Heather's Thairy

Heather's journey to Bangkok, Thailand: a year of adventure!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Oh Canada

One little housekeeping note before I proceed with this post...
Some people have informed me that the pictures I post are sometimes overlapping and difficult to view. That, unfortunately, is a product of the web design and formatting that blogger uses. When I post pictures, the site is using the parameters of whatever screen and computer I am posting from (generally my laptop). Since screen size varies, sometimes the page loads differently and the pictures are hard to view. In my infinite wisdom of computers and their functions, I cannot do anything about this. Sorry!

This post comes all the way from CALGARY- not Bangkok, but Calgary. We made it safely to Vancouver after 24 hours of travel time that included a few-hour stopover in Tokyo. The Thai air leg of the flight was great- good food, good service, comfortable seats. Tokyo's airport is sparse and clean and features remarkably affordable food and merchandise. I expected everything in a Japanese airport to be ridiculously overpriced, but it wasn't so. It also wasn't as new-age and spectacular as I thought it might be, although it certainly wasn't shabby or old.
The Air Canada leg was borderline brutal, with so-so service, small seats (one of which was broken, but luckily it was vacant) and 50% good food. I say 50% good because one meal was great while the other was...strange. I like airline food. Anyone who knows me knows I don't like my foods to touch and I am amused by small versions of things, so airline food is generally a big hit with me. Unless it's gross.

We got to Vancouver ahead of schedule but that advantage was lost when we had to wait about a million years for our baggage. I think there should be a rule about claiming bags: if a bag has gone around the thing three times, it goes in a big pile over on the side and you can get it there. It's fairly frustrating to think your bag is finally coming only to discover that it is the SAME BAG that has already passed SiXTEEN times.

Ray and Trent were there to meet us, which was terribly exciting, especially when Ray jumped the guard rail and ran up to hug me. Jet-lagged Heather worried about being arrested but in hindsight, that was a pretty nice thing to do.

A few days in Vancouver included visits with my grandmother, several aunts and uncles and a couple cousins, as well as quality time with Ray and Trent. Ray and I went to the Science Centre and saw the BodyWorks 3 exhibit, which features plasticized bodies (real, donated cadavers) in various stages of dissection arranged in life-like poses. It was fascinating but entirely disturbing. There is something wrong with taking the body of someone no longer alive, stripping it of all but a few living features, and then combining the scientific merit of such an exercise with an artistic "flair" and props taken from the living. I see the benefit of having actual humans to examine and study to find out more about our biology- indeed, I learned quite a bit about the body- but I fail to see how manipulating people, who lived a certain way and led a life that we know nothing about, into poses like "The Archer" and "The Skateboarder" adds anything to the value of the exhibit. I was especially concerned when I thought about the possibility of knowing one of the people "involved" in the display.

We drove to Calgary on Wednesday of last week, and though I had intentions of viewing mountain scenery the whole way back I slept through most of it. Jet-lag hits pretty hard, it would seem- I slept for 13 hours two nights in a row, and then for about another 8 when we were driving back.

It snowed and rained a lot while we were driving...which just reassured me that, in fact, I am in Canada.

Calgary has been less whirl-wind than Vancouver was, but it has still been fairly eventful- I have had some GREAT dinners (Thanksgiving TWICE), seen lots of people, done a bunch of shopping (which hurts- I don't pretend to understand economics but it seems the whole system is arbitrary when there can be SUCH a disparity in pricing across the world) and generally had a good time.

It's good to be back, but I'm also glad that I'm going back to Bangkok for another six months. The first six went by quickly; I hope the next are just as great!

Until next time,


  • At 11:42 PM, Anonymous auntie Bonnie said…

    Dear Heather,
    Sorry I haven't written lately. Will email you personally later. Just gotta comment on this latest post. Your pics come up perfectly fine w/me so no complaints here.
    Too bad the mindset of air travel being decent doesn't translate to Canadian airways. (American airlines can be iffy too). Then again, aren't Canadians supposed to be able to "rough" it?
    Glad you had a nice visit with friends and family. Gosh, I thought people jumping over guard rails was only in the movies!
    I had read about that exhibit using actual cadavers and the idea of it didn't really appeal to me. Actually it kinda grossed me out and reading your take on it really tells me I wouldn't "enjoy" it.

    Glad to hear that you're looking forward to the remaining 6 months in Bangkok. Take care and have a safe trip back!
    Love, Auntie Bonnie


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