Ever have traditions that you look forward to? When it comes to Canada Day, it rarely changes, but when it does, it's because it's better. Not the usual parade that I'm accustomed to watching, however, it still involves the people I love most. Let's look at the nation's birthday celebrations.
You think Mina & myself could be professional hockey players?
July 1, 2015
When I was young, my father and I use to attend the Steveston Canada Day parade every year. They were really fun times, the floats were colourful and full of life, it was amazing when you're a young child. But what mattered most to me was spending time with my father. I remember one year that he couldn't attend the parade, and so I went with him on a business trip just so we could spend time... Even though I decided to stay in the car instead of listening to their discussions (should have known better).
There were other times when I would spend Canada Day with my cousins instead of my father, and although it was more entertaining, it still wasn't the same. Other times, I wouldn't even go out just because of the crowds that occur every first of July, which was somewhat better as my father was there as well.
So now, forward to the 2010s. My cousin Mina and I had this one year where we spent Canada Day with our cousins and coincidentally both brought our Japanese friends - that was a solid day. This year, the tradition continues.
I first had work (something I never saw myself doing on Canada Day), which was pretty productive, but still felt like any other day. It was after work where I was hauling myself into downtown to meet up with Mina and her friend - I had no time to find my Japanese friends! When I did, I met her friend named Suzuka. She was visiting for a short time, as she had a limited number of days off from work. It's such an honour that she would come back to Canada, even for a short time.
She told me that she works as a teacher, specifically English. It's amazing to see the diversity of careers one can enter, as the world has different demands in far-off places. I think I just want to travel, but to be paid while making an impact in people's lives, now that is something remarkable.
We did all of the Canada Day events, watching live performances, wear red and white (or, what we had available), be part of the city and capsulate the energy given off on this Wednesday afternoon. It seemed that no one had a care, as one part of town was rather festive, and the mall being busy as ever. We had a pit stop at Pacific Centre, just to unwind from all of the walking and to avoid crowds. Mina and Suzuka were waiting for their friend, who happened to be my high school classmate - we must live in a small world.
Although I could not join them for the parade and fireworks, we took some photos before departing. Suzuka mentioned how her facial features resemble a chipmunk, and that her signature pose is similar to the animal. So, this is the moment we captured:
Left: myself, Suzuka, Mina
Alvin, Simon, Theodore!
Aren't we sexy? Out time was limited, but well appreciated. It's always a joy to make new friends and get to know one another. Heading back to Richmond, I had to spend time with the original celebrant, but with a different twist.
My father had family friends spending a few days in the city, and so we decided to have dinner just before his father had to catch a flight. Ardy studies here, whereas his family are from Asia (I will not disclose which country, but I do want to visit there some day!) It was at a Chinese restaurant along No. 3 Road. I will not disclose the place, but I must say, it was quite red inside (how appropriate). By the time I got there, all of the food had been ordered, and they even saved me food for the dishes they ate so fast. It was just the right food to end the day.
With discussions about country relations to music and even more food (there is always room for dessert), it's never a dull moment with these people:
Standing, from left: Ardy and myself
Sitting, from left: Nicole, Paul, Angus, Neni, and Siony
There was a joke at dinner to find a place for dessert. Nicole wanted to have Dairy Queen, since it's not available where she lives, whereas I wanted bubble tea. On the top of my head, I suggested that we should go to Bubble Queen, and everyone thought I was putting the two names together. But no, I was talking about bubble waffles and everything sweet at this shop.
Our parents were not up for dessert, so I brought Nicole and Ardy to the shop. Fortunately, the place was practically empty, meaning that they had seats for us. With barely anyone inside, we ordered right away and got our bubble tea and bubble waffles. I do not remember what I go, but I think it was a fruity drink with pearls; mmm, pearls. The only thing I can recall getting was the Oreo bubble waffle, which is seriously the bomb. I don't know how the people make the batter, but it makes me want to have it every single day.
Nicole, Ardy, and myself spent some quality time with each other, having talks about random subjects and anything that came to the top of our heads. What fascinated me was this sign we were sitting by, and this piece of advice from the store itself:
Very convenient for all
Who knew that people ordered bubble waffles via phone call? But it proves that bubble waffles are irresistible.
Maybe not so much a tradition spending time with my father, but I still got to see him and bond with people that we love. From rushed morning to laid back night, this Canada Day gets an A-stamp of approval. Long live the traditions both old and new, and that they may never die out. Happy Day indeed.