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Archive for 2008年8月

the cooks and their food at Salsa Street Festival

the cooks and their food at Salsa Street Festival

夏天在加拿大是很‘珍贵‘的季节。一年才这三,四个月的阳光,所以,这里的人争取所有机会享受阳光,找尽所有藉口来庆祝。 夏季的每个周末,都有数不完的节目。最普遍的是街头美食节。

加国是个多元文化的国家。各国各种族的人多会聚住在同一地区。所以,街头美食节多在某种族聚住的地区,并带有其色彩。

如我家附近曾是意大利人聚住的地方,所以这里有个意大利街头美食节。不过,这十多年来,很多意大利人已渐渐搬去其他地区。反而,多了很多加勒比海人和拉丁美洲人。所以,这里在三,四年前开始举办Salsa Street Festival。

Summer is precious here in Canada. Well, it is not hard to understand that, it is the only 3-4 months sunny days Canadians will have for the whole year. Canadians will take every opportunity to enjoy the sunshine, and will make every excuses to go under the sun.  Nearly every weekend is jam-packed with many festivals, shows and activities. One of the most popular events in Toronto is street festivals.

Canada is a multicultural country. It is common that some particular ethic groups live in particular areas, like the Chinatown, Little India etc. Hence, the street festival for a particular culture will most likely be held in that area.

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昨天,看完了北京奥运的闭幕典礼后,我和Ed去Yonge & Eglinton 吃早餐。

早餐后,我们看到近二十多辆年轻华人驾驶的车辆,车前车后上下左右,光荣地挂上中国国旗。他们在大街上一排开二十多辆车浩浩荡荡地驶上驶下。

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当我看完Dark Knight后,我不停想着一个问题 – 英雄。在电影中, Harvey 说他其实是Batman, 因为他相信真的Batman会现身救这个城市。到时,市民就会知道Batman 是个好人,是个英雄。因为,Harvey 不要人们对心目中的英雄失去信任。到最后,Harvey 虽‘变坏’。Batman知道这个城市乃善良,至少那两艘船只没有为了自我的生存而炸掉另一艘船。所以,为了不破坏人们心中的英雄形象,Harvey 坏的一面不可让市民知道。

我们都需要一个英雄,我们心中都有一个英雄。在电影如是,在现实生活如是,在奥林匹克如是。

Carol Huynh with her proud Gold

Carol Huynh 和她闪闪发亮的加拿大第一面金牌。

please click here to continue reading and for the English translation of this post

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Giant sand dunes with clear blue sky

Giant sand dunes with clear blue sky

在夏季,好像所有的加拿大人都会去露营。因为,如果现在不去,接下来就没机会了。

连读五,六年,我们的朋友 ,DM和 LM都不会放过夏季这个难得的露营季节。今年当然也不例外,定了一个星期的营地。听说,DM在六个月前就要上网预定。因为,他们要去的省公园Sandbanks是很热门的一个露营地。不早定,就肯定会失望。

By the camp fire. I was already in my PJ !

By the camp fire. I was already in my PJ !

Ed呢,很狡猾。‘难度高‘的东西(早上7点爬起身来上网预定)让DM做。他就坐享其成,在他们露营的那个星期去‘探望’他们。 那我们就可以‘顺道‘露营两,三天了。

Sandbank公园离多伦多两个半小时车程,不算远。上路前,我们已听说天气不佳。虽明知下雨露营很没趣,可是不想错失机会,也累了城市生活,还是不管三七二十一,要‘勇敢‘地接触大自然。我们在星期五晚抵达。建好了露营的帐篷后,LM盛了美酒,起了营火,迎接我们。那晚,我们在满天星星下熟睡。

Our cozy kitchen tent

Our cozy kitchen tent

第二天,天气一点都不是天气预象台预测地糟糕。相反的,出奇地好。吃了丰富的早餐后,他们要带我到著名的沙丘堆见识见识。有些沙丘高至五,六十尺不等。这么大的沙丘,我还真是头一次见。我们一座一座沙丘地爬。还好,天气不太热,加上阵阵凉风,我也算有体力‘征服‘它们。这时,我想到我要去撒哈拉沙漠的年少无知的梦想。突然,觉得好遥远,也好像没那么振奋人心了。

爬沙丘爬累了,我们就到沙滩休息休息。在Sandbanks, 顾名思义,当然大部分的活动都与沙有关。我和LM难得清静地坐在沙滩上看看书,Ed 和DM则在暖暖‘湖‘水内游泳,。这时,我们已知道白天的好天气是假象。因为,预像台说,狂风暴雨会在夜晚降临。不敢久呆在沙滩, 我们提早回营地准备晚餐。

Yummy BBQ ribs !

Yummy BBQ ribs !

露营嘛,哪可少了烧烤。排骨,牛扒,玉蜀黍,等,总之什么可以放在火上烤的,我们都放在火上烤。饱餐后,又是美酒加营火。可是,今晚就没那么逍遥了。 喝着红酒时,我们见到天上远处,闪电打亮了天际。渐渐地,越来越逼近。我们知大事不妙。赶紧收拾好,就躲进帐篷内‘避难‘。

那晚,就在我们的头上,雨唏哩哗啦地下,闪电轰隆隆地响。从没在狂风暴雨下露营的我在帐篷内担心 :‘我们的帐篷建在大树下。闪电噼啪砍大树的话….’ Ed接下去说 : ‘那我们就完蛋啦!‘ 虽然如此,一天排满的活动把我累坏了。来不及多胡思乱想,我就倒头呼呼大睡了。

星期天早上,我被鸟叫声吵醒。大地一片潮湿。快快吃了早餐,清理好一切,带着已湿透了的用具,和装了很多沙的帐篷,我们向Sandbank 说,明年再见。

It is (still) summer here ! During summer, everyone goes to camp. Well, if you don’t do it now, you may not have any other time for the rest of the year.

Friends of ours have been camping in Sandbanks Provincial Park for the last 5 to 6 years. Being the only rare time that is ‘practical’ for camping, DM has to book at least 6 months ahead, and have to wake up at 7am to go online for the booking. Yup, it is that popular here. This year, it is no difference, DM and LM have booked for a week long camping in Sandbanks Provincial Park.

Climb two steps and slide back one step

Climb two steps and slide back one step

Ed being cheeky, he takes the advantages of letting them to do the hard work (booking), and we joined them for a couple of days during that week.

So, we went last weekend – DM and LM’s last two days at the camp site. Unfortunately, the forecast was not great at all. Yet, we still went because we have not been out of the city since I came back. Tired of city life and needing a nature dose, we packed and soldiered on.

Sandbanks Provincial Park is only about 2.5 hours from Toronto. We arrived on Friday night. After setting up the tent, we finished our day with a few glasses of wine with DM and LM by the camp fire.

Was the tent sturdy enough for the rain storm?

Was the tent sturdy enough for the rain storm?

The next day, supposed to rain, instead we had a gorgeous weather. They took me this newbie to the famous sand dunes. Some dunes are as tall as 50-60 feet. Never saw giant sand dunes before, I was amazed. We were lucky that the day was not too hot and had constant refreshing breezes. Hence, I survived well with the climbing of giant sand dunes. However, imaging myself going to Sahara dessert (one of my many wild dreams) climbing even larger sand dunes under the fierce sun, does not excite me like before anymore.

After visiting the sand dunes, we thought we deserved more sands, and some relaxing times. We went to a beach within the Park. Weather surprisingly was holding up for us. LM and I read, Ed and DM went for a swim.

Ed tried to shake off the sands in the tent

Ed tried to shake off the sands in the tent

Knowing there would be a rain storm coming overnight. We did not stay at the beach too long. We went back to our camp, cooked a big feast (BBQ ribs, steak, BBQ corn and other veggies) and tried to enjoy more wines and camp fire before the storm.

At about 10pm, we could see lightning lightening up the sky somewhere far from us . Slowly, the lightning is moving closer to us and we knew up it was time to pack up and hide in our tents as quickly as possible.

It was my first time to camp in a storm. The frequency of strong lightning, the powerful wind and the amount of rain above our tent were not funny. We camped under the trees and I was worried what would happen if the trees struck by the lightning. ‘If it happened we would be dead.’ Ed said. Yup, he likes to do that to me. No matter how worried I was, after a full day of activities, I still slept sound.

I woke up by the singing of the birds next morning. Everything was wet and soaked. We quickly had our breakfast, then cleaned up, and went home with lots of sands in our wet tents and in our shoes. It is indeed a real experience with the nature.

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photo from New York Times

Okay. I have just finished watching the Olympic Opening. It is indeed a mix bag of feelings.

It is absolutely a spectacle. Being a Chinese myself, though not born in China, I am proud and amazed to see such dazzling opening ceremony China has put up. However, while I was watching, back in my mind, I inevitably think of the issues of pollution, human rights, and all things between that I read and hear day in and day out here.

Curious of what other people think, I went online.  And I am shocked by the amount of negativity out there (mainly from the western world) for China.

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Spending 3 months in Malaysia and Australia respectively this year, and now that I am in Canada, I have to admit, sometimes, I feel like a very ‘confused’ lady, regardless where I am.

Well, the story begins when I realise I use different words to describe the same thing. Then, I get confused and people around me, either don’t quite understand me or get confused too.

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