Wandering and the Wonder of Random Things

E-bikes are everywhere

One of the best parts of adapting to a new country is the need for wandering. The need to try different roads, ask different people for directions by pointing at words in your phrasebook and trust you are heading in the general direction you are supposed to be going in. So today I built up the confidence to go wandering in search of stamps. An activity which is so banal and easy in Canada but takes all of my travelling skills to accomplish in China. I had forgotten this part of me. The part that is able to navigate the unknown and persistently push until I’ve reached my destination. It is also the part of me that knew how to go on adventures, knew how to follow my instincts, and was open to encountering wonderfully random things. Continue reading


A Frenetic Pace and Hidden Bits of Tranquility

Junk Boats on the West Lake, Huangzhou, China


Huangzhou, China is definitely a mixture of tranquil lakeside resting and a frantic flurry of e-bikes and taxis.  The lake is wonderful as there are older people dancing in couples to traditional sounding music and old guys sitting about cooling themselves with their fans.  Continue reading

Huangzhou, China – Finding my travelling legs again

My room is in the international student’s building at Zhejiang University in Huangzhou. The building is surrounded by trees that are loudly buzzing with the sound of summer cicadas. I’m not a fan of bugs and imagine a cicada dropping into my hair as I pass underneath the trees. I think one made it into my room yesterday because there was a massive bug with antennae in my room that a teaching assistant crushed with her shoe. She is probably a quarter of my size and I was frightened by the bug. Continue reading

Indie Spirit on the Seaport Docks


     On Sunday amidst the tall ships of New York’s South Street Seaport the New York community gathered to listen to a group of underground bands at the free East Village Radio Festival. The festival, which was streaming live on the internet, marked the 5thanniversary of the internet radio station and was MC ed by hip hop legend KRS One. John Oliver of The Daily show also showed up to do his stand up routine. The event was originally scheduled for Saturday but was rained out by Hurricane Hanna and was moved to its Sunday spot.

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Music From Scratch

Published in The Annex Gleaner(Toronto)

     The creaking sound of a old chair, a bang made from hitting a church wall and the jingling of a set of keys are all music makers in the world of contemporary music. The upcoming music workshop, “Music from Scratch”, allows Toronto Youth to explore the possibilities of contemporary music, which mixes a variety of real environmental and instrumental sounds. The workshop also experiments with some modified instruments, like a violin with paper on its strings, and a bow used on cymbals. Participants can also use the clinking of chains and the crinkling of paper bags to make music. Continue reading

Everything Is Illuminated

Published in the Annex Gleaner(Toronto)

     St Mary Magdalene church in little Italy is getting a chance at a second life with the renovations it has undergone since June. The church once dimly lit with boarded up windows is now filled with light and a new vibrancy. This light illuminates impressive works of art dating back to the 1920s such as The Rood Cross which hangs over the main altar. This cross painted by one of the Group of Seven will be lighted and visible from the street with the addition of windows to the front doors. Continue reading