Well today is our last day in Canada, tomorrow we get back on a plane and return to China. This trip is just what Winnie and I need. We’ve had a lot of fun together visiting Niagara Falls, my aunt’s farm and the CN Tower.
Last night we also went out to one of China’s larger Chinatowns in Markham and had a big banquet dinner with a friend of Winnie’s uncle. It was great to introduce my parents to a Chinese banquet and for Winnie to see people from home. We’re looking to move back to Canada in a year or two and Markham is one of the areas that we’re looking at settling because of its large Chinatown. So showing Winnie the area was one of my goals for the trip.
But one of the things that I really got out of all this traveling around was a chance for me to reevaluate how I viewed Canada. I really was feed up with this country when I left five years ago and the last couple times I came back I really didn’t really leave the area around my home, so I wasn’t able to evaluate the country and whether it had changed for the better. This time I was able to do that. I’ve fallen in love with CBC Radio again. I’ve always listened to it even when I’ve been in China, but being back here this time has made me appreciate it even more.
What I really appreciate about the CBC though is its efforts to promote Canadian indie music through its digital/online station CBC Radio 3. I’m now subscribed to its Radio 3 superfeed which has every single podcast/program that the station offers and purchased Wolf Parade’s At Mount Zoomer and Forest City Lover’s Haunting Moon Sinking because of their programs. Both albums are really good.
I’ve also been doing some serious reading again. I finished Chinese novelist Mo Yan’s Life and Death are Wearing Me Out and am now devouring Douglas Coupland’s The Gum Thief. The two novels are different in terms of scope, but I really do enjoy Gum Thief more than Life and Death. It just deals with things that I can relate to more — the ideas of not really knowing where you’re going in life and trying to make something out of that life — than Mo Yan’s ideas on reincarnation mixed with Chinese history.
There is something about Coupland’s novel that is just very Canadian and I’m not just saying that because Coupland is Canadian and his book is set in Vancouver and its suburbs. The small scope, small cast of characters and short chapters and less than 300-page length just parallel Canada’s small population. That’s going out on a limb, but if you’re Canadian and you read the novel I think you’ll agree with me.
I’d better bring this post to an end as there’s a bit still to be done. Winnie is making her famous chicken wings and a thank you to my parents and one of my friends is coming over to enjoy the dinner with us. Then there will be packing so that we can enjoy our last morning with our parents before jumping on the plane for our 14-hour ride back to Shanghai.
Write more soon.