Thoughts of a Canadian Exchange Student

Snow Tubing at Cypress Mountain

Posted in Clothing, Culture, Home, Outdoors, Transportation, Weather by J on February 5, 2008


I dare you to try and fit one of these inside your mouth.

Broke out the long underwear! The fog and snow was fantastic! Just remember the snow tires.

Snow tubing is a lot of fun. You slide down these huge snow slides inside these inner tubes (pictured above). You can go down individually, in twos, with spinning, or without spinning, etc. More people = faster ride down. And the tube tow makes short work of going back up the hill.

Although Cypress is quite fun, I much prefer the snow tubing at Big White. However, snow tubing is fun wherever you go.

$18 CDN gets you 2 hours of tubing fun and includes the tube rental.


Vancouver Aquarium

Posted in Clothing, Culture, Home, Learning, Outdoors, Sightseeing, Weather by J on February 1, 2008


On a bright, clear & chilly day, we set out for the Vancouver Aquarium. Other than the admission fee taking a large chunk out of your wallet, it was a fairly painless process to gain entrance to the aquarium. Just be prepared for the souvenir photo taking! It’ll feel like an ambush if you didn’t bother to read the sign outside.

Anyways, as I don’t ever seem to wear enough nowadays, we made a beeline to the tropical area of the aquarium. It wasn’t quite as warm as it seems to be in the summer. Darn.

Bright, pretty fish.

The fish, birds and monkeys were fun to look at in the tropical area, but what was neatest about the indoor section was the new addition. It looks COOL and is COOL because you have the opportunity to learn something new as well as get a hands-on experience about what you’re learning.

The new area.

I loved watching the jellyfish on display and playing with the interactive displays. It’s a lot more fun than the older section where you just read the information off the displays. There’s even a section specifically designed for children under 8 years of age. The kids can get very up close and personal with the marine life in that section.

Outside, you can watch the many shows that are presented throughout the day. We heard a dolphin show from the underwater viewing area (indoors). It was neat to see what the dolphins did underwater before they burst through the water to show off their jumps to the crowds above. They move so fast that there’s always little water tornadoes that follow their swimming paths.

Beluga outside.

Also outside, you can touch some of the underwater creatures with your pinky finger as well, you can see the seals, sea otters and the beluga whales! I wonder where the killer whales went… probably the way of the penguins and the polar bears.

The aquarium is nestled in Stanley Park (1000 acres of park!) and is a really big tourist attraction. As we went when it was fairly early in the morning, there wasn’t such a large crowd. However, by about 1pm it was starting to feel a little bit crowded. So, get there early with a full wallet and be prepared for the new, cool interactive section!

“Chief of the Undersea World” by Haida artist, Bill Reid, greets you.

Mosquitoes and Cockroaches

Posted in Clothing, Cockroaches, Food, Miscellaneous, Outdoors, Taipei by J on September 14, 2007

Here is where you learn a lesson from me:

Wash your clothes so that you have clothing to wear.

If you don’t do this, you’ll end up with something like say… a dress to wear for the day. This is a bad idea if you forget to wear DEET at night. As a foreigner, the mosquitos here love me to bits, among other crawlies. So, don’t do it unless you wear DEET. Or if you’re Taiwanese. They seem to hardly get any mosquito bites compared to me. They don’t swell like I do either. Lucky. I’m slightly bitter about it, as you can tell. Hehe.

Oh and the cockroaches. This night I went with some friends to a slightly more expensive place to eat at than normal. Normal being about 70 NTD for dinner, at this place, I paid 90 NTD for dinner. However, the money was well spent as at this Japanese restaurant, I had a main dish (a good sized portion), a drink, ice cream and a salad (which wasn’t… it was a mashed potato… what is up with no vegetables here?).

Haha! The best part was just before our meal came at this slightly more upscale place (being clean and having agreeable furnishings) was that I spied a cockroach in the dining area that came out of nowhere. And out of nowhere came a big foot that stomped down on it and basically killed it. Haha! To think that I haven’t seen cockroaches (yet) in not-so-nice restaurants but saw one in a nicer one. The irony. Haha!