Thursday, 28 March 2013

Who let the blog out?

This is winter?
How is it possible that one-month has come and gone since we landed with a thud in Canada? How is it possible that 30 days have flown by so quickly and I haven't pressed a key, except to hook up utilities, bid on auctions and comb the web for the best places to buy pomegranates and track migrating orcas?  Not one single key stroked on our travels, explaining where we alighted on our latest adventure. I guess life got in the way. 

When you disembark in a new country, and yes, even though I am a Canadian, it feels like unfamiliar territory, there is an adjustment period and that is what I am doing. Adjusting my pompousness that I am not stuck in six feet of snow in Saskatchewan or sweltering through another soggy rain in SE Asia, while pancake-size armpit stains form on my dress. I am slowly becoming knowledgeable in what up island means, how the HST soaks you every time at the till, and how to recycle everything. I am learning a house doesn't have to be heated with forced air or cooled with constant air conditioning; there are places where you can survive with a perfect climate, surrounded by Cherry Blossoms and Daffodils. 
Not Japan, but as lovely

Most importantly, I am learning you don't drive your car on the left hand side of the road unless you are on a one-way street. You can get away with walking on the opposite side because the vagrants wander with no real purpose, but time to reign in the crazy when you drive on the wrong side of the mountains. 

Now that we are settled, my children are coming to visit when school is out for the term, and we already have a two week trip planned to Montreal; no, I am not foregoing my Spanish for French, but all Canadians speak French don't they? That was the question I was asked at least once a day in Asia when Canada was mentioned.

I promised my readers our travelling play-by-plays would not stop, so I will try to keep the Quebecois from cursing my Grade 12 French and ridiculing my Anglophone accent under their breath as I search for other madcap events to amuse in La Ville Aux Cent Clochers.

While our adventures are not ending, the laynainasia blog is winding down at 25,000 viewers. I am glad to report that I have started a book, which will give more in-depth adventures of Asia in an e-book format. I hope you all have a reader on your Christmas Wish list. With all of the advances in the e-book tablets; the abilities for colour photos, video clips and links, it is exactly how this techno-lover wants to showcase the beautiful sites we experienced. 

My book, while still garnering a few laughs, will tell the darker side of life in Singapore and beyond. These are stories I was scared to share because of possible repercussions while living in Asia. Nothing will get you a one-way ticket home like spilling the ugly hidden secrets they so carefully try to mask. With this, I mean the horrific lives many young children are forced to live when sold or taken from their families, the slaughter of the elephants, tigers, orang utans and other endangered beasts, and how maids are treated like modern day slaves. These are only my opinions and observations from what I saw and researched, but I imagine you will be as shocked as this Hicktown Girl was, to the travesties I witnessed. 
A little Asia in Canada

So back to the here and now; I promised to reveal where we are putting down roots, for as long as R2 and I can manage roots. Tomorrow, we are making a little jaunt down to the wharf, where we will board a Harbour plane. You know the Harbour plane? It is the one they used on the Beachcombers in the 70s. The type of aircraft that lands on the water and pretends it is a boat. R2 thinks this is going to be fun; I think he is wrong and he will come to learn this as I am throwing up my dinner from the previous night. He wants to take in a concert, so what better way than to arrive in style on a Seaplane, majestically landing on the Pacific. I bet even Bob Seger isn't arriving in such class. I hope they have life jackets.

While the concert is a nice perk, it is only a diversion to the real reason we are soaring off in a floating air taxi. A mere two weeks after landing, we were informed that R2 is being granted his Canadian Residency after almost five years in Canada and he doesn't want to miss our 10:30 a.m. appointment. There is nothing stopping him from getting that little card he needs to carry with him when he travels; a card that shows he has almost the same rights as any Canadian. He can travel freely, he can access health care, he can have a pension and best of all, he can pay an exorbitant amount of Canadian tax to really make him feel special; like he is one of us. Nevertheless, it is a proud, exciting day; one that is long overdue. Next stop, citizenship.
Bring the sick bags

For a change of travel, we will return to our cozy flat that over looks the majestic mountains, on the Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay ferry. Yes, we will travel from Vancouver, to Vancouver Island where we have quietly relocated in Victoria, British Columbia.  

To quote a tall, Mexican man, near and dear to my heart, "This place is like Moose Jaw but with quality restaurants like Montreal, great transportation like Toronto, less crazy than Vancouver and weather close to perfection. Victoria, oh, Victoria, where were you all these years in my search to find paradise on earth?"

It doesn't get better than this
I hope you have enjoyed the drama and will hang about for the book. Now that I have put it out to the universe, it will happen. As long as you are reading, I am writing.

46 comments:

  1. Great news for R2! Glad your enjoying Canada again Eh! I would enjoy to if I didn't live in the frozen tundra part of Canada. The Vag will be moister then it has been since 1956, more snow here then ever in my lifetime! I'm jealous of the nice weather in Victoria, good choice on you guys for settling there for the moment. Right now we are enjoying a gentle -8 here as we spend the Easter weekend preparing to minimize flooding as best we can for the day the melting might start. Don't rub in your sunny 16 degree Easter weather LOL. Glad your family will be making a visit, it won't be the adventure of visiting you in Singy but it will be comfortable and cheaper.

    Wish you and your family a Happy Easter and take care out there in the nice west :)

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    1. Thank you Allan, we are so excited - so excited, we aren't going to eat Turkey, haha. We are just walking around in a daze - five years was way too long for that little card but it is over....and I promise not to tell you I saw people in shorts, drinking beers on the sidewalks (in the pubs), tank tops, bike riders...all in shorts. It was smoking hot today, in Vancouver. We came over on the ferry and it was fantastic...

      Take care and I hope everyone survives this flood talk. My dad tells me every single day about how it is the worst he has seen....and how the flood is coming.....and he is getting a boat!

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  2. Are you SERIous? A book, a book, a book? Super excited. About time! I will get one of those Kindle things to read. You will write an amazing book!

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  3. Congrats on the great news! I will be looking forward to your e-book. Take care and enjoy Victoria.

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  4. Fantastic news!

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    1. Thank you, we think so. Thank you for the follow.

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  5. Congrats Layna and R2!!!! I am so, so happy for you guys!

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    1. It was a long time coming...now it feels so easy.

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  6. Congratulations to you both! Wonderful news!

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  7. Definitely a happy ending! Great news and where you're living sounds wonderful x

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    1. It is wonderful, oceans, lakes, mountains, flowers, and close to the US for ultra shopping, haha. Now R2 can come safely with me!

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  8. Congrats on getting residency! Looking forward to the book :)

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    1. I am looking forward to publishing a book in e-book format. I love technology.

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  9. Great to hear you found a sweet spot. Will be in touch if we are ever down there!

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    1. Edmonton is close! Well, if you can dig your way out of the snow.

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  10. Congratulations R2. That has been a tough road. And Canada is supposed to be so inviting???!!!
    Glad to have you back in this part of the world. Regina is just a short leap from there.
    You will love Victoria (except maybe the rain). This winter it has snowed every day in Saskatchewan. Now you'll be part of a different weather phenomenon. Victorians never admit it, but it rains pretty much every day there. Lots to be said for the tulips in March !!
    Look forward to your book.
    Take care you two and welcome to Canada! js

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    1. No rain this way, just hot, hot, hot weather. I will take the rain instead of the 6.5 feet of snow any day but we haven't seen much rain. I bought two umbrellas that are waiting, quietly in the closet to come out and protect us from the rain. I need a sun umbrella instead, the way I carried one in Singapore.

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  11. So excited for Layna and her handsome husband R2O officially being new residents in our little peace of Heaven, Victoria, British Columbia & Arturo finally capturing the lovely title of PERMANENT RESIDENT, officially becoming a Canuck!!!!

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  12. Congrats are in order for R2 and you. Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. We were treated perfectly - we waited for something controversial but it was as easy as "budder."

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    1. Yup, I was hiding under some Cherry Blossom trees all of the time.

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  14. So wonderful for R2 and you Layna that he is finally receiving his Canadian residency also exciting that you are choosing Victoria as your new home base. I will absolutely buy your book. Hugs to you from Jacquie

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    1. Thanks Jacquie, I know you understand what we have gone through, having gone through it yourself on the other side of the border.

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  15. This is the best news.....you are writing a book.....oh, and that PR thing - that is great as well, lol. Best wishes for you both. You are the power couple, so I know you will achieve anything you put your mind to. We miss you in singapore.

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    1. This power couple is the tired couple....so much hiking in this part of the world that we are lucky to make 10:00 p.m. but thanks for your vote of confidence. I miss my singapore friends!!

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  16. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I don't know who you are but certainly you're going to a famous blogger if you aren't already ;) Cheers!

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    1. I do not know how you ended up here or the other 25,000 but I am glad you came. Thanks for the read.

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  17. Hello there, You've done an incredible job. I will definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I am sure they'll be benefited from this web site.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words and I hope your friends read my book when it is out.

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  18. I blog frequently and I genuinely appreciate your information.
    The article has truly peaked my interest. I will take a note of your site and keep checking
    for new details about once a week. I subscribed to your Feed too.

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    1. Thank you for reading, and keep on travelling!

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  19. So, so happy for you both to be back in Canada in the warmth of B.C. and most of all that Arturo has residency - that is fantastic. I am so happy for you. And looking forward to your book of course - Kirsten

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    1. Thank you Kirsten, no one is happier than us. I pinch myself when I go out, or when I have to leave the deck because it is too warm for my pasty, white skin. This is NOT the Canada I know, but I love it.

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  20. Great news Layna and well done for both being so tenacious !

    Missing you very much here in Asia but happy that you are both keeping well and settling in ok.

    I look forward to the e book; I am sure it will be a winner.

    all the best - Jean. xx

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  21. Thanks Jean - miss you as well....just not the weather.

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  22. Way to go Layna!! mm

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  23. I wanted to thank you for this very good read!! I definitely loved
    every little bit of it. I've got you saved as a favorite to look at new things you post…

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    1. Glad you are enjoying our trips here, there and everywhere.

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