toronto

Back on Track

For a while now, I have lost track of aspiration for my future self. I thought I had a pretty good idea; finish school, apply for jobs, hope that I get one, and start off with a minimum wage engineering salary. Anyone with half a brain can come up with this plan, but what was missing was my drive for specific things I want out of my life in the next few years.

TravelI am three weeks into my vacation in Hong Kong now, half way through till I return back to Canada, to my regular life. I have learned so much of myself in this short period time than I have than I have in the last few months. My life felt pretty stale this past school year, and this trip was exactly what I needed to renew myself.

Being in a city where I come in contact with as much travellers as there are locals, it opened my eyes to how easy it is for someone to pick up their lives and go to a completely foreign country to either fulfill their vacation time, or to root themselves there to start a new life as an expat and work. I’m so curious when talking to visible minorities here in Hong Kong about the process of placing themselves in a country where it is so culturally, geographically, and linguistically different. I wonder if I would be able to do as they do, and flourish and be fully as happy as I would in the comfort of my home country. It has also got me thinking about where I would be willing to apply for jobs this upcoming year for after I graduate. I’ve always set my eyes on finding any job I can find in Toronto; my plan was that I want to spend my first year out of school in Toronto with or without an engineering job. I know how naive this plan sounds, wanting to move to such an expensive city with no plan only to fulfill my wannabe Torontonian dream. After a year in there, and if I still can’t find a job in the engineering I would look else where, my only destination choices being Vancouver or Hong Kong. I am finally realizing I am too closed minded by limiting myself to these two destination JUST because I’ve been to them both, enjoyed them and feel that I can easily get adapted. I’m going to be in my early 20’s when I graduate, and this is the prime time to take advantage of my youth and independence to work abroad in a strange city. I never felt I was someone that would be grounded in one location for the rest of my life, I use to have such a desire to travel but somehow that got lost in the stress of the time and money I thought I didn’t have.

BrainsAnother contribution to my newly found drive is seeing and meeting so many young professionals. Every single person wants to be successful while they’re still young. That is the time where one is the most beautiful, energetic, and feels like the world is their oyster. Other than the fact that I realized that I myself is attracted to professionals; someone that has their shit together and is supporting their happy life, I myself want to be that as well. My parents always told me to find a rich and intelligent husband, this comment has never irked me till recently. Why would I want to rely my happiness on my partner’s wealth? I want to be able to provide the same happiness myself. I’m constantly finding people I admire, and by doing so I myself want to acquire attributes of these people in myself. I want so much in my life by the time I reach 30, be it a nice comfortable condo, to being well travelled, being able to hold up my own, or just be able to not have to worry about price tags. Until now, I didn’t realize how hard I’m going to have to work in my last year of my engineering degree starting this Fall and after just to be any where close to my dreams for the next few years. I’m finally at a point in my schooling where I’m on track, where I don’t have to worry about failing and staying back another year (all not without working my butt off this past year) I’m so close that my Convocation and Iron Ring is all I can see right now.

I’ve been so nervous about finishing school and the uncertainty of my career that I’ve been putting off really thinking about where I want to be when I’m all done. I feel as though I was too passive, where I’m just going to accept whatever life was going to pass down to me. This trip so far has been a positive impact on me, and I’m interested to see what else will come up by the end of my trip.

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My first Chinese Wedding

This past Saturday, I attended a Chinese wedding of a family friend’s. I have never been to an Asian wedding before let alone a regular wedding. My mother couldn’t attend, so it was me and my brother who went to show face for my mum’s friend.

We were nervous of what to expect when we arrived. There was about 80 or so people, 90% of the people attended were Asian; friends and family of the bride’s side. The rest were of the groom’s white side of the family. When we first sat down at our table, there were 3 old ladies at our table. We chatted a bit about how we both know the bride, and then one of the lady’s daughter arrived with her fiancee. They were younger, in their late 20s/early 30s. To our surprise, the fiancee was from me and my brother’s home town. This ice breaker made socializing between the table a lot smoother.

There was a MC for the wedding. He was able to translate everything he said from English to Cantonese to Mandarin. He was a young, stylish Asian guy. Oh and his name was Tyrone. Me, my brother, and our newly made hometown friend chuckled to ourselves when we heard his name. After he welcomed us to the event, he brought our attention to the dramatic entrance to the main wedding party as they entered the dining hall to their table.

Food was served at 7:30PM, and our first course was Siu Yuk.

Siu Yuk: Roasted whole pig with flashing hearts as eyes.

I have not had Siu Yuk in years since I left home to go to school. The student life style just doesn’t have time and money for food like this. The skin was so crispy and the meat was perfectly tender, an amazing course to start off the night.

Next was a cute deep friend shrimp stuffed crab claw.

Deep fried shrimp stuffed crab claw

This was then followed with a Scallop and Sea cucumber with Snow Peas.

Seafood with Snowpeas

At first I was thought the sea cucumber was actually squid because it was followed up and all, but the texture was much softer and more delicate. I loved it and then someone told me it was actually sea cucumber. I avoided the snow peas, I never liked them growing up, I’m not about to start liking them now.

Shit got real once the Shark Fin Soup arrived.

Shark Fin Soup

I have not had shark fin soup in years. I know it’s more of a delicacy dish but I would give it a 6/10. None the less, it was great to say I had shark fin soup last weekend.

To keep with the underwaterj/delicacy trend, the next dish was Abalon, mushroom and Veggies.

Abalon, Mushroom, and Choy Sum

At this point was starting to get full, especially since I have been going for seconds on some of the previous dishes.

Roasted duck was next on the menu.

Roasted duck

Next was some delicious fish I didn’t know the name of.

Miscellaneous fish

Also, as you can see by the hand in the picture, we had a waiter that brought new dishes for everyone for each course and would load each plate for us every time. I felt like royalty.

We’re nearing the end now. But no dinner is complete without some lobster.

Lobster

Finally to tie us down for the rest of the night, they brought us some rice and noodles; for those of us that are still hungry.

Rice & Noodles

The rest of the night besides food was great. We got to hear speeches from parents of both sides of the family. It was so beautiful seeing them so happy to see their lovely children finding someone to love and be with forever. I almost cried of course. Lots of toasting and clapping followed.

The MC made the night very interesting. He got the bride and groom to do lots of fun activities that allowed us to capture some pretty cute pictures. Got games happening with the bridesmaids and groomsmen.

Eventually ‘Single ladies’ came on where they asked all the single ladies to stand up and head to the floor. First thought was that I felt embarrassed that my whole table was making me go up. This was a small wedding, and there was about 12 of us. Half of the girls up there was under 20. I was also slightly uncomfortable going up by myself not knowing anyone. Later I started having small talk with the girl beside me, of whom I think is around 16 since she still had a full mouth of braces. Great I’m at the same relationship level as a teenager. After putting all this petty thoughts a side, I got into the groove of things and smiled for photos. I did not get the bouquet. Funny thing was it seemed like a lot of the girls didn’t really want it either. When the bouquet first landed, the original girl kinda volleyed it over to the next girl’s hands. I don’t think I wanted to catch it, I am no wear close to settling down seeing as how my current loveless life is going.

The MC signed out around 10PM and then it was a free for all to take pictures with the happy couple and their family. Me and my brother eventually pushed our way through to get a photo, one last one for our mother.

After the picture, me and my brother decided to leave and head to downtown Toronto and galivant for a few hours.

Upon arrival, we saw several groups of people in banana costumes converging and wandering off. Great start to my night. I love how even at 11:30PM the city is buzzing and can still keep my entertained. We went from Dundas Square to a FanExpo party happening at the Fairmont to the bottom of the CN Tower.

Processed with Moldi

We finally made it back to where we were staying at around 1:30AM, called it a great night, and went to bed.