I found freedom, sort of

Hands unchained

One major feature or change in my life recently was the return to freedom. Although this makes it seem like I might have been legally incarcerated, this is not the case, but living in China does limit some freedoms that one would normally wouldn’t experience in the free world...

A large decision was undertaken in September 2015 regarding changes in my life, and it was when I decided that I would seek other employment opportunities. While I love the kids I teach, the system under which I was teaching was becoming increasingly unsustainable, and I wanted out. I began interviewing in October, and I landed a contract in March.

The decision was not taken lightly; I really did mull it over for a long while. Part of me wanted to stay because living in China became easy, but there were some serious life questions that I started to ask myself: Is living here sustainable? Can I find what I’m looking for here? And after I reflected a bit, and some stuff that went down in my personal life, the answer was an unequivocal no. Thou shall hear of those reasons in reflections in the future, but for no the details are irrelevant.

And so on June 30, after leaving my apartment (and home – and yes it really did feel like home) at 21:00, our shuttle bus bound from the interior of Jiangsu Province was bound for Shanghai. In what has later become 60 hours of transit (which I originally thought was 34), I relived June 30 twice and half of June 29th and arrived into Toronto via Tokyo and Vancouver.

And thus I found freedom, sort of. It’s not my final destination and it doesn’t feel like real freedom yet, but it’s a step in the right direction. Hello Twitter, Hello Facebook, Hello Blog, Hello unrestricted internet, and Goodbye VPN.

I miss you already, China, despite your shortcomings…

Oh when the pants go marching in

Czech Olympic Pants

For anyone that knows me, they would know that during the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Vancouver, the Parade of Athletes is by far the best part. Further to this, seeing the clothing that they are wearing is great.

Words can’t describe my love for the Czech Olympic Team’s Trousers, which make me really happy.

Where and how can I get them? Please share, in the meantime I’ll drool at the current design above.

Gold in Vancouver, finally!

Since months and months before the start of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, Canadians and Canadian press has put so much pressure on Canadians to win gold on home soil. In the two past times that Canada has hosted in the Olympics, gold has never been won.

1988 Winter Olympic Games, Calgary AB => 0 gold, 2 silver, 3 bronze
1976 Summer Olympic Games, Montréal, QC => 0 gold, 5 silver, 6 bronze

Those are the stats, and we’ve been hearing them on CTV’s coverage ever since well before the games. Everyone in the country isn’t worried about Canadians winning medals, but they are worried about when and if a gold medal will arrive. The pressure is felt even by me, it’s incredible.

Canada’s first hope was in the Women’s Freestyle Skiing : Mogols event, with defending Olympic Champion Jenn Heil trying to defend her title. She narrowly is beaten by an American who gloats around the area with the bronze medalist American, meanwhile Heil was gracious in defeat with her silver medal. It was the most disappointing smile I’ve ever seen in my life: simply heartbreaking.

Alexandre Bilodeau

Redemption came a day later, when Canadian Freestyle Mogols skiier Alexandre Bilodeau takes to the stage. Narrowly behind Canadian born Aussie, he edges him out to win gold, and the gold rush in Canada begins. CTV has been showing a special on Bilodeau for a few days ago; and about his old brother, his best friend, who has cerebral pausly; and how it inspires Alexandre to do well and to keep on going.

The relief is instantaneous, and thank god for Bilodeau having the balls to get it over with. No Canadians can focus on performing, and not stressing about if they are going to win or not. All I can say is “Thank God,” now lets go get ‘er Canada!