Friday, October 30, 2015

Hiking Ontario: Hamilton Waterfalls & Spencer Gorge Toronto Day Trip

Orgasm for the eyes, yawn-worthy for the thighs


 

Day Trips from Toronto - Homeboy Steve & I's "Staycation"

 

After travelling Thailand's electricity free mountain villages with my old uni friend to erasing our brains on catamaran boat parties of Asia it was time to look homeward for some tantamount level thrills on my annual trip to the patria. It's weird, but I've seen so many of my childhood (and non-expatty) friends become paralyzed by the inertia of routine. You know, when one lives in a place for so long that they lose the sparkle for adventure and discovery simply because they are inured to its existence and availability i.e. death of FOMO for anywhere not typically "exotic"?! It's sad and disappointing for returning expats to see such a paucity of enthusiasm for adventure-- the very stuff that becomes the crack that keeps addict expats away from ever returning to normal. So it was nice to see that Steve (Toronto-based) was still up for Toronto waterfall hike in what he called his 2 days off from consulting a 'staycation'.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

How to stop loathing Parisians: 7 songs to help you make French friends instantly


(Wrote this 5+ years ago, not sure why I never published it, but advance apologies for any anachronistic inaccuracies.)

You either love them or hate them. And justified or not, I know too many of the latter, mainly because they don't speak French but super mainly because French people can be a gelid crew to deeply befriend (and frankly, Parisians can be even worse). I love them (my best friend and roommate, ex amour and lots of friends being of the species), but ask any foreigner who has done a student exchange in France. How many of them had a solid French wolf pack to run with, more than the occasional drink or party invite? Not many, is my humble guess.



Somehow during my own time as a student in Paris, I was lucky to be a part of a super fusion wolf pack of French and Americans (and Canadians, Kiwis, Australians etc). En route to becoming best friends though, there were definitely a lot of awkward moments integrating with a new culture, some romantic faux pas, others between budding friends. But what was integral to every Parisian social