Year: 2006


[February 2001 update: travel photos are now here]

I have finished putting my trip photos on my website!

There may still be a few more added (or removed) over the next while, but it is pretty much complete now.

So what do I want to do next? Update the text on the main page, add some pictures to my blog, link between my site and my blog… I guess it will keep going for a while. At least it keeps the memories of the trip vivid!

So I guess I haven’t been blogging much…

…but I have been working on my pictures! Only about one hundred more to sort through and then my online photo album for the trip will be about as complete as possible.

I don’t think I really expected to put so much online. I expect to start linking to my photo website from my blog soon (maybe by next week???).

Classic Ottawa promo

Went with Martina to see Bernadette Peters at the National Arts Centre. After leaving the show, we ran into 3 tourists from Calgary who wanted to have their picture taken. Martina asked them what they thought about Ottawa. Their response: “Oh, it’s not too bad.”

One for the brochures, that’s for sure!

Back in Ottawa

Drove back up to Ottawa with James yesterday (well, James is the one who did all of the driving, thankfully!).

James also checked in on my place while I was away, and left many nice surprises around the apartment. Aside from fixing a few things that I hadn’t had the time or energy to take care of before I left, he also bought me a new table (and plants to go on it!) and a new shelf! And some new lamps! This was such a nice welcome back to my apartment. He’s been busy for the past two months…

When I walked out of my apartment today, I realized how strange it is to be able to walk down the street without needing a map, guide book, or someone else to point me in the right direction. It’s been weeks since I’ve been able to walk somewhere and already know the route before starting out.

I’m so lucky to arrive back here as spring is underway. The temperature is comparable to what it’s like in many parts of New Zealand at the moment (approximately 15-19 C). Still, I’m not quite sure what to wear. Aside from being uncertain about whether I’m going to be warm or cold, I’m also a bit baffled about what to do with a whole closet of clothes to choose from. The simplicity of having just one bag of clothing for several weeks was really appealing. Hopefully I’ll go through with my plan of getting rid of a lot of the clothes and things I just don’t use – easier said than done, though.

I still have a lot of notes to write down from the last week I had in New Zealand (and the one day I spent in Singapore). I’m hoping to add this to my blog in the next week or so before the details fade away. Once I get the chance to move my photos from my camera to James’ computer I’ll start the process of organizing them as well. Probably still a while before they appear online (nearly 900 pictures to sort through!).

Speaking French in Singapore

My last full travel day was spent in Singapore. I arrived early in the morning and took Singapore Airlines up on their offer of free transit to the Little India area of the city. On the way, I met a girl from France who was travelling to New Zealand to study English. I was thrilled to meet someone I could practice speaking French with – I’ve had very little exposure to French over the past 8 weeks, and really wanted to speak and hear more of it before returning to Ottawa. And she was glad to find someone who spoke English and French (even if it may have been difficult for her to understand me at times). I think it really helped her out to have someone who could ask for directions and make sure we would get to where we wanted to go.

And we sort of got lost anyway. We spent a few hours doing the walking route around Little India, following a map and guide book. That was fine and I think we both enjoyed seeing this part of Singapore. Then we decided to try catching one of the tour buses to see more of the city. That’s when things got complicated. We probably just missed the bus we wanted and then tried to find a different stop to catch it or another bus – and we didn’t know where to go. The maps for these buses aren’t exactly precise, and the very friendly and helpful locals aren’t actually all that knowledgeable about the specifics of where and how to catch tourist buses.

Eventually, we got caught in a sudden rain storm and a young Singaporean who was waiting for his girlfriend to meet him offered to show us how to take the subway. This was so nice of him! The system was familiar, but it made things much easier to have someone to show us the steps and point us in the right direction. From the stop we got off at, we could walk underground past numerous stores to get back to the meeting spot for where the bus would bring us back to the airport.

So I helped Sofie get back there in time for her afternoon return to the airport. Since I still had hours before flying out, I decided to take the city bus tour (and the bus happened to pull up right in front of me, so I hopped on). It was still rainy, so I didn’t want to get out and explore at any of the stops. I had already done so much walking that day!

After the tour, I walked back to see the 16 storey high National Library. It’s a national library and also a public, lending library. Since it was Good Friday and a holiday in Singapore, the library was closed. Still, the outside of the building is impressive and the area surrounding the library is very inviting. I had to follow in my vacation tradition and photograph the library and its signage, of course.

I also stopped by the Raffles Hotel, famous for the creation of the Singapore Sling (and other things, I’m sure).

Eventually, I headed back to the airport where I was looking forward to taking Singapore Airlines up on its other offer of a free shower (offered to anyone who takes the shuttle bus into the city). After a walk in the hot Singapore morning and rainy Singapore afternoon I was really looking forward to this! Finding the Rainforest Spa shower area was more difficult than I had anticipated, though. I eventually found it, and just hoped that my fellow traveller from France had been able to find more easily!