A soft puff of air
Cold as light with the warmest sigh.
It’s been snowing a lot lately…
A soft puff of air
Cold as light with the warmest sigh.
It’s been snowing a lot lately…
Where do you wander? Where do you prowl?
When everyone is against you
You look back at me with those eyes that have seen the world.
How do you survive?
Our last day in Zurich, we decided to actually go hiking this time. We went on a short hike up a local mountain, and were rewarded with a spectacular view of the city and the far mountains. It really is beautiful.
We also met up with a friend I’ve known since elementary school who happened to have moved to Switzerland recently. It was really nice to catch up, since I hadn’t seen her since I graduated high school.
We took our time hiking, since my sister had previously managed to pull a muscle, but it was nice not to be in a rush. It was a popular trail, and the locals also used it for jogging. Definitely felt a lot like home.
Afterwards we decided to go into the city to do a little bit of shopping. And of course, since we were in Switzerland, we had to go get some Swiss army knives! And kitchen knives. Because it was about time we upgraded from cheap Costco knives to proper knives that cut rather than squish tomatoes (no more sad salads).
The store was quite big, and had very impressive displays. I decided to get a cute little Swiss army knife to put on my keychain, and Ryan decided to get the actual Swiss army knife. A little bit of his and hers, I suppose.
We also got some delicious Sprungli chocolate. The white chocolate was my favourite. It wasn’t overly sweet, as most white chocolate is. And it had a hint of a grassy taste from the type of cows they use. I should have bought more than one bar. It’s not cheap, but well worth it.
Then we had to say goodbye to my friend as she headed home and we wandered back to my sister’s apartment to get ready for dinner. We went to her friend’s place for a barbecue dinner which consisted of lots of meat, bread, and delicious homemade garlic butter. Also two salads and tons of ice cream. (We tried to make oreo milkshakes but ended up with a kind of soft serve. Wasn’t complaining.)
It was a wonderful day to be out and about, and a great way to end the trip. A week was way too short, but I’m glad that we went. Seeing family is always worth it.
Now that I’m home, I definitely miss Europe, and I miss the family I have there. But it’s also nice to be back in my own place, still surrounded by family and loved ones. It’s quite incredible, to be able to have important people in so many different places. There are so many trips to be had. So many places to see, and never enough time.
Until next time, Europe.
On our second day in Zurich we had big plans to go hiking, but instead we ended up lazing around the apartment all day and relaxing. It was nice to have a day where we did not need to do much at all.
In the evening we decided to go out for a delicious pizza dinner. According to my sister, you have to reserve ahead of time, otherwise it’s nearly impossible to get a table.
It’s also a lot more expensive to eat out in Zurich than it is in Vancouver. If you’re planning on visiting Switzerland, make sure you have a decent amount to spend on lodging, transportation, and food!
It was delicious pizza – some of the best I’ve had. Well worth the money.
It was also warm and sunny, so we were able to sit outside and enjoy the weather.
Afterwards we decided to walk to the lake with some ice cream. Zurich, apparently, has the worst ice cream in Switzerland. Still tasted pretty good to me, though.
It was really nice to see public chairs available for people to relax with friends or on their own in the big plaza. There was a beautiful view of the sunset and lots of space for everyone.
The sky in Zurich was filled with jet streams from planes. It created some beautiful artwork in the sky.
We listened to a very talented violinist who was busking nearby, and then slowly meandered home. A wonderful and relaxing day to recuperate from the busy days we’d been having.
Photos, and even words, cannot do justice to the beauty and power of nature. But I’ll try anyway.
We arrived in Zurich Thursday morning and dropped our luggage off at my sister’s apartment. We also took a bit of time to rest and recharge. Taco salad was on the menu, and home-cooked food while traveling is always extremely welcome. I am blessed with sensitive digestion, so the simpler the food the better.
It was a hot day in the sun. Both Germany and Switzerland seemed to be warmer than Vancouver. I wasn’t going to complain, though. Much prefer it to a rainy vacation.
After eating and resting for a while, we decided to go to the Rheinfall. These are incredible waterfalls right next to a castle on the hill. It was about an hour train ride from the city, so we got to see gorgeous countryside go by along the way. (Also wasn’t complaining about the air conditioned coolness in the train.)
We decided not to go to the castle, since there was a tour group of schoolkids, and it looked incredibly busy. We were all a little bit tired, and did not feel like dealing with large groups of people.
Luckily, since it was a weekday, the waterfalls were not half as busy as they would have been on the weekend. We took a boat across the river to get a view from all sides.
It had been raining a lot, so the waterfall was rushing and strong, roaring at full strength. The sound could drown out all else, and the sight could hold me, mesmerized, all day.
Once we had taken in our fill, we considered walking to a nearby town for delicious ice cream (apparently the ice cream in Zurich is mostly sub-par, according to my sister), but it was so hot, and already getting on in the day, that we decided to forego the 50 minute walk and to go home and go for dinner at Tibits, a healthy salad buffet. It ended up being delicious, and I highly recommend it. We also got Ovaltine ice cream bars, which brought back my nostalgia in full swing, since Ovaltine was a very common dessert drink when I was young.
And after such a long day it was nice to get back to my sister’s apartment and just relax. Though it was not as private as a hotel room would have been, it felt much more like home.
My grandmother lives in a small town call Bergedorf. It’s just outside of Hamburg, so it’s easy to travel to and from the city centre.
I have been there many times, so I have my familiar places, restaurants, and shops that I regularly like to visit.
My grandmother, of course, always likes to take us for steak. She was horrified when I contemplated getting a burger. (We are at a steakhouse! You must get a steak!) And one does not simply refuse her. She is very stubborn. In the end I did not regret getting steak.
Sitting outside in the pedestrian-only area of Bergedorf is always a treat. The buildings are gorgeous, and it is full of the murmurings of people.
There is a level of detail in the architecture that we do not get here in Vancouver. The intricate railings, the carved decor, the tower-like roof points.
It’s very suburban in Bergedorf, but it’s comfortable. There are many open plazas where people sit and drink coffee and eat ice cream (eis). On Tuesday we sat with my cousin well into the evening, eating eis and drinking Hugo – a wine cocktail that she insisted we try (she could not fathom how we had never heard of it before).
You don’t see too many people rushing around with coffee in their hands. Here they sit and take their time sipping. There was a Starbucks in Bergedorf at one point, but after the initial hype fell away, so too did its popularity. Compared to the incredible bakeries and cafes, it fell short.
There are so many bakeries and cafes, in fact, that I sometimes wonder how they all stay in business. On every block there are multiple bakeries. Every train station has at least one. And they’re always bustling.
And during the summer everyone eats a lot of ice cream. Like, a lot. Which is fair, considering it’s delicious.
Bergedorf also has its own little castle. Everyone is, of course, very proud of it. First used in the 1500s, it remains today, now a museum and cafe.
Small as it is, this city will always have a special place in my heart. Spending weeks here during the summer was a huge part of my childhood. And I think this town will always remain important to me.
One of the nice things about having family that lives far away is that it provides excellent reasons to travel.
It’s always such a treat to be able to visit my family in Germany. It’s tough not being able to see them very often, but it’s always so special when I do.
And while I don’t tend to visit very many tourist attractions, I get to live and soak in the culture. I get to establish memories and remember where I used to love buying chocolates, or go walking with my grandmother, or where I went for a boat ride when I was younger. A world away from home, but in a way, still home. A part of my history that has made me who I am today.
While I have been to Germany a fair number of times, and while often my travels take me to the same places to see family, this trip I am also visiting Switzerland for the first time!
It’s about time I visited my sister, who has been studying here. It’s a short trip, but a fantastic one, and one that will, for sure, inspire more posts!
I love bold patterns. I often opt for solid colours out of safety, but once in a while there’s something too incredible for me to pass over.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s clothing or decor. Sometimes something more is needed to create a stronger contrast, and a more daring image.
Too much, of course, is overpowering and overly busy. The eye cannot settle and everything clashes.
I love a balance. Which is, ultimately, a philosophy I try and follow in most aspects of my life.
The perfect touch in the bedroom. A bright splash of colour that’s not too distracting.
How do you incorporate patterns into your every day life?
No waste, no waste. Every breath counts.
Inhale exhale inhale.
No waste, can’t waste. Don’t let it burn up unused. It’s such a luxury.
A few minutes and then it’s gone. A few moments of warmth in the lungs. A few moments of warmth against the cold of the world.
What a waste. I’ll miss it when it’s gone.
Life has definitely taken a turn for the busier. Between settling into a new job (which I absolutely love), wedding planning, and trying to make it out to the island as often as possible to help out with renovations, my writing has been slightly neglected.
So while I do have a few posts drafted, I haven’t been posting nearly as much as I want to.
I did, however, want to do a very short post about my new discovery: Washi Tape!
It’s nothing new to many people, but it’s something I had never even heard of before. It’s a papery tape that’s slightly translucent and can be used for decorating and labelling. It’s so versatile and incredibly fun! Since I started working at my new job, I’ve been extremely inspired to be as creative as possible.
So I decided to try using washi tape to decorate my wedding invites, and I really love the results! I’ll definitely be using it a lot in the future.
And sometimes I think that I can understand, just a little, the longing sailors feel when separated from the ocean.
I grew up next to the sea.
I know the sound of waves, of gulls, of water slapping the side of boats.
I grew up watching the sea.
To be inland, I feel a sense of loss. As if a vital part of me is missing. That sense of endlessness has disappeared.
Every year I find myself wanting to do less and less for my birthday. Yesterday I went to work, and then to celebrate, I went to a pub with just a couple friends.
It was small, intimate, and perfect.
I do feel incredibly lucky, though, to work at a place where my employers show that they value their employees.
For each employee’s birthday they will buy them a bouquet of flowers.
For me they chose yellow, since I’m a summer baby, and red for my Chinese heritage. It was thoughtful, and generous, and such a nice touch.
I’m not sure why I did not feel the need for a great bit celebration – I certainly used to enjoy them. And I know I’m not the only one who now prefers smaller parties.
What about you? How do you enjoy celebrating your birthday? Have your celebrations changed over the years?
It’s a day where all you do is sit in the window and watch the wind blow through the trees.
Where the rustling is accompanied by your music.
Where your cat curls up on your lap and sleeps the hours away.
Where you can look over at your partner and share a smile that conveys all your love.
Where the sun grows golden among the green of the trees.
Where perhaps you read, or sketch, or write.
Where all the words you speak are soft in nature and in tone.
Where there is tea that steams in warm cups.
Where the day passes gently, busy outside, but calm in the bubble of your window.
Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.
“Whatever it takes,” he nodded to himself. “Can’t be weighed down with concerns about others. Won’t get anywhere like that.” His eyes strayed to the golden shimmer that was splayed next to the red counter. It was a number larger than anyone had ever had. But not enough. It was never enough. He always needed more. Because stopping meant losing. Stopping meant someone would catch up.
There was a chime. The number flickered. Six billion nine hundred million ninety-nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine. His smile widened. The golden number ticked upwards. He glanced back at the red numbers. He had done it. No one would ever be as rich as he was. He was the ultimate. He had everything. The freedom to do whatever he wanted, the power to control the world.
Almost. The numbers leered. There was more. There was still more he could do. His movements stilled. He stared at the golden numbers that beamed his pride and obsession. Almost.
A small excerpt of a flash fiction I am working on. Exploring the depths of greed.
I could feel time in her skin.
It was soft and dry and thin like the skeleton of a leaf half decayed.
It told me of days and months and years that had all passed. It told me that more had passed than would come.
It told me to hold her close and treasure her.