On Saturday night, Vina’s friend Cara organized a nice holiday dinner for the lot of us to attend at Baton Rouge at the CN Tower. It’s nice to have dinner with Vina and Leo and get to know the people in her Toronto circle better. I admire Vina’s pride because while international students often use their Halifax university as a launching pad for bigger cities elsewhere in Canada and never look back, she’s stayed friends and grown her ‘Scotia universities circle of friends. And after spending time with three groups of friends last week, it strikes me how the dynamic can be so different yet again with another group.
One of the most riotous anecdote-swapping conversations came when we all talked about driving in Toronto. They were fine driving “back home” and the slower pace in Halifax was also manageable. The highways and outskirts in Toronto are okay, too, but it’s a whole other story in the city, especially downtown. I felt better knowing that it wasn’t just me who felt like I wanted to burst into tears and abandon the car, having it being more an inconvenience than asset. Vina busted out the anecdote about that night after going out when I was persuaded to drive Leo’s car and we were cluelessly driving around looking for gas… and I just kind of rolled through a red light! Then, like true girls, we shared recommendations for Red Velvet products we had tried including Timothy’s Red Velvet Lattebene, President’s Choice Red Velvet Cake Ice Cream, President’s Choice Red Velvet Cake Mix, red velvet cupcakes, and President’s Choice Red Velvet Cheesecake. I hold everything to the gold standard of (the most divine) Cheesecake Factory Red Velvet Cheesecake and nothing so far as come close….
Ahead of our family dinner last night, I reviewed this video, 25 Ways to Wear a Scarf in 4.5 Minutes!, to find a fresh way to wear my long “pashmina” scarf and settled on #15 Magic Trick.
Our dinner at Fisherman’s Villa in Scarborough was in honour of an aunt visiting from Hong Kong and was small (just 10 of us) so we were all at one round table. Still, the “children” sat altogether while from my vantage, the older generation sat across from us as one wall. It could have been the presence of the aunt, whom we infrequently see, but the adults spent the entire dinner talking about the past, arguing about their family’s timeline, which years the parents and various seven siblings migrated back and forth between China, Hong Kong, and Canada due to war and economic distress. Then, while we cousins were talking, I started to notice that the adults were mentioning me and staring and I looked up. My scarf configuration had caught their attention and they tried at length to figure it out until my (retired) nuclear physicist PhD-holding uncle attempted to reverse engineer the knot with his own black fleece scarf. I was happy to share. :)
******** This is a blog series complementing my regular blog posts with the original idea was to share our parallel lives, NPY’s and mine, while I’m in Toronto and he’s in Vancouver, 3,400 km away. For me, it’s been pretty fun because I’m this long-time blogger and enjoy repackaging parts of my life in “blog bites”. It’s been more difficult for NPY who hasn’t experienced a change in scenery (although I do not think it is necessary) so I’ll be continuing this with just my photos. I might have something every day. I might not.