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Archive for 2008年12月

Boxing Day Sale at Eaton Center

Boxing Day Sale at Eaton Center

Boxing Day Sale at Eaton Center

Boxing Day Sale at Eaton Center

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圣诞娃娃

圣诞娃娃

昨晚,我一边包圣诞礼物,一边在自言自语....

记得,约十年前,我药剂行的澳洲洋人老板问我,“你是华人,不庆祝圣诞的,对吗?你是佛教徒,不庆祝圣诞的,对吗?那你在圣诞当天上班一定没问题吧?"这哪是问我,简直是要我内疚,要我上班 (注:我是那间药剂行唯一的亚裔药剂师。那间药剂行365天都开足13个小时)。

我心里算一算,“哗!十三个小时,双倍工钱,即可赚二十六小时的工钱。划算划算。” 那时,我刚大学毕业,穷,又要学人储钱旅行,傻。我假装推迟一下,就答应下来了。反正,我是真的不庆祝圣诞的。接下来的五,六年,我的圣诞都是在店铺里过,从早上七点到晚上十点。我一点都不在意,顾客很少,很空闲,不难挨过。

一直到四年前,圣诞还是与我无关。没想到,现在,圣诞突然变得这么重要 -圣诞树, 礼物,卡片,火鸡,团圆,假期,派对,还有白雪飘飘。

人生一个转弯,有些重要的好像变得不重要了,不重要的好像开始重要起来....

今早起来,我忘了昨晚思考的问题,匆匆赶去预定两个蛋糕 – 一个要带去明晚朋友家的派对,一个要带去圣诞晚Ed大家族的团圆晚餐。今天不预定,明天一定卖清光!26日晚,和Ed父母吃饭要带的已准备....

愿祝大家圣诞快乐!

Christmas Dinner

Christmas Dinner

Last night, I was talking to myself while I was wrapping Christmas presents….

I still remember vividly how my boss asked me to work on Christmas Day. It was about 10 years ago, ‘Shirley, you are a Chinese, Chinese doesn’t celebrate Christmas, right? You are a Buddhist, Buddhist does not celebrate Christmas, right? So, I think you are the best person to work on Christmas Day !’ Since I was the only Asian in the pharmacy, and he was right about a Chinese Buddhist (plus as a immigrant whose family is in Malaysia) does not celebrate Christmas.

So, I accepted the offer. Well, who won’t? The shop opened on Christmas Day for 13 hours, and I got paid double. In fact, being a poor newly graduate who dreamed of saving for travel, I felt grateful to have the shift ! Since then, my boss never failed to give me the Christmas shift and all my Christmas for the following 5 or 6 years were spent in the pharmacy from 7am to 10pm. Frankly, I did not mind at all. The pharmacy was normally quiet on Christmas Day and it was not a difficult shift.

It was not until 4 years ago, I stopped working on Christmas Day. Prior to that, Christmas was just another day for me. I am surprised to realise that it has suddenly become important in my life – the Christmas tree, Christmas presents, the turkey, Christmas parties, family gathering, holiday, Christmas cards,  and the previously unthinkable White Christmas. I have them all now.

Life is interesting, just a small twist and turn, previously important things are no longer important, and what never appeared important has suddenly play an important role in my life….

Woke up this morning, totally forgot what I was pondering last night, I rushed to Loblaws to order two cakes – one for tomorrow night Christmas Eve dinner with friends, one for Christmas Day dinner with Ed’s extended family.  I know if I don’t order today, I will have trouble getting the cakes I want tomorrow. And we have already prepared what we want to bring for 26th dinner with Ed’s parents….


Merry Christmas to you all !!!

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汤圆

汤圆

前天,一早醒来看到妈妈从马来西亚捎来的短信。那时,我迷迷糊糊,看了也没去多想。后来,逛到一位朋友的部落中,才惊觉冬至将至,是做汤圆的时节。原来,妈妈告诉我,她做了红豆汤圆,很好吃。虽今天才是冬至,不过,星期天弟妹都往外溜,家里提早两天做,一家团团圆圆吃汤圆。

妈吩咐我做汤圆来庆一庆。我随口带过。在外国那么多年,哪记得冬至这回事。虽然,妈妈都会捎来短信,我也是知道就算了。马来西亚的家当然有做汤圆。记得,我每次吃时,妈妈都会来一句,“吃了汤圆就长一岁啦!” 不过,冬至的气氛没过年或中秋的浓厚,只是吃汤圆。不提,我一定不会记得。加上,我这个蛇年出生的,特别‘蛇’,很少帮忙妈妈搓汤圆。不过,我超爱甜食,吃汤圆少不了我的份。

在澳洲,没认识Ed之前,多是自己一个人住。自己一个人吃汤圆,好像更显孤单。加上,日子特忙,所以,我好像从来没在国外庆祝过冬至。

我想,在外国长住,最可惜的是,很多传统很难维持。这可能是千万华裔移民的矛盾。

现在想一想,我真的应该庆祝一下,尤其是在加拿大特别有‘气氛’。这个‘气氛’不是华人‘过冬’过节的气氛,而是,在加拿大,冬天真的正式到来了。‘冬至’,突然变得很有‘身有同感’。冷冷的天气,手上有碗热腾腾的汤圆,多温暖。以前,在马或在澳,这个时候都是炎热当天的。‘冬至’这个字眼对我来说,是没什么意思的。

向Ed提我要做汤圆,他说,我自己吃就好了。他不爱又甜又粘的东西。做了自己一人吃很没趣。加上,考试大过天,我以前也没向妈妈偷师到,真没时间花上大半天来学来找材料来搓来煮。我还是上网看看汤圆图片来庆祝就好了。

以前,有妈妈来维持传统,现在,是我的责任了。不过,我好像不是很称职…

明年吧,明年冬至,我要做汤圆!!

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冬天时,尤其是一场大雪后,很喜欢在多伦多市的街上走走。

因为,觉得这里的夜晚,特别光亮。

天是黑沉沉的,不过,城市是闪亮的。

犹记得,我第一次发现这个现象时,是2006年年尾.圣诞刚过。我的第一个白色冬天。

那时,我们刚看完一场电影,已近凌晨。

一走出戏院时,突然发现,夜,好像没黑下来。

我这个热带国家长大的女孩,哪会明白其中的道理。

也不想去思考,只想欣赏,像小孩一样眼睛瞪大大,不停惊叹,‘好亮,好亮!’。

Ed解释说:“大地铺了一层厚厚的白雪。白色,反照所有的街灯,建筑物的灯和圣诞灯饰。明吗?”。

“啊!” 给他一个拥抱,我继续在街上蹦跳。

他摇头,“都不知你怎么进理科班的。”

X     X     X     X     X     X

昨晚,从图书馆走出来时,发现,夜,又亮了...

那时,暂不想考试,我心情舒畅.

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“新婚生活怎么样啊?”

婚后,很多人问。

“没什么不同啊。都是一样。”

我觉得这个答案是好现象。

很多人说,婚后,男的女的,都会‘原形毕露’。

还好,我和Ed都是‘坦率’的人。

所有缺点很早前已‘很自然’地表现出来了。

我的小姐脾气,他牛一样的固执。

算了,习惯就好。;)

人人说,结婚就代表互相尊重,彼此接受,缺点和优点,对吗?

这个,我深深相信。

其实,我们已达很高境界 – 爽脆和幽默。

高兴不高兴的,都拿出来讲。谈下谈下,很快就会多了解。

暂时解决不了的,幽彼此一默,笑了后,有些执着好像已不重要。

所以,生活上是没问题的。

除了吵些无聊的,天天都开开心心。

啊!对了,婚后,唯一不同和不习惯的,就是,我们都不爱戴我们的结婚戒指….

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winter wear in Canada

winter wear in Canada

Bryan left the following message in my previous post :

I am going to Harbin end of this year. I believe it will be minus 15 Degree during the day.Since I am not living in Subzero Climate for long period, I just bought a Winter Jacket, not those ultra warm type though, but for active sports, where we partially keep ourselves warm while exercising in the cold weather. I think it might not be enough to fend off the cold there.

How many layers of clothing you wear to protect yourself from the cold?

My idea:
1st Under Thermal (Long John shirt and pants)
2nd Long Sleeve T-Shirt
3rd Wool Sweater
4th Thin Down Jacket
5th Wind & Waterproof outer jacket

Ear Warmer
Gloves
Head Warmer?

Wish me luck! ”

Hey Bryan,

I went online to check the weather in Harbin, yup, it is already around minus 5 to 15 degree during the day !! And currently, the wind gust is around 4-15 mph (6-23 km/h), which is quite strong if you are walking on the streets, especially in wind tunnel (like between tall buildings). So, you have to be quite prepared, especially people like us, who are brought up in tropical weather.

Looking at your 5 layers clothing sandwich, I think you will be fine for the minus 15. However, it depends on the quality of your down jacket and the water/windproof  jacket. It makes all the difference !

windproof jacket with face cover

windproof jacket with chin flaps

Not sure what kind of quality you will get in Malaysia. So, whatever you buy, check the quality properly, or buy trusted brands.  There are hell lots of things to consider for good down or windproof jackets. I am not going to go to the details here and you only go there for a short trip. Just some simple things you should look for. For example, for down jacket, check exactly what the down filling is (make sure is not synthetic) and its fill power (how dense they pack the down/feather); for water/windproof jacket, check the construction of the jacket (how well the jacket is ‘sealed’), fabric lining etc.

I have a windproof jacket that have two ‘flaps’ on my face area (left picture), so when the wind blow fiercely, I can cover half my face, and only leave the eyes out. But I rarely wear it because I think it is very ugly ! Haahaa….do I scare you though? I hope you don’t need those things anyway ! It depends if you are a person who afraid of cold. I need those because I can’t stand cool weather !

Ok, now let’s talk about other accessories.

(1) Gloves – yup, you need a good pair of gloves ! Best is wool or windproof gloves.

(2) Hat/Head Warmer – you definitely need a very good hat/head warmer. Generally, about 30% of body heat lose through our heads, it is quite a significant amount. If you cover your head (especially forehead) properly, you surely will feel warmer. Tips : Don’t buy knit hat, because wind can blow through it easily. Buy wool one,. If you like knit, buy those have an inner (wool) layer.

(3) Ear warmer – If you have a hat that also can cover your ears, I don’t think you need ear warmer.

(4) Sock – Your feet and toes !! You don’t want to have cool feet and toes when you are outside, especially if you have to walk on the snow. Also, most time I dress my body properly, but forget my legs. So,  your under thermal pants will be very helpful. Tips : alternatively, buy very good wool knee length socks. They help me heaps when I don’t feel like wearing my old-lady-like thermal pants 😉

(5) Boot – Very important especially when snowing heavily and have snow/ice accumulation on the ground. A good pair of boot prevent slips.  My boot is knee length, with fur inside, strong rubber sole with deep treads. Of course, it depends how much walking you have to do, otherwise, normal boot should be ok. Tips : Walk on snow-muddy ground, instead of the ‘shiny’ icy ground, which is extremely slippery, unless you like to roller skating 😉

(6) Scarf – Depend on the design of your jacket or if you have turtle neck top. I feel much warmer when my neck is warm, and it prevents cool wind slips inside your body through the neck opening. Tips : When I don’t wear my ugly windproof jacket with the ‘flaps’, I like to wear very large thick scarf. So, I not only use it to cover my neck, I use it to cover half my face when I have to walk against wind gust.

multiples layers and a down jacket

multiple layers and a down jacket

For this photo, I think it was taken on a day of around minus 5-8 degree or so. With the hat, an under thermal, a turtle neck (white), a 200 fleece (blue), and a medium fill power down jacket ( filling : 50% down/50% feathers), I was able to pose for photo with a smile 😉

I hope the above information helps. Shoot me more questions if you still not sure.

Haahaaa… I have too much fun here. I better go back to study for my exam !!! 😦

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今天好冷… 才零下10度…
碰巧,我有事需出门。
刺骨的强风吹来时,感觉像零下20度!

那时,真不明白我来加拿大干嘛。
Ed曾告诉我,习惯就好,身体会慢慢耐冷起来。真的吗?
可是,今天,连他也想骂粗口。

…..我正想念大马或澳洲的阳光,Ed则想念洛杉矶的阳光….

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