Thursday, April 30, 2009

Second Day On The Road

So we went to our Faculty today. Got our IDs for both the Uni and also our Fact. Guess what? They call our lab - the playground. Yes, that's what they call it here. Then we went to Scotia bank to try and open an account. Boy that's another experience. It seems things here are pretty much more laid back. There's no queue numbering and also we need to book an appointment to open an account. So, we'll be coming in again tomorrow morning.

Then we also went to the 2 major phone and internet operators here Rogers/Eastlink and Bell Aliant. Can you believe it, 5Mb internet is a normal connection over here. 15 Mb is already high speed. The later roughly cost CND66 including tax and the former CND55.

As we were walking back from Sobey's, for the first, we saw clouds here in Halifax. Unlike Malaysia which is pretty much cloudy everyday, here, seeing cloud is a rare moment (see pic above).

And here is Wellington St. The street that our place is at.

And that is Peter Green Hall from the outside.
So tomorrow, we're off to the bank - and hope we could get our account up soonest and then its off to getting a phone and hopefully interent. I am really keen on getting Rogers/Eastlink. Hmm... will wait and see how it goes.

Oh yea, the day seems longer here. 8.45 pm and there's still sunlight. Total darkness comes only around 9 pm. And day light comes at 6 am. So this means longer day, shorter night... As for the weather, it is better than yesterday and little more bearable - roughly 15 - 17 degrees unlike yesterday when it could be sometimes 6-7 degrees. And the wind so strong that one old lady fell down when we were at Bayers Lake Business Park. Anyhow, more to come... Till then...

Our First Few Days In Halifax

How are we? Surviving I guess :)
12 hrs of sleep non-stop... But not before a long grueling hunt for a bed... Its not CHEAP here...

So we eventually decided to rough it out - with camping gears... Got some photos of our trip to hunt for essentials before our long hibernation. Here goes

While waiting for bus home @ Lakewood terminal

Observing the cars passing by...

Our kitchen... Its OK... Love the stove though... Everything is GE.

Bought a Black & Decker electric boiler for a BARGAIN - CND 30 Only from trusty Wallmart and while we are that, also bought stuffs from Canadian's equivalent of Wal Mart, Zellers...

Yes, evidence of our act of shopping at WalMart @ Bayer's Lake Business Park

Camping in our bedroom... When you're tired, anything goes...

The view from our apartment... The sky is BLUE and very clear...

Another view, what you can see here is the hospital.

Cheers, will keep posting more when time permits... Now its off to doing some more shopping :P

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Of Airports and Wifi

My final assessment on airport is the bigger they are, the snootier... Both Narita and JFK does not provide free WIFI. Unlike KLIA and Halifax's Standfield International Aiport. Anyway, we will be making a move from the airport and wont have access to Internet anytime soon.


Yes, we've been nesting at Tim Hortons (or fondly known as Timmy's to Canadians) while waiting it out at Halifax Airport...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Eagle Has Landed

Yes, we've finally gone to Canada (gone2canada)...

Here's our almost 1 day journey in a nutshell...

Changi, Singapore to Tokyo, Japan ~ 7 hrs
(if you thought the 1st Leg was BAD, the 2nd was worst!!!)
Tokyo, Japan to New York, USA ~ a GRUELING 13 hrs
New York, USA to Halifax, Canada ~ 2 hrs

Here's some photos to go along with it....

The trusty interactive TV control available in JAL (code sharing with AA). Sure beats the hell out of reading a book...

The wine that's definitely a must on very LONG hauls... (not sure if MAS would serve this)... Yes we did take on the first 2 legs. Both red wine and white wine. Mine you, when you're dry, any form of liquid goes!!!!

Arriving at Narita Airport, Tokyo, Japan

The magnificent view of the mountain ranges of Yukon Territory / Alaska (and probably passed by Quebec's ranges too).... Just miles and miles of white colored land below.

Arrival at New York's JFK airport

Another pic of the inside.

And departure to Halifax from JFK airport on American Eagle.

Didn't take much of the landing @ Halifax airport though as we were really tired then. Plus, we didn't have the luxury of walking through the connector. We had to use the airplane stairs. And for the first time, like Neil Armstrong landing on the moon, we knew how HARSH Halifax weather could be.... Even 18 degree's Celsius, it was mighty chilly - even for the few seconds on the ground before we headed for shelter... (Heck, who knows what else is in store for us)...

Residing @ the Airport for the night till morning @ Tim Horton's Cafe. Besides the Caucasians amongst us 2 foreign looking Asians, we had the birds as companion... Interestingly, the birds have their own nest built into the trees which right at the center of the Airport - How bout that!!! :)

Anyway, all in all -- The Eagle Has Landed and We're Ready To Spread Our Wings....

Good night, Good day, Good evening everybody, where ever you may be.

Before Leaving... Last Days In ASIA

Here are some of the pictures of our last days in Asia.

Ate at a famous Chinese restaurant, Pui Tee (not sure I got it right)

Went to East Coast

Cycled there...

Played with nephew there...

Checked into Changi Chalet...

Went to Tampines Mall

Enjoying the concrete view.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

T - 3 Days And Counting (In Singapore)

So, we're down in Singapore, spending time with my wife's side of the family. Its another 3 more days before we fly from Changi Airport.

While in Singapore,

we walk,

and walked.

took the buses,

and the trains.

We visited Orchard (a must), although it was HOT, HOT, HOT...

, savored juicy and succulent pizza

and visited Orchard again.

Ate at a Korean restaurant.

went to KTM to send off a relative.

visited China Town.

and some of it's temples...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Last days in KL

Yes... the clock is ticking ever louder... our last days in Malaysia is coming. Malacca here we come...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Lonely Planet's Nova Scotia, New Brunswick & PEI

Preview this book I know I know... Not too long ago I was giving good comments about the travel guide book Fodor's for Canada. But after a little bit more research, I kinda noticed that Frommer's was also not that bad. But I take it back for Lonely Planet because their book specifically on the Maritime Provinces is better than just for Canada in general. So I actually bought it... And right now I am having a good read. Hopefully I don't finish reading it yet so that I could do so while on my long haul flight ;)


Since the months got reduced to weeks and weeks down to days, there has been more emotions that we've experienced all together in just this 6 months compared the whole of the pass 3 years before.

For me, its almost as though we know the date we are going to pass away. Some may call it a taboo but I see it as an opportunity to learn the art of letting go. It ain't easy but it is what it is a lesson in life and in practice. Everything I thought was mine and touch suddenly becomes meaningless. I know, for sure, that I won't be able to bring across and yet, when I was touching it, I felt an attachment. So I was mindful enough to tell myself, this is impermanent. 

I guess we'll the light at the end of the tunnel upon landing @ Halifax Airport :)
Wish us a good rebirth, wish us a safe journey.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Things To Accomplish While In Canada

To quell my fears of moving SOOO freaking far away for SOOOO freaking long time for the first in my life, I'm listing down a list of things I look forward to accomplish apart from work and my studies...

  1. Get an extra scholarship
  2. Walk Cabot's Trail and while at it, visit, Gampo's Abbey (an article from BuddhistTV news), and perhaps come back again occasionally to do our meditation retreat there.
  3. Visit Peggy's Cove
  4. Kayaking at Cape Chignecto
  5. Of course occasional jogging sessions round Pleasant Point Park during Spring, Summer and Fall
  6. Write a couple of articles to some Tech site like developerWorks - got some ideas up my sleeves already.
  7. Continue blogging... Having though whether to maintain 'goin2canada', once we're there or change it to something like 'alreadyincanada' / 'hereincanada' / 'stayingincanada' / 'gone2canada'... hehehe... I accept suggestions...
  8. Visit PEI and while at it the longest bridge in Canada, Confederation Bridge, and also Green Gables (the place that inspired the story of Anne of Green Gables).
  9. Visit the Big Brother, United States of America, since we also got our US Visa. Probably by boat from Yarmouth and while at it visit the magnificant coast lines of Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia side.
  10. Camping at Kejimkujik National Park
Obviously there's so much more that can be done and definitely could be added to the list from time to time... Of course, if you have any better ideas on what to do, do drop a comment... :)

Picking Up A Travel Book For Canada

Was in MPH bookstore MidValley yesterday (Sat) and so I took the opportunity to go through some of the travel books on Canada and particularly for Maritime provinces - Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island (PEI) and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Of all the publishers, like Lonely Planet, Fodor, Michellin, DK, and Frommer's, I found Fodor's to be the one I like best. It gives a good overview of the place you are going to visit, plus offers tips and advice worth to remember. It also gives you tips as to how to about your way around the various towns using whatever mode of public transportation, from cabbies to busses and ferries. It list the price down and which bus number for which location. It also gives you an idea of how long it takes to get to one destinate using either foot or by bus etc. It is really quite a guide.

All in all, based on my quite scan, a better companion compared to the likes of heavy weight, Lonely Planet. If you're looking for a travel guide book, I totally recommend Fodor's. Infact, I'm going to purchase it very soon. It would be particularly useful for both me and my wife for our 4 years stint in Nova Scotia.


Blogging from email...

I know, I've heard this before - blogging from email. It seems to be more convenient, although I never really had a need for it.

But now that I've just enabled this option, and giving a trial run, I hope that I'll be able to update this blog of ours via any wifi hotspots, whenever I have no access to my laptop.

This is especially useful when we're on our trip to Halifax, which in just about 1 weeks time...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Garage Sale Is Hereby CLOSED

All About Moving Out & Being Homeless

As you may have known, we're going to Canada and that's not a new story by now. Our journey begin last year when we had this opportunity ringing at our front door (a figure of speech). So, we answered the call and to our surprise we are now on our way to Canada by end of this month.

However, the journey was not without its ups and downs. "Downs" especially, for the story today is the story of us having to move out from our beloved home - one which we have throughout 2007 and 2008 build together and lived together, and thus have a very strong connection or bond (if you will) with. Although very high up in the sky and a mere 925 sq ft, the tiny fortress was our beloved abode which will always have a place in our hearts.

Although the bulk of moving things out did not start until March itself, we were lucky to have started moving some of our things way earlier in Jan and Feb to avoid having a mountain of things to shift out. We also engaged in a online garage sale to speed things up and to avoid having to move them out by ourselves. It was pretty alright and we managed to sell a few big and also small stuff.

Eventually, our home got messier as things starts to be sorted and filtered (as you can see below from the result of our moving out efforts to our second room).

But as the weeks gets shorter, and before long we have only but days left. Even then we managed to get hold of sometime and enjoy our very last cake-making efforts...

And also enjoy, the wonders of our "Zanussi" oven.

Thought it may not be BreadTalk standard, it was alright!

The important thing was, we had a good time and ensured that our breakfast was covered for the next few days...

What both of us will also miss were the view that we enjoyed from up above. Take a look at some of these shots (it ain't exactly quality pics but then again whaddaya expect from a Lumix amateur type camera)

KLCC view

KLCC View as the sun sets

Former working place (Nope, wasn't with KPMG!)

View of the river and small waterfall from our balcony

As we packed our bags to fill up our car boot,

we prepared ourselves to say our final goodbye before handing the keys over to our new tenants. We pray,

that they too will take good care of our home as much as we did for it has after all taken good care of us for almost 2 years... yes indeed, 2 unforgettable years.