bed bugs and fish heads

Happy Birthday to Sandi, Lela, Joey, and Alvin!

This week, 4 people in our house have a birthday. So last Friday we had a cookout! Some of the Chinese were quite puzzled by hamburgers. Alvin refused one all together. He says in China, people don't use a grill much, so the food usually turns out bad when they attempt. So he's not much of a burger eater. Gaby fixed his burger, complete with meat patty and bun. That's all. I think he's afraid of ketchup. We had cake and sang Happy Birthday, 4 times, blowing out candles each time. It took forever.

Tin Tin
Our lettuce comes from the backyard!
Joey, the grill master

I've decided that shopping in Canada is not going to work for me. Everything is more expensive here and the tax is 13%. No thanks. But I did go to the biggest mall in BC with 270 stores. It entertained me for a few hours and I bought a bra, so I was satisfied. You can never have too many bras.

Yesterday I went to Granville Island. It's full of shops, art galleries, and good eatin! A photographer that I met (Jameson) took me and we walked around all the stores and galleries filled with Native American art. Apparently, that's a big thing here. There's a large Native population so there are lots of totem poles, carvings, and animal faces around. Then we went to a park and one of the "beaches". The beach was for dogs, no lie. There were probably 15 dogs running and playing in the water and sand with each other. Considering how much I love furry creatures, this intrigued me. The beach was somewhat of a let down. I'm used to lots of sand, gentle waves, and endless water. But the BC area is filled with jagged edges, islands, and rocks and trees. So the beaches look totally different. They are more like little sandy spots along the shore line of several bays and inlets. Jameson says that there is another beach where we can go and probably see whales and sea lions!!! I would absolutely pee my pants if I saw a whale. But the coolest part of the day was watching these guys, with giant kites skim across the grass. So bascially they have a giant kite that acts kinda like a parachute. It is attached to their bodies via a harness and they have a board on their feet with wheels. And they glide across the ground...fast. It is super cool. They can also do it on the water with a board that has no wheels. Unbelievable. This was the first day in 2 weeks that I got to enjoy the sunshine, which made a huge difference in my mood. I felt much more energized and bright. Thank God. But of course, today is back to cloudy. Ugh. Maybe tomorrow I'll be able to squeeze in a bit of vitamin D production.

I noticed yesterday I was quite itchy, and as I went to investigate the source of my discomfort, I was surprised bysmall red spots along my arm, back, and chest. hmmmmm...I know these spots. They're BED BUGS! Of course, I go into total panic mode and search the mattress, the sheets, etc, but I can't find any. Then it hits me. I borrowed a shirt from one of my roomates and didn't wash it first. GRRRRRR..... She said the shirt had been in a bag with some old clothes for a long time, so I'm 98% sure that's where they came from. Today I'm scalding all my bedding and clothing to make sure I get rid of them. gross. Until then, I'll remain itchy. But life could be a hundred times worse. At least I have an arm! So I won't complain.

Lastly, I found fish heads in the sink yesterday. Now, I am not a conesseuir of Asian cuisine. And there are some days, I don't know what is on my plate. But I usually eat it anyway and it's not too bad. After seeing fish eyeballs looking up at me from the sink, I couldn't eat the meal set before me. No thanks. Thankfully, Tina (the homestay guru) fixes more than one option for dinner, so the alternative to fishy deliciousness was actually my favorite meal of all, pancit. mmmmmm.... Gotta watch out for those creatures in my rice.

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