I tried it on some chicken, and also with korean bbq. It is so delicious. Can’t wait to try it on my burger at this Saturday’s barbecue. It was a very pleasant visit, and we walked a lot. It was HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT.

July 7, 2010

VIVA ESPAÑA

Claire and Adrienne left. I watched the Spain vs. Germany game. SPAIN WON. It was glorious. Too many German fans were smack talking me for being a Spain supporter, so I guess we showed them eh. Thank you to Puyol for this game. Woo.

Nachos and Stella

And then I went to the London Tap House, I think it’s called, in downtown Hamilton with my cousin to celebrate the win, where we had beer and nachos. The nachos were amazing. Like SO amazing. With cuts of medium rare steak cubes and freshly made guacamole. So freshly made, that when we asked for some on the side, the server told us that we had to wait a few minutes while they made some more.

July 8, 2010

I did chores. And wrote this post. Later on, CV+Jobs. :D