Month: September 2011

Strum und Drang

If it’s not already evident from the lack of posts lately, I have left the warm comfort of home for a colder, harsher reality in the city [notably, without internet at home].

Everything shifts here. This city feels schizophrenic, cold, bitter, afraid, and worn. Ambulance sirens replace birdsongs; a brick wall stands in place of the valley, mountains, lake and sky; the quail and deer have retreated to further enclaves, with only the racoons and rats remaining to contest the ravens for scraps.

Dark imagery aside, I am yet again given the task of forging a renewed life here, and must submit. In the meantime, let me get up-to-date with my remaining suburban summer days.


 In the middle of August, after days of incessant sunshine and high temperatures, it rained and hailed and rained some more; so much so that it reminded me of monsoon season in India.

The day began with ideal conditions for drying vegetables to make achar, a type of Indian pickle popular in Singapore.

The rain started to fall slowly against a bright sky.

And gradually grew heavier.

Blanketing the valley.

Damaged hydrangeas at the entrance.

The rain soon died down, and a rainbow appeared (sorry for the poor quality!).

Cooler temperatures by dusk.

Lightning and thunder. Thunder and lightning.

Hot and sunny the next day.

Music: CorneliusDrop




Mahjong is probably the most Chinese thing we do. That, and drinking tea all day. I love it.


I always remember how my grandmother would refrain from mixing the tiles because her shoulder hurt. Maybe the reserved energy helped her win all the time.

View during the game.

After my time in India, this is the best “Indian” dish I’ve had. My mom’s chicken biryani has a wonderful depth of flavor. Topped with fried shallots (a must for my dad) and served with my mom’s achar, two servings are not enough.

We eat on the balcony at dusk.

Music: Billie Holiday It’s like Reaching for the Moon

Another Promenade

From the gardens, we walk to Canada Place, where Vancouverites feel festive. We then make our way across the inlet to Vanier Park, where we sit and await China’s performance in the fireworks competition.

Kids get to have all the fun.

Watching people play dress-up.



Watching man watching people.

Waiting for fireworks.

Sea life.

Nine: twenty.

I’m by myself with others, but I feel alright.

Ben Folds Five – Still Fighting It