January 11, 2016

The past two weeks felt more like two days. The whole process of moving is way more exhausting than the idea behind it. You think “pack, transport, unpack”. Yeah, right. It took me ages to identify where each box should go, or what to do with the objects inside – not to mention the ones with mixed contents: spices from the kitchen, cleaning products, some photographic gear, cables and wires, one or two books and my shampoo. Then, after unpacking there’s cleaning up – we took an entire week just to get rid of all the empty boxes and ended up dragging them in a very unsafe way across two or three major avenues to dump them at a supermarket – doing laundry, dishes, “what are we gonna do with all this bubble wrap??” and so forth. As I sort of mentioned in the previous post I decided to start 2016 fresh, so I hunted for a new phone, updated my notebook, fixed up a new desktop, disassembled a few other minor electronics and put them back together in working conditions – watch, flashlight, bike lights – and I think I finally finished it all.

In the meanwhile, my classes started, and I’m enjoying them. Being back in school actually feels very good. Gives me a sense of purpose, hard deadlines and makes me use my brain more, in less usual ways. Writing is something I like and it feels great to have the chance to go deeper into it – which also involves a lot of reading and practice. Posts should increase and diversify, but that’s not a promise! Hahaha!

Back to the new house, we spent a good amount of time mapping nearby places – post office, grocery stores (various options within a 5 minute walk!), hardware stores, thrift shops, downtown Burnaby, drugstores. The closest thing to home is a liquor store, literally across the street from us. Then, Real Canadian Superstore, which is a very cheap and huge supermarket. The first time we went there – Nicko, Vinicius and I – we spent two hours walking around before settling on what we needed to buy and, even then, we forgot some food. We just didn’t notice the time flying and we weren’t having that much fun! Just kidding, it was pretty funny and we got to see incredibly large packages of food – one of Vinicius’ favorite hobbies while grocery shopping here. I also found some exotic fruit which I haven’t seen yet (guavas and carambolas – starfruit?!) and got mangoes and pineapples for a fraction of the regular price downtown. Life on the outskirts has its perks.

So far I’ve been biking to school, which is a 10km ride, with plenty of uphills,that takes me around 30 minutes. It’s faster than taking the bus. The best part is coming back home which is mostly flat or downhill. The weather has been sunny lately but we’re supposed to get some rain this week. Let’s see how complex the ride gets.

This weekend was kind of a big celebration. Nati’s birthday was last Thursday and Ariana’s is today, so we mashed up birthday and housewarming parties on Friday. On Saturday we went to Metrotown for the sake of exploring – I had been there on Friday, facing what was probably my meanest uphill ever, on Rupert Street. Downtown Burnaby is so close to us it’s almost scary (“am I no longer a resident of Vancouver?”).

Everybody went to bed early because we rented a car for the weekend intending to go Whistler, the ski-paradise where everything is excessively expensive and there’s snow all year round. Four brazilians in a winter paradise. No need to say we were freezing to death. I was stupid enough to think I would be able to photograph anything and packed a ton of gear which was rendered useless by trying to stay warm and tubing. (portuguese explanation for tubing: sabe esquibunda? Só que na neve, usando uma bóia daquelas de câmara de pneu de caminhão. É uma idéia estúpida de tão simples). On my first ride I thought I’d die. I was absolutely sure I would flip, break my neck, wreck the gear on my back, be thrown out of the mountain, all that at the same time, while going down a frozen hill at stupid speed. When I got to the bottom – which takes less than 30 seconds), I realized it’s (nearly) impossible to die, so I ran up to the line again. I’m pretty sure we all got sunburned from all the snow.

Oh, yeah, and when we got there we saw a triple-bending rainbow. Even though I had six lenses on me, none of them were wide enough to capture the full picture. Nati got this with her phone and I’m referencing it here too. Down below are two of mine, with very little post-processing. We were in the middle of a cloud, and I still haven’t figured out the bent rainbow.

Triple rainbow #vancity #vancitybuzz #vancouver #explorebc #canada #nofilter

A photo posted by Natália Peixoto (@reinodanat) on

Snow and ice do an amazing job of twisting the light in – what are for me – weird and unexpected ways. My only real previous experience had been on top of Grouse mountain – a few weeks back. The weather was completely different yesterday, very enjoyable to observe. I think I might even be a little snow blind. Cool cool cool, at least it’s not a cold, but my eyes hurt.