Thursday, January 12

Playing Catch-Up

Last moments in Quebec
A couple of days after the goodbye-danio party, my parents arrived in town, so we spent a few days visiting with them and enjoying great family time. It was my mom's first time meeting Leigh!
We had the necessary visit to "Vieux Quebec".

Leaving Quebec was probably only not much of an emotional challenge because it propelled me into a series of travels and activities which have only just ended! This is the reason of my delay in posting. This is also the reason for the somewhat impersonal nature of this post.

Montreal Visit
I had the pleasure of staying a day with Jerome and Démie. The evening I arrived, we had a delicious poutine - a strangely popular food of Quebec: potato fries soaked in a gravy-like sauce. I had tried and disliked it previously, but this version proved delicious! Funnily enough, we had crepes the next morning! Yummy times.
After the poutine, we went to see a choir performance featuring Démie's nephew at a giant basilica. It was actually remeniscent of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican! Quite majestic and imposing - one of the salient buildings of the city! It turns out that rather than just seeing a choir perform, we attended a complete, 2-hour-long Catholic Christmas service. It was wondrous, truly! The architecture really stood out to me, combining a more classical look from the outside, with a beautiful, tall dome, with a unique layout and appearance inside: all black and white and red, a wide-open space, immense curtains, sparse carvings and statues, and inside balcony, a crucified Jesus atop a glass mantelpiece, and strangely erratic black latticework in prominent spots. It was a very moving service, which had me contemplating various types of spiritual approaches to God. Jerome and I used the setting as inspiration to speak about the oneness of religion. He enjoyed hearing about the Baha'i Faith.

Chicago Visit
We had a marvelous time visiting with Brent and Liza and Brent, also seeing all my various other friends - some 12 dear friends, between different areas and different connection. It was also in Chicago that I got my visa at the Chinese Consulate. Amia (Suzanne and Husayn's daughter) is such a sweetheart! She was calling me danono, or danonono, or even danononono... There was coffee drinking, video games, freestyling, singing, walking, etc. ending with a fabulous journey back to the East coast with Omid.

Stay in Richmond
This was a very pleasant, relaxing visit. I roleplayed with friends, visited LandAmerica (my old job), went out a few time, watched movies, played board games, watched several episodes of Lost (a severely addictive TV series), etc. For quite a while there were a bunch of us best friends staying in the same house (Falconers', as usual): Brent, Peter, Orion, Robbie and I.

There was, of course, much more to the above episodes, but that's the gist. They were beautiful weeks leading up to the great move to Shanghai.