Saturday, April 29, 2006

All about Fiji

In March 2006, David and I spent 5 days in Fiji. It was the 11th country out of 11 of my world tour. We visited the islands of Suva, Naviti and Kuata.

For pictures, please visit my Fiji Set on flickr. In this set can also be found pictures taken by David.

For blog updates, please see bellow:

Wednesday, March 15. goodbye oz, hello fiji!
Saturday, March 18. doing fiji the wrong way... still good

On the USA:

Monday, March 20. welcome to the usa - please surrender your rights

All about New Zealand

In February 2006, I spent 3 weeks in New Zealand. It was the 10th country out of 11 of my world tour. I visited Auckland, Bay Of Islands, Hahei, Raglan, Waitomo, Rotorua, Taupo, Whakapapa and Matamata. I only visited the North Island.

For pictures, please visit my New Zealand Set on flickr. There is also a Tongariro Crossing Set and the infamous Sexual Fantasy Party Set.

For blog updates, please see bellow:

Friday, February 03. fly emirate
Wednesday, February 08. top choice!
Saturday, February 11. hello! and sexy sexy!
Tuesday, February 14. north island bliss
Monday, February 20. last day on stray and goodbye new zealand

All about Australia

In January 2006, I spent 10 days in Australia. It was the 9th country out of 11 of my world tour. I visited Darwin, Perth and Fremantle. In February ~ March 2006, I spent 3 weeks in Australia on the East Coast, with David in my company. Together, we drove up the coast from Sydney to Cape Tribulation - and back!

slightly broken

For pictures, please visit my Australia Set on flickr. You can also visit David's Australia Set for even more pictures.

For blog updates, please see bellow:


Monday, January 23. top of the morning to you, darwin!
Wednesday, January 25. outta here!
Thursday, January 26. cox the night away and welcome to perth, a "city for people"
Tuesday, January 31. amazing perth


Tuesday, February 21. back to oz
Friday, February 24. bye bye sydney
Sunday, February 26. sydney to brisbane
Monday, February 27. brisbane check-up
Wednesday, March 01. brisbane to hervey bay and fall
Saturday, March 04. hervey bay to magnetic island
Tuesday, March 07. magnetic islanf to cairns
Wednesday, March 08. cape tribulation and the great barrier reef
Sunday, March 12. cairns to byron bay
Wednesday, March 15. goodbye oz, hello fiji!

All about Singapore

In January 2006, I spent 8 days in Singapore. It was the 8th country out of 11 of my world tour.

For pictures, please visit my Singapore Set on flickr.

For blog updates, please see bellow:

Sunday, Janyary 15. welcome to singapore! country #8!
Thursday, January 19. singapore days
Saturday, January 21. are you in the navy too?
Sunday, January 22. zouk! and goodbye asia... on missing you or not missing you

All about Malaysia

In December 2005 ~ January 2006, I spent a month in Malaysia. It was the 7th country out of 11 of my world tour. I visited Kuala Lumpur, the Cameron Highlands, Penang/Georgetown, Langkawi and Melakka (the no-one-can-agree-on-how-to-spell-this-city city).

For pictures, please visit my Malaysia Set on flickr.

For blog updates, please see bellow:

Sunday, December 18. trang by night, phuket by day, kuala lumpur by night
Monday, December 19.
Thursday, December 22. if i've been quiet lately
Friday, December 23. what i have to put up with and random thoughts
Saturday, December 24. selamat hari krismas! and "miss, why so lonely?"
Sunday, December 25. christmas
Monday, December 26. finally!
Thursday, December 27. jungle and tea - like a proper coloniser
Wednesday, December 28. more jungle, more tea...
Thursday, December 29. penang! and a moment of fame! (sort of...)
Friday, December 30. about love lane... and day 155
Saturday, December 31. happy new year('s eve)
Wednesday, January 04. selamat tahun baru! and langkawi
Thursday, January 05. last day of georgetown
Friday, January 06. to melaka
Saturday, January 07. melaka, or the art of not visiting a city. and mais ils ne me disent rien ces gars! felicitations quand meme! and untitled
Sunday, January 08. cheering myself up
Tuesday, January 10. food on my mind and untitled
Thursday, January 12. i am *so* full right now... and a plague upon thy house
Friday, January 13. happy friday the 13th!

All about Thailand

In November ~ December 2005, I spent a month in Thailand. It was the 6th country out of 11 of my world tour. I visited Bangkok, Kho Samet, Ayutthaya, Kanchanaburry, Kho Phi Phi, Kho Lanta and Trang.

For pictures, please visit my Thailand Set on flickr.

For blog updates, please see bellow:

Saturday, November 19. bangkokinsanity
Sunday, November 20. is bangkok growing on me?
Monday, November 21. ko samet, ou comment je me suis ramasse a partager mon lit avec une magnifique thailandaise
Friday, November 25. goodbye ko samet
Sunday, November 27. stuff n' things and weekend market
Tuesday, November 29. saying goodbye again
Wednesday, November 30. somebody might get the wrong idea... and new city, finally!
Thursday, December 01. happy world AIDS day and maybe i've had enough...
Friday, December 02. ayutthaya, take 2
Saturday, December 03. kanchanaburri weirdness
Sunday, December 04. war stuff!
Tuesday, December 06. my last 37 hours and it's nearly my secret
Thursday, December 08. au revoir bangkok
Friday, December 09. thailand from dusk 'till dawn, or...
Sunday, December 11. phi phi...
Wednesday, December 14. new island, same weather
Thursday, December 15. rain rain go away...
Friday, December 16. f*cking hell
Saturday, December 17. trang wetness
Sunday, December 18. trang by night, phuket by day, kuala lumpur by night

Friday, April 28, 2006

All about Cambodia

In November 2005, I spent three weeks in Cambodia. It was the 5th country out of 11 of my world tour. I visited Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Siem Reap/Angkor Wat.


For pictures, please visit my Cambodia Set on flickr.

For blog updates, please see bellow:

Sunday, October 30. cambodia, country #5!!!
Monday, October 31. happy halloween!
Tuesday, November 01. canadians to the rescue
Wednesday, November 02. into the killing fields
Thursday, November 03. last day in phnom penh
Friday, November 04. happy anniversary to me!!!
Tuesday, November 08. no slave labour
Thursday, November 10. stuck in paradise
Saturday, November 12. whiplash and other unfortunate events
Monday, November 14.
Wednesday, November 16. angkor rocks and then gets drenched
Saturday, November 19. thank you cambodia and bangkokinsanity

All about Vietnam

In October 2005 I spent the month in Vietnam. It was the 4th country out of 11 of my world tour. I visited Hanoi, HaLong Bay, Sapa, Hué, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Mui Né, Saigon/HCMC and the Mekong Delta.

For pictures, please visit my Vietnam Set on flickr.

For blog updates, please see bellow:

Sunday, October 02. hello hanoi!
Wednesday, October 05. temporary departure from hanoi
Saturday, October 08. halong bay paradise!
Thursday, October 13. bourgeoisies in 'nam
Tuesday, October 18.
Wednesday, October 19. freakin monsoon!
Friday, October 21. chicken flu and body shots
Monday, October 24. and zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance
Wednesday, October 26.
Friday, October 28. last day in saigon and bye hannah!!!
Saturday, October 29.
Sunday, October 30. no-miss saigon

All about Lao

In September 2005 I spent 13 days in Lao (Laos, as everybody commonly refers to it). It was the 3rd country out of 11 of my world tour. I visited Oumdoxy, Luang Prabang, Vang Vien and Vientiane.

For pictures, please visit my Laos Set on flickr.

For blog updates, please see bellow:

Tuesday, September 20. saabaa-dii laos!
Wednesday, September 21.
Thursday, September 22.
Friday, September 23. adios luang prabang
Tuesday, September 27. arg!
Wednesday, September 28. same same... but different
Thursday, September 29. ants in my pants and gun capital of laos
Friday, September 30. last night in laos!

All about China

In September 2005 I spent 3 weeks in China. It was the 2nd country out of 11 of my world tour. I visited Beijing, X'ian, Kunming, Dalí, Lijiang, Jinghong and Mengla. Most of my time was spent in the lovely Yunnan province.

forbidden city at night

For pictures, please visit my China set on flickr.

For blog updates, please see bellow:

Monday, August 29. hello beijing!
Tuesday, August 30. weird quick update
Thursday, September 1. i can see!
Saturday, September 3. great wall to xian
Sunday, September 4. question of censorship? and untitled
Tuesday, September 6. stop keeping us in the dark! and yesterday, warriors and today: booyao mo'fo! and killing time in xian
Thursday, September 8. thank you china east!
Friday, September 9. china, where the prostitutes are easy but getting ripped off is easier and dali! so damn pretty!
Wednesday, September 14. everything, nothing...
Saturday, September 17. comme une belle conne!
Sunday, September 18. bus rides and china redux (revised)

All about Japan

In august 2005 I spent the month in Japan. It was the 1st country out of 11 on my world tour. I visited Tokyo extensively and went to Nagano, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, Miyajima, Mt Fuji, Nikko and Kamakura.

For pictures, please visit my Japan set in flickr.

For blog updates, please see bellow:

Friday, July 29. sticky tokyo
Saturday, July 30. i'm happy when i eat a potatoe
Sunday, July 31. shakin' baby!
Monday, August 1. imperial palace, imperial smalace
Wednesday, august 3. and butterflies and gold
tuckered, August 4. nagano nagano!
Saturday, August 6. hiroshima - 60th anniversary today and untitled
Monday, August 8. when it rains, it pours!
Tuesday, August 9. do, a dear, a female dear
Wednesday, August 10. i'm spent!
Thursday, August 11. only the strong survive
Friday, August 12. i'll sleep with one eye open tonight...
Saturday, August 13. overall, a great day!
Monday, August 15. hiroshima and back in tokyo and oh boy!
Tuesday, August 16. today... and scary pants
Wednesday, August 17. pictures, always more pictures!
Thursday, August 18. all you can eat buffet and tokyo sea life museum - bah
Saturday, August 20. hiking mt-fuji: a crazy idea
Monday, august 22.
Tuesday, August 23. nikko! and untitled and pictures
Wednesday, August 24. lovely kamakura and not fun!
Thursday, August 25. gourmet intruder and japanese toilets and rain, rain, go away!
Friday, August 26. merci ben!
Saturday, August 27. electric avenue and awa odori good times!
Sunday, August 28. sayonara japan! and one more from japan!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

a day of firsts (in a while)

today, i had a job interview. finally, someone is seeing me as employable. what a relief!

yesterday, i used outlook and excel for the first time since august 2005.
today, i went to my first interview since july 2004.
today, i saw a friend i hadn't seen since may 2005.
today, i wore high heels for the first time since june 2005.

today, i got 7 blisters on my feet. that has to be a record.
today, i got blisters on my feet for the first time since september 2005.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

orchids & sunsets

orchid in sunset 4

the weather as cleared up around vancouver and we are now getting some pretty glorious sunsets in vancouver. although a better sunset is often found when clouds are present, i'm not about to complain! a big light orange sun, an orange sky, nice and warm weather.

spring. finally!

Monday, April 24, 2006


well, i am finally done. i have uploaded all of the worthy pictures from my 8 month stint in asia and oceania on flickr. the sets are all completed. i have also created four new sets highlighting my world tour: favourites, gourmandises, people of asia and flora. looking at these pictures bring back so many wonderful memories...

it feels weird to not have any more pictures to upload, to no longer spend all of my free time going through thousands of pictures and spending hours uploading them through painfully slow internet connections. uploading pictures on flickr punctuated my trip, became part of what i did, and now that it is over, i feel like my world tour is truly over.

it has been over for a while now. i have been back for a month now. has it really been a month? time goes by so fast. and it feels like it was a million year ago that i was biking through rice fields in china, looking for french pastries in vietnam and watching dolphins up close in new zealand.


Friday, April 21, 2006

like, oh my god!

ok. i have a question. what is up with laguna beach? it has to be the scariest, most horrible show ever. is it a reality show? is it scripted? i don't even know! but i do know that the boys are lame. and the girls are scary. there are how many of them? and they *all look alike* to the point that you don't know who is who and if you've seen them on the show yet. all blond hair. all mini-skirts. all rich. all dumb. superficial bitches.

what is even more lame is mtv doing a "after the show" commentary like they've just watched a great national geographic show. actually, maybe that's what it was. an insight on scary, fake blond, too much make up on, american girls who live on daddy's money. a sort of ethnography on the new teenager trends. sigh. i'm so glad girls around here aren't like that. s.c.a.r.y.

thus, i will add one thing to my list of things i will never do before i die: dye my hair blond. and i will say this: thank you to the hair dresser in toronto who refused to bleach my hair, oh so many years ago. thank you, thank you. even though i just wanted to bleach my hair to die them fire engine red after. thank you.

and i will say this - thank you mtv for pointing out this interesting dilemma: can dumb people call each other dumb?

things i will never do before i die

i am bored. no, scartch that. i am very bored.

and so, i've been cleaning. going through my old things and trying to get rid of some of the overwhelming quantity of stuff that i have.

last night, i came accross the 2004 edition of this diary will change your life. as i went through it, i stumbled accross sunday, january 25th. this is one of the very few days that i bother to actually do what was instructed for that day. and so, that day, i was instructed to tick the boxes to come to terms with the fact that i will never do x before i die. and i figured that you, readers, might be interested to know that on that day, i decided that i will never:

read proust (still might happen)
visit buthan (i do want to go there though!)
write that novel/screenplay
become world chess champion
rob a bank
run away
become a queen
learn russian
live off charity
contract an std (wishfull thinking - who would want that?)
swallow a coin
spend a night in prison
follow this diary religiously
celebrate xmas in may (mom, we might brake that one!)
call your father "pa"
call your mother "ma"
learn the periodic table by heart
work in a coalmine
watch all of bergman
follow mao's teachings
visit space
wear a rucksack (clearly back then i didn't know what that british word meant)
inject heroin
speak in tongues
become a fanatic
dress like a hip-hopper
faint with love
become insensitive to suffering
start a cult
grow a beard
master the yoyo
become a fitness instructor
feel like batman
become a rockstar
stop worrying
confess to a priest
confess to a whore
graffiti a motorway bridge
be drunk during office hours
own an owl
ride a harley
learn to live with gnats
invade a small country
demand a ransom (i seem to recall doing that in at the ontario science centre though!)
proclaim yourself emperor
adopt a romanian
seduce the prom queen
paint someone in tar and feathers
light a fart
give birth to a goatboy
overthrow a regime
understand hitler
race at monaco
marry someone you've never met
discover the lost city of atlantis
see your face on a banknote
own a grotto
host a gameshow
meet santa (i've met plenty of fakes though)
shoot the last buffalo
burn your bra
turn 117 years old
update the kamasutra
marry a prince or a princess
run with the wolves
become pope
inherit the crown jewels
be used as a manga character
grow a tail
crash a helicopter in the jungle
go live with a hermit
greet the extraterrestrial delegation
become a muslim
eradicate hepatitis c
kiss your own lips
shoot the pianist
beat bjorn borg at tennis
break the bank in vegas
suffer a fool gladly
fight the power
be the 78th person on the moon
be called upon by your president (we don't have those here anyway!)
win best-looking baby of the year
fight a duel
jump the gun (don't know why i checked that one)
suck on 12 lollipops at once
have your own brand of olive oil
play the lead in swan lake
catch that bird that pooped on you
loop the loop (what does that even mean?)
witness the mating of flamingoes
confess under duress
walk down the yellow brick road
travel at warp speed
jump on a real bandwagon
run an arms dealership
exterminate a zombie
sniff superglue
become a superhero
memorize an encyclopedia
floss twice a day
make your bank manager beg
lick an electric eel
broker a ceasefire
conduct an orchestra
get drunk on meths
sleep with a whore in babylon
ride a yak (still possible! i'm keeping that one open. mongolia here i come!)
sup with satan
track down lord lucan
cause an intergalactic rift
get away with murder
travel back in time
apologise for existing
appease a dictator
lose your mojo (again, whishful thinking)
face a firing squad
gatecrash the white house
have the midas touch
cure the common cold
own an oilfield
save the whale
discover a new continent
come out of a black hole alive
suck your little toe in public
mate with another species (even though it's legal in sweeden, doesn't mean it's right!)
become possessed
surpass einstein
look like einstein
predict an eclipse
commit arson
talk dirty to a flower
spot the invisible man
undergoe emergency liposuction
regain your virginity
change astrological signs
bring back bambi
write in cuneiform
get fired for being truculent
join the french foreing legion
acheive perfection
spell "egg" differently
win top prise for your verruca
grow a third nipple
spend all your salary on payday
witness the big bang
meet a bolshevik
successfully crash a jumbo jet
fiddle while rome burns
win an oscar
part the red sea
have sex with your clone
know the truth about jfk
rule the world

wow! i've really cut myself out of a lot of things. makes me sound boring, no? well, it would, i guess, if most of these things were not so weird!

but wait - i might still: climb everest, compromise, start a revolution, become grumpy when old, jump bail, bretray (my) country, become an object of worship, run out of tears, etc etc. so don't worry about me!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

do you always tell the truth?

i hate that question.

i think it has to be the worst possible question to ask on a job application questionaire. because, really, what can you say?

yes - and lie, or
no - and look like a liar?

i prefer risk it with a no, even though the "correct" answer is a yes. i think. arg!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

pêché mignon

my guilty pleasure du jour:

- listening to louis xiv's the best little secrets are kept, over and over again

- daffodils

- home-made strawberry jam, on goats cheese, on organic sourdough bread (that's right)

- and laughing at this:

an exercise in futility

in hope that my insomnia might also be caused by my bed, i decided to try and make my bed feel as foreign as possible. i flipped the mattress. changed the sheets. aired out my comforter (and the room as well - it was cold like an australian dorm room).

all in vain. because i still couldn't sleep.

although, it was the first time since i've been back that i've remembered one of my dreams. perhaps i slept better, that is, when i finally managed to get some shut eye.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

perspective, or how reality hit me in the face.

so true!

when i took that picture in the airport in auckland, i thought, "how true". i was sad, really sad to be leaving. and every time thereafter that i looked at that picture i thought about that moment, the sadness of leaving beautiful countries behind, the sadness of things ending.

until today. until today, when i looked at that picture on flickr (it's my last uploaded, i still haven't ventured into fiji as of yet) and i thought, "that's not true at all!". leaving was easy. coming back is hard.

being back is hard. not because i'm bored out of my mind from being sedentary and from the lack of stimulation from new discoveries and new encounters. no, being back is hard because i can no longer avoid reality.

see, i can no longer sleep. since i've been back, i haven't really been sleeping. i slept perfectly well (most of the time) during my trip. i woke up early everyday. i had energy. but now, i can't sleep. i lie in bed until 4 or 5 am. hoping. praying. to fall asleep. i was blaming the jet lag for this, but it wasn't right. and being in my own bed. and everything else. but i've finally figured it out. it's reality.

when i was traveling, i could sleep fine. i had nothing to worry about. not about money, relationships, work, living, moving. i would go to bed and put "real life" in the back of my head, stop thinking, and sleep. but since i've been back, i can't do that anymore. i lie in bed and i think. i worry. i analyse. i plan. i don't sleep. and i try to convince myself that i am tired, that there's nothing left for me to think about. but it doesn't work, because i'm not tired, and there's too many things to ponder.

leaving was easy. being away is easy. coming back - being back - is hard. it's insomnia.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

souper entre amis

saturday night was the night that david and i had friends over to thank them for taking care of our cat, fish(es), plants and mailbox while we were away on our vacation in australia and fiji. and to catch up and enjoy each other's company, of course!

it was my first time ever cooking a meal for 6. i changed my mind about the menu about three times but finally settled on possibly the best scenario possible. i say that because usually i get pretty stressed out about timing and always worry that something won't be ready at the same time as everything else, or that something will go wrong in general. but this time it was great because i got to do the dessert in advance and prep almost everything in advance. the main course cooked while we were eating the appetiser. and i didn't have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen at any given time over the course of the night, which is always ideal!

... so, we had for dinner:

three coloured caprese salad with marinated bocconcini
baked pumpkin and prosciutto risotto with arugula and grilled asparagus

pear and almond galette with vanilla ice cream and home-made strawberry jam

and each dish was served with an australian wine, while dessert was served with an excellent australian port (merci dominic!).

it was a success, if i can say so myself! (you can tell as well by dominic's face.)

baked pumpkin and proscuitto risotto
tri colour caprese dominic qui fait son beau!
p.y. et mélissa yanick et moi
pear and almond galette