I’m back in Korea from my Vancouver trip. All I did was literally eat, sleep, and just spend time with family and friends, which was all exactly what I wanted to do.
I didn’t go anywhere special this time around, because last year when I went back I spent way too much money, so this year’s trip was very low budget. I actually spent LESS than I brought back and had extra cash left over — it’s literally a miracle!
I spent my high school and university years — around 10 years — in Vancouver. To be honest, I always really hated it and only wanted to be in Asia, especially Korea. I thought it was so boring and dull, and didn’t have any of the things I enjoyed doing and loved. I just never felt like I fit in. It just wasn’t me.
Only this time going back did I come to appreciate a lot of the things Vancouver has to offer — the multiculturalism, the relaxed pace of life, the variety of cuisines and restaurants, the feeling of grass under my feet, the beautiful and clear skies, and strangers smiling and saying hi to you on the streets.
I still haven’t changed my mind that Vancouver is not the place for me to spend my 20s in, but it’d be a great place to raise a family or retire in though! Vancouver also has great post-retirement senior financial support — there were so many seniors going to dimsum and hanging out w/ other elderlies! It’s not uncommon to see seniors selling stuff on the streets or subway stations in Korea, and picking up tin cans and cardboard paper in Hong Kong. In this sense, I’m really glad to be a Canadian ^^
And yes, it is my birthday today — Sept 4th. One year older! Eeek ㅠ.ㅠ
And yes, I appreciate all the virtual birthday hugs and kisses I can get, please and thank you! XDDD
Here and There
I went shopping at the mall with my brother, visited Chapters, and decided on some new books I was going to buy after returning to Korea. I bought some drugstore bleach and hairdye and bleached my hair just two days ago. You guys will see the color later! I also went to Waterfront Station for the first time and realized I liked it a lot more than the Granville or Burrard Stn areas, even though it’s all in downtown.
The rest of the time, I literally just stayed at home, ate out, or went to my friend’s house. Nothing too adventurous!
Eating at Home
Fruits are really expensive in Korea, so I loaded up in Vancouver. The strawberries were from our own little garden! My parents really spoiled me since I don’t go back often and saved all the nice, ripe and red ones for me XD
I ate so much my mom actually told me to watch out for my bulging stomach. Thanks mom for always being so… honest -_-
That’s why I started going back to the gym, hopefully more often T_T Even as I write this post, I am doing some pseudo chair crunches T__T
And yes, that is my birthday cake there with my Chinese name wiped out. Maxim Bakery in Vancouver makes the best Asian cakes!
We had a BBQ in our own little back yard. My mom kept buying lobster cuz she knew a store that sold it cheap and I kept complaining when I saw pictures of them eating it in Van. without me.
As you can see, I absolutely love dimsum and Chinese food!
My close friend took me to an Indian/Afghan restaurant as a coming-back treat. The food and service were absolutely splendid. I really recommend this place. My brother also took me out to a Greek restaurant for my bday. The food was great and plentiful. I wrote a quick review below!
Vancouver Restaurant Recommendations
Someone asked before for me to recommend places to go and eat out in Vancouver. I don’t have the names and addresses of all the restaurants I went to (especially the local Chinese ones I often went to for dimsum and dinner), but here are a few good places:
Congee Noodle King — Hong Kong Tea House — best wonton noodles ever with large wonton made with real shrimp, shrimp egg noodles where you can actually taste the shrimp eggs. The ‘yau ja gwai’ or ‘salty Chinese donut’ is fresh and great. Most of the stuff on their menu is quite good, although I find their congee a bit too salty for my tastes. Very popular with local Chinese.
East is East — Indian / Afghanistan — great food and service. I especially recommend the all-you-can-eat ‘feast’ for $20 per person. You get a salad, soup, 2 kinds of rice, 2 kinds of bread, and a dozen side dishes to choose from. You can refill any and all of these things until you are full. The waitresses are very nice and very ready to refill your dishes without making you feel bad for asking and asking for more. The interior is also very interesting, with tiny chairs and tables (though it may be a bit uncomfortable for taller guys). There are also live performances if you go during peak hours.
Aristos Greek Taverna — Greek — big portions, good food. The Souvlaki menu — choice of meat/seafood, rice, salad, potato, and bread — serves very generous portions for $17 and is two meals worth of food for me! The calamari appetizer was good and my favorite was their awesome sauce with the calamari and Souvlaki and the bread (with a coating of honey and garlic? not sure). My brother’s coworker’s husband is a butcher and said the store uses really good quality fresh meat and especially recommended the roasted lamb Souvlaki. My brother said it was a bit too tough/chewy for him, but it was pretty tender and good to me — the strange thing being my brother likes lamb and I don’t. I ordered the shrimp/scallop Souvlaki and enjoyed it.
Pho Hoa — Vietnamese — best pho I’ve had at reasonable price. The broth is good, soup is hot, and meat and is plenty. I like the sides of bean sprouts, basil, pepper, and lime. Service is poor but I go there for the pho. The special menu of large pho + spring roll for under $10 is a great deal. A few of my friends also prefer this place for pho.
PS. Lately, I’ve kinda gotten into Taeyang from BigBang. He’s not usually my style of boy, but I’ve been listening to my old music and heard his 나만 바라봐 again and realized how great it was. I really like the intro of this performance (after performance interview available as well).
His eyes are just absolutely shooting sexy lasers at me! I love the lyrics too — just so simply bad boy mixed with good — a lot like Taeyang’s gentle personality mixed with his black hip-hop style and dance. And he has such a cute, adorable, puppy-melt-me smile… *faints*
If you are a fan, I also recommend this 4 part special feature of his comeback — Real Sound by Taeyang! I know I’m a bit behind, but I’m always re-discovering and re-loving Kpop =p That’s what I love about it!