Annie Bananie en Europe

A blog about travel, life, and everyday tidbits

Tag Archives: writing

Meanwhile, in Canada…

I just thought I’d make it officially known that I’ve been back in Toronto, Canada for almost a month. February has been a slow month of resettling down at home, meeting up with old friends, and beginning the tedious job application process. Meanwhile, I’ve had some time to reflect and reorganize my luggage, my photos, my writing, and most important, my thoughts and mentality.

Perhaps I’m still in the withdrawal stage after realizing that I’m back home “for good” (at least “for now”). Just as I was amazed to wake up every morning for the past three years to realize that I was in Europe, I am now amazed – in disbelief and even denial – that I am in Canada. Which is strange. One would think that I could get used to this place in a flash because after all, it is home. Is it not? Yet there is a sense of unfamiliarity that looms over me everywhere I go. I miss the sound of the trams in Bordeaux and the aroma of Bordelais wine. I crave the independence of living on my own and there is not one single day that passes by without me thinking, “I need to get out of this house.”

I mean no disrespect for my family or my country, and I admit – after the 3-year period of indulgence, I do tend to take home and Canada for granted. Nevertheless, I am enjoying the company of my family – minus the pressure and expectations all over again – and I actually do like the snow and the cold weather this winter. In my mind, this is what real winter is supposed to be like – a city covered in a gleaming white blanket and bone-chilling winds that freeze all emotions. All I could say is…NICE.

Dashing through the snow remained a childhood memory…until this year. I’ve heard that the three Canadian winters that I’ve missed were very mild, and this was certainly not a very WARM welcome back, but I love it. Lots and lots of snow – now THAT’S real winter and something this Canadian girl has missed dearly 😉 On a side note – shoveling snow really should be Canada’s national sport 😛

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Wait, what do you mean I’m doing a PhD…Part 3

It’s been a year since I wrote part 2 of the PhD series, which means…I am graduating soon? Soon means I am defending my thesis in December, which is just another 6 months away. Uh oh. WHAT. IS. GOING. ON.

As I enter the critical thesis-writing stage of my PhD, I often get asked, “How’s your thesis coming along?” Well, fellow non-academia friends, let’s go through some grad school etiquette, shall we?

Thank you, Jorge Cham, for putting it in an understandable, acceptable manner. In short, do not ever ask a PhD student the two taboo questions (or questions remotely similar to them). These questions may induce unnecessary stress, irreversible brain damage (either to the PhD student, or to you, when the student goes berserk and attacks you), loss of appetite, or (in extremely rare cases) increased motivation.

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Seven hours till the beginning of my new year

The world didn’t end in 2012.

I was going to write about my year-end trip to north-western France, but that can wait. It dawned upon me that on the last day of 2012, I should probably summarize this peculiar year, because too many things have happened, way too many…

I thought 2011 was quite eventful, so at the beginning of the year 2012, I had hoped for a calmer, less eventful year. Well that went right out the window.

Several big events took place in 2012:

  • After being a Christian for more years than I could count, I got baptised on September 8, 2012.
  • My best friend in Canada, Florence, got married on September 15, 2012. I participated in her wedding as her maid of honour.
  • I entered the third and last year of my PhD, passing the midterm confirmation exam on September 28, 2012.
  • I turned quarter-of-a-century old on the same day.

Hmm. Come to think of it, everything seemed to have concentrated around September, which was also the month I went back to Canada. Of course, that doesn’t mean the rest of the months of the year were dull and boring. On the contrary, I travelled to more places than I ever dreamed of, met more people than I thought possible, said goodbye more times than I would have liked, and experienced more of life than I could imagine. And in the midst of joy, sadness, anticipation, disappointment, and all the emotions that were intertwined, I regret nothing.

A photo taken in 2011 by Florence, when we went on our road trip in Tobermory, Canada. This still remains one of my favourite photos taken of me, even though my face can’t be seen. It felt like I was standing at the edge of the world, contemplating the meaning of my existence and the purpose of everything I do.

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