It’s been a hectic day, and by day I mean the entire period of time since last waking up in an actual bed. It must have been about 30 hours ago now! Where do I even start?
So in Hong Kong early morning of the 20th. I ran into a bit of trouble with my flight e-ticket, and for a while I was worried I might not even be on a plane home. But God solved all my problems, and once I got past that, everything else was smooth sailing. Watched two movies over the two flights: August: Osage County, and Wolf of Wall Street. Neither impressed me. The rest of the time was spent either eating, sleeping, or trying to get to sleep. I actually got a solid 4 hours of sleep from Narita to Vancouver, which doesn’t sound like much, but that’s already impressive for me. Trust me, the alcohol helps.
Being in Narita one last time before who knows when brought back so many memories. My trip to Osaka was already half a year ago, which isn’t a long time but isn’t short either. As I sat at the airport to wait out my layover, I had so many thoughts running through my head. You know, an exchange opportunity really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The next time I go to Japan, if it does happen, I definitely will not be staying at a student dormitory with so many chances to 撞板 and not get punished too severely for it. There’s just so much appreciation and gratitude for everyone that made that trip possible, and the #1 person is of course our Daddy God up above!
I had the pleasure of experiencing a Boeing Dreamliner 787 for the first time in my life, for the flight from Narita to Vancouver. It really is a beautiful plane! You can imagine my eyes glowing with admiration for this steel flying beast. As a passenger, of course you notice the inside first. There’s a bit more room for everyone and the systems are all immaculate. There’s tons of headroom as well. But the most noticeable difference is the windows, which don’t have pull-down flaps, but a digital button for you to adjust the tint. It means you can never fully blackout the window, but on the whole it’s a lot more aesthetically pleasing. Then of course, there’s also the aerodynamics of the plane that are improved, but the passengers never really get to see that part. It’s obviously not visible by eye, but I still kept staring out at the wing the entire ride!
And finally, after 3.5 + 9 hours of flying, I am back in the city I grew up to love over the past 20 years or so. The last time I set foot here was 9 months ago. That’s hard to imagine!
First things first: I had to get a taste of home, literally.
After being in Hong Kong for so long, you realize what they mean when they say the air in Vancouver tastes sweet. It’s a lot more free from pollution than all that nasty air in Hong Kong, and there is a huge difference when you inhale. One thing I didn’t anticipate, however, was the weather to be so cold. It’s March, which means rainy spring season for this city. Who knew I’d get a freezing clear and bright sunny day? I’m not complaining though – it’s beautiful out.
Vancouver has changed a lot since my last visit. My friends laugh at me when I say this, but they don’t notice the gradual changes that take place. There are new apartment buildings all over the place. Tons of trees have been cleared here and there to make way for more retail stores. Existing land has also been re-zoned to encourage more consumerism. I’ve been keeping up with the city news on Vancity Buzz, but it’s not until you actually see it for yourself that you understand. They’re really pushing Vancouver to be an elite upper class city, with the same tier of brand names as other world cities. Of course, this plan won’t be complete for at least another 10 years, but you can see where this city is heading in the next little while.
My trip here is short, but I’m happy to be back nonetheless. Hopefully I’ll still have time to update this blog throughout my stay!