Sunday, June 27, 2010

Do women really earn less than men?

Based on the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women earn 80 cents for every dollar men earn.  From a young female perspective, like myself, of course this is not fair for the same work we do to earn less.  At my current work, we have workshop to help women build their stage at work to be more prominence in the work stage - meaning to catch up to the men. 

There are many studies to reason why women got pay less - it is rooted from the difference in social roles, women are perceived weaker in the work force, women doesn't take enongh credit for their achievement, men are more aggressive in asking for a raise etc.
Let's assumed men are more aggressive in asking for a raise is true but why?  An interesting thought came to my mind.  Perhaps, men have a larger expense that forces them to look for higher salary.  Let's be honest.  Though women fought for equality for so long.  We will never be equal.  Men are still expected to pay for the meal on a date; to give girls a ride (girls passed their teenager stage - will you date a guy without a car?); to buy drinks for girls in a bar.  Men are still wanting to be the provider in the household though half of the North America work force are women.  All these expectation assumed by the society on men, still to this day, may be the reason why men has a higher salary.  They need a bigger salary to sustain themselves.

Who is the beneficiary of the extra expenses of men?  Would it be women?  They got a few free meals throughout the year, a few free drinks in the bar, receive presents from the guys they dated etc.  Are these freebies we have to pay by a lower salary?

Afterall, as my mom always told me, "there's no free lunch, honey".

Image adapted from

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Blackberry Addiction

Have you got annoyed by someone you know keep checking their blackberry while spending time with you and talking to you?

Have picking a vacation destination without internet connection and mobile connection part of the requirement?

Blackberry gave me a lot of flexibility and convenience so I don't have to be glued to my desk and my computer all the time.  However, when it gets into your personal life too far and you don't know how to draw the line between your personal time and work, you got a huge issue.  Does blackberry enhance communication or impair communication?  Has it interfere with your personal life?

Why do you work such a long hour?

All day back-to-back meetings from 9-3.  Barely have time to inhale lunch during conference calls putting myself on mute.  Finally got to sit down in front of my computer, there's a long list of email waiting for me to reply.  By the time it's 5, I finally sort through all the "needed to reply" email but take home with me a list of to-dos that came out of the meetings the past few days.  

Sound familiar?

Chatting with a few friends who have worked for 3-5 years already now after college.  We found ourselves in the same situation.  The 8 hours work day is filled with communication, there's just no time to do real work to move projects forward.  What's going on?  Why can't we get all the work done at work?  

With remotely accessible computer to your work network, conference bridge, and blackberry, it makes it awfully easy to bring work home.  Because there's no time to get real work done, people bring it home to do it with all these technology that happens.  We all ended up working 3+ hours additional at home.  That's a 11+ hours day + commuting time.  This phenomenon resulted in employee burning out, higher divorce rate, more sick leave, and more stress in people in the workforce.  

Compare to my parents generation who are born in the 50s, before the internet and computer era, things are a little different.  The society is existing in a much slower speed.  Internet and computer enable the world to move along so much faster.  Before internet and computer, people can get things done faster than information is being transmitted or communicated.  Now, it is the other way around.  People cannot catch up to the speed of information is being distributed.  Since there's no longer the barrier of the availability of information, companies and consumers are expecting things to be done instantaneously.  

Everyone tries get things out of the door and have no sufficient time to think things through thoroughly, to evaluate and assess for the best solution, and to look back and learn from things that we do.  There's no time to take care of the people, and build relationship among co-worker.  Work became work, work and work.  There's no time to do other things.  

Internet and computer change the whole world.  It enhance communication and information distribution.  However, are we prepared for the aftermath?  Is faster and more really the better?



I got sunburned at a nude beach and can't wear clothes.
My buddies locked me in the trunk of an abandoned car after a weekend of drinking.
My mom said I was not allowed to go to work today.
I'm just not into it today.
I'm convinced my spouse is having an affair and I'm staying home to catch them.
I was injured chasing a seagull.
I woke up in Canada.

Source: 2009 survey of 7,884 U.S. workers and managers

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I'm who I'm.

May be I have lived in a bubble until now.  It is so important for people around me to all like me.  I care how people think of me.  

Recently realized this adds unnecessary pressure to myself of something I cannot control. There're so many things on my plate.  Having to satisfy and getting everyone to like me means I'm don't have my own thoughts.  Pleasing everyone means you are doing what everyone want you to do but not doing things you think you should do?

I'm learning "I'm who I'm.  It is too bad you don't like it".  That way, at the very least, I have my own point-of-view and have character.

Remember that Job is just a Trade

Relationship of employee and employer has changed 180 degree compare to my Grandpa's time.  It used to be the employer at certain level looking out for their employee.  Both ends are looking for a long term relationship and loyalty was the key to a good employer-and-employee relationship.

It is no longer that.  Number is the key to the employer.  Living through a few lay-offs at work, I witness that.  It is not good nor bad.  It is a change.  Unfortunately, I found this to be less human.  The human factor of a employee-and-employer relationship seems to diminished through the years.  Employment is just an exchange of benefit.  

Employer tries to put some level of humanness into this relationship by adding Engagement because people are people.  They need the human factor to motivate them in certain level.  Employer cannot offer it all, so they provided a discounted humanness instead to keep the relationship from falling apart.  However, the trust is no longer there.  

Employee asks, "Why is my team not engaged and motivated when I've already have done so much for them."  Is this what people are looking for?  May be to motivate is just as simple as behaving in a way to look out for your employee.  With action to show you care and appreciate their loyalty.  Trust needs to be built for engagement and motivation to harvest.  Short sighted decision in exchange for a temporary boost on the balance sheet is a costly price to pay.  

Remember, "What you pay is what you get."  

I grew a little older realizing this, haven't I?

Fears of Heading Toward 30s

I fear of.....

* Having babies over 35 and my baby have increased chance of Dawn Syndrome
* Still being clueless at work when I'm over 30s and people think I'm an idiot
* Loosing my friends due to sickness and accident
* My first grey hair
* My first wrinkle
* No one ask for my ID anymore
* Being too experienced and losing my ability to dream 
* Loosing my silliness and impulsiveness
* Work wearing me down
* Accepting the world is the way it is
* Reality wearing out hope

"You will understand when you grew up." is true!!!!

Sounds familiar?  At some point in your early life, someone must of told you that.  At least, a few people did to me.  It is true!

I thought there will be dramatic events or changes to me that would make me understand these things that made no sense to me when I was a child.  Nope.  Just one day, one minor thing happen, perhaps a cumulative of small events that had happened and this minor incident push me over the tipping point that I've all of a sudden get it.  That's it.  That's how it happen.

One day recently, I suddenly change.  I realize that I don't have the time of the world anymore like all children, teenagers and early 20s think they do.  Just like that.  Another sign of aging unfortunately or fortunately.  We'll see.

Post-80s Born Babies' Definition of Success vs. Baby Boomers

Being a 80s baby, I live and breath a constant struggle with what I've been taught as success versus what I have in mind.  

(I could very well an Asian thing).  "Adults" taught me since I was a child that success means getting a good education, finding a good paid/well respected job, own a house, and get a decent life style.  Grown up and lived/worked in Metropolitan cities like Hong Kong and Toronto, I witness countless people living up this belief of success and working day-after-day 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14....hours a day on weekday, may be weekends toward this goal of theirs.

Is getting a well paid/well respected job while giving up my personal life, social life, family life and may be health in exchange for money, and executive title means success to me?

In conversation with friends of mine who are post-80s babies, I found a number of us are struggling with this question.  

I notice a lot more people in their 20s really try to expose themselves internationally and acquire a wide variety of life experience.  If can afford, we are willing to take no pay leave for an extended time away travelling.  "What a luxury you kids living a spoiled life!" is not an uncommon comment I've heard from a few Baby Boomers I told of my travelling.

This kind of choice speaks of a characteristic of post-80s born babies.  We're in search of the meaning of success for our generation.  We question what we've been taught by our parents.  Does it apply to me?  If not, what is?

Success should encompass both personal and career.  There should be balance.  And personal and career goal can be an integrated goal.  Why not?

I'm excited to be part of a generation that is shifting from previous generation's mind set.  There's a new era ahead of us for sure.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Learning English Just Became Easier

Kudo to the New York Times!  First online newspaper I've read that has a build-in dictionary function.  You only need to highlight the word you don't know and click on the question mark sign will NYT prompt up the meaning of that word for you.

How convenient!? I love it.  Would be so great to have this when I first move to Canada.  Save me tones of time flipping dictionary.  All in one place.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Definition of Canadian has not been more clear!

Winter Olympic 2010 gave us an opportunity to show our pride as Canadian.  It definitely draw all of us together as a nation regardless where you are, and what ethnic background you are.
See on Youtube - How Winter Olympic 2010 Define Us, Canadian?

See on Youtube - I believe!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

What do you expect to find under "for sale" in Classified?

May be a car? A bike? A poster? Or may be a .....pig?

We're Canadian!

I never know Canadian can be so patriotic.  The past 2 weeks of Winter Olympic was truly eye opening.  Even friends of mine who are born in Canada told me they have not seen Canadian showing this side of themselves.  

I've always wonder whether mosaic multiculturalism really works.  Are Canadian only a bunch of people of different culture living in their own cultural community on the same soil without anything holding them together or there are a glue that stick us, the mosaic pieces, together as one nation?  This Winter Olympic gave me a definite answer that WE'RE ONE NATION!  It is pretty awesome to see different ethnic group wearing red and waving a Canadian flag cheering on "Go Canada Go!".  Yes, this Olympic is expensive and we have to pay for the bill but it bought us an opportunity to bring all of us, Canadian, together!  And that is priceless.  

I already miss you, Winter Olympic!  Thanks to you, I see how patriotic, we, Canadian can be!  

I'm proud to be Canadian!!!  Go Canada Go!!! 

Recent Earthquakes

High magnitude earthquakes happened one after another.  First Haiti, then Chile just had a 8.8 magnitude earthquake.  Being in Vancouver, which is on the fault line, is already overdude for its cyclical earthquake.  How soon will it arrive?  I cannot imagine devastated damages may happen in my home town.  Are you prepare for it seeing the damages made in recent earthquakes?

Check this out a map of recent earthquakes around the world:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A friend of mine in her early 20s, who just got her first job, asked me what she needs to buy for her new wardrobe.  It bought back a lot of memories how difficult it was to start a work wardrobe.  

Being the youngest generation in the work force sometime can be very difficult.  I remember I have to purposely put on my glasses, choose my make-up carefully, and always dress professionally to make myself appear more mature.  Because I'm (I was) so young, how I carry myself in the workforce is so important.  I'm green, inexperience, if I appear to be like a school kid, it would be very difficult for others at work to take me seriously.

Though my work place is very casual, I always dress professionally.  You think I don't want to pull on my hoodie and jeans to work?

Just this year, I feel that I can relax a bit in my appearance.  Does it mean that I am getting old and appearing older so I no longer need to dress young?  Yikes.

Below - adapted from Professional Dress Code tips by D. Burleson

Friday, January 29, 2010

Are good kids really good kids?

Growing up, everyone around me that study hard, listen to your parents, listen to your teachers, listen to so and so.  Obedience seems to equate good.  I disagree in some level.  It is good to have a balance.  If you promote your kid to be 100% obedience and not let them even express their thoughts, you may very well be breeding a kid who in the future cannot make any decision by themselves, who their peers might call them ma ma's boy/gal.  An individual needs to be capable of making their own decision, have their own opinion and have confident to make choices for themselves.  What's good if your kid, even after they are all grown up, all they know when presented with a choice is to ask their mama or papa.  

"Hon, I really want to spend alone time with you.  I think it is a good time to have our own place," said A's girlfriend.

"Oh, hon, I don't know.  I'll have to ask my mom about that.  I don't think she will like that idea," replied A.

A is a grown up man with 35 years behind him living with his parents.

When things go wrong, you do your best to make amends!

Everyone make mistakes in life.  It was shocking to find out my parents aren't perfect saints when I was a kid.  Growing up, everyone tells me to be a good kid, study hard and listen to your parents.  There's always guidelines and rules to follow when I was a kid and even part of my teenage period.  Slowly growing up, the guideline became blurry.  More "it depends" creeps up.  There's no more set rules what's right and wrong.  You kind of have to trial and error to find out sometimes.  I made mistakes more often.  

I always thought growing up that if you make a boo boo, the boo boo stays forever.  In the past 5 years, I realize that's not true.  It doesn't matter that you have made mistake (well...may be not like murder that kind of mistake.  I mean the regular day-to-day mess up).  What's matter is when things go wrong, you do your best to make amends and learn your lesson not to do it again.  There's no point to hold grudge and to torture yourself with guilt.  What's important is learn the lesson and learn not make the same boo boo again.  Life is a series of experience.  Mistakes make our life more rich.  Usually people learn more from wrongs than rights.

Youtube - Lots of Traffic But No One Wants to Pay For It

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What's An Economical Way to Bond with New Co-workers?

Have you feel the pain from the accumulated here and there small bill from the day-to-day lunch and coffee each month? Even I don't drink specialty coffee, $2 in the morning, $2 in the afternoon and then $7-10 or more lunch here and there really adds up.

 I like to bring my own lunch and even coffee.  It is more healthy and economical.  I have been doing this the past 3 years that I've been working.  Recently I changed jobs then my perspective changed a bit.  It is so important to build a good relationship with your new team - get to know them.  My company has branches all over different cities across Canada.  Everyone's on the phone all the time in conference call.  The only arrangable opportunity to get to know the team is lunch time and coffee time.  It feels so anti-social not to tag along but lunch in downtown really hurts if you go out often.  And I tend to eat more eating out and then spending the rest of the afternoon sitting at my cubicle really promote the growth of my mid-session.  It hurts!

Is there an alternative to bond with co-workers but not hurt your wallet?

Pic - adopted from

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New Gig - iPad!

 The new Mac gig launched today - iPad!  The price of iPad is actually not bad.  Despite the name, it is a pretty good toy for someone who has a work laptop and want something personal that is mobile with a more eye-friendly display than an iPhone for reading articles, documents or books on the go.  Seriously, I hate carrying 2 laptops when I travel for work!  I want something for personal use but really didn't like carrying 2 laptops.  It is such a hazel especially nowadays US limit the carry on allowance.

Price is pretty decent considering I probably won't buy an iPhone if I have this as I already have a BlackBerry Storm.  

However, I do want to truly have a one device for my personal use.  I wish it has a camera as well...

I have to comment about their naming.  You know what is the first thing that come to my mind?  

Whoever named it, sorry...I can't resist.  I didn't like the naming AT ALL.  Did you do user research with women in the group?  Who would name it iPad?  It is just my opinion.  lol.

I think iPad is good for someone who:
  • has  work laptop
  • wants to use their personal laptop for browsing, email, dowloading, streaming etc.
  • already has a Blackberry from work or a personal mobile phone but want something personal that is mobile
  • perhaps travels for work a lot and doesn't want to carry 2 laptop for personal and work usage

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sync Shared Calendar

"Why didn't you tell me you aren't coming home for dinner?", A said.

" I told you last week and reminded you yesterday.", B replied.

"But you didn't remind me today!!!", A said.

"...........sorry......", B said

Does this situation sound familiar?  I've heard some of my friends living with folks who are in their 50s or older encountering similar situation frequently.  

Most people in their 50s start to show more signs of aging.  One of the more noticeable sign is forgetfulness.  Nothing major but just becoming more frequent that they forgot something they've been notified or told and not remembering to bring things.  They are all more short term thing that are being increasingly hard to remember.

Sometime they need to be remained multiple times.  Otherwise, it will create a lot of misunderstanding and create conflict within the family.   However, for the younger folks in the family, requiring to remain them constantly and being asked multiple times can be frustrating and if you showed it to them, it will create conflict among family members.  What can you do?

Wouldn't it be cool if we can have a auto reminder function in our phones that get sent to the phone of family members who need frequent reminder?  You just need to punch in an event and set up alert frequency. Win-Win situation!

Also, it would be awesome if we can have a shared calendar on the fridge that sync with the calendar of all family members' mobile on shared events.  On the day of, the calendar on the fridge will display everyone's schedule.  All family members just need to read off everyone's schedule.  it helps those who are busy with their life or has becoming a little forgetful to be on the ball of everyone's schedule.  

No more conflicts or misunderstanding!  Wouldn't that be awesome?!  I hope someone is working on it somewhere and it will be come affordable in the next 5 years or so.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Oranges and Chinese

I saw a Chinese man on skytrain yesterday on the way back home from work during rush hour.  I was listening to my iPod then I smelled a strong scent of orange.  I look around and saw this Chinese man in front of me munching on a peeled whole orange with one hand and holding onto the handle to stabilize himself in the mist of a huge crowd cramping like sardines in the train.  He was working on the orange trying to bit ever piece of it.

It is great that he chose a healthy snack but what an awkward choice in that kind of environment.  Beside the strong scent, the juicy orange will squirt everywhere - into the back of the person standing right in front of him, and into the eyes of someone who is sitting next to him.

Then I remember, as a Chinese myself, oranges seems to be our most common fruit that my grandma and mom usually serve after dinner.  I wonder why orange is "the" choice of fruit for Chinese? Or is it?

Chinese is always practical and economical.  Is it because it is easy to preserve and mobile?  Is it because it is full of Vitamin C and it's economically priced? Is it because Chinese like it juicy and plum? Or is it because the strong scent of orange clean the left over smell of their yummy but strong aroma Chinese dinner?

Up - pic adapted from

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Monocle: (One of) My Favourite Magazine!!!

I found Monocle ( ) when I was randomly walking on Queen Street one day.  This is such a fantastic magazine with a bit of politic, economy, culture, & design of not only one country but the globe.  And it is for a value price of about $11 CAD.

Nowadays with way too much information to keep up with from way too many sources that I need to keep updating myself or RSS feed from.  HELP!!!  It is so hard to manage all these information.  And I can't possibly afford buying one magazine for news, another for fashion, another for food and culture, another for finance etc.  Also, I can't buy one of each of these for each of the country I'm interested to get the news from.

I always wanted an all-in-one magazine and I FOUND it!!!!

Monocle is available in Drake's Hotel, Chapters and Coles.  It is weird though.  For a year subscription that they mail to your house, you have to pay 15 pounds for each copy (if I remember correctly.  This is way more expensive this way for some reasons.

Surviving New City Without A Car in Toronto

  • Location, location, location.  Picking a good location will make your life a lot easier.  Depending on whether it is winter or summer, the weather will drive your criteria.
    • Summer 
      • Transportation Consideration: Pick somewhere along the subway line. It makes you more mobile and your experience in Toronto more enjoyable.  There are tones of festivals and events to go to in the summer time.  
      • Grocery Consideration: Pick somewhere close to a supermarket or accessible to a supermarket through public transportation.  I'm Chinese.  I have to pick somewhere where I can buy authentic Chinese groceries.  
      • Zip Car Consideration: Pick somewhere you can access Zip Car within 5-10 min work.  Just for whenever you want to go somewhere further or need to pick up bigger item to have an option to fall back to.
      • Medical Clinic Consideration: Pick somewhere you can find a doc.  If you are alone in a city you don't know, the least thing you want is to figure out where the doc is and travel a long distance to get to the doc (then get your medication somewhere).
      • Bank Consideration: Pick somewhere close to your bank or accessible to a bank
    • Winter - there are a few more things to think about...
      • Best to find a place where it has underground tunnel that can connect you to the subway.  You want to minimize the distance that you will be exposed outdoor.  It can get quiet cold.  I can't bare more than 10 min work uptown during only Dec (Jan and Feb are the coldest month).
      • Fitness Consideration: If  you are active or want to keep active, you may want to find a location that is close to a place that offer sports you like to participate.  Apartment may be a good choice as most apartment has its own gym and swimming pool.  It is quiet convenient.  YMCA is a good place for multiple different sport and the membership includes a variety of fitness classes.  you can't really go outside much in the winter time so it is good to plan this in.
    • Yonge @ Sheppard, Yonge @ Dundas, Yonge @ Wellington have reasonably priced room for rent that fit all the above criteria.  
  • Finding a place to rent can get interesting.  I used craigslist for the 2 places I found.  It takes time to hunt and check-out the places but I always find places at location I want, at the price I want and furnished.  TO does offer some subsidized housing with pretty good rates at some good location.  It is a good alternative.
    • I usually text a friend where I'm going just in case.  There are some freaky people out there sometime.  
    • Check constantly!  Good places get taken quite fast.  But always look at the place before hand and chat with the folks you will be sharing to make sure they are not psycho.  The usual stuff. 
  • Zip Car is such a great option to go for.  You can rent a car by hour in case you want to do a short excursion outside of your subway line boundaries.  It is really easy to use and you can take the car to US too, which is not common with other companies with same kind of service.  An alternative is weekend rental from regular car rental place.  They have weekend deals in the summer time to rent a car for the whole weekend including drop off (depending on location) for only $60 or so.
  • Grocery Shopping gets challenging without a car and on budget.  Convenience usually equate to more expensive bills.  It is good to settle in your new place before winter hit so you can get familiar with what's around you.  I rent a Zip Car every 2 weeks to buy bigger item stuff from supermarket that sell cheaper stuff 


    • Milk and eggs for some reason are very reasonable at Shopper Drug Mart

    • sometime you will find local market offers cheap produce

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone - Live Life to the Fullest

Some complaints I hear quite often:
" Life is so routine."
"My job is so boring."
"I wish I'm like you but...."

Some excuses I often hear:
" I can't do this.  I have a car, a house and a job here.  I'm not like you."
"I need to advance in my career.  I don't have a few months to spare to do this."

Common comments I hear from people who stepped out of their 4x4 comfort zone and tried something new:
"I never know I can do that."
"I didn't even know what it is until.....Man, that's awesome!" 
"That amazing time when...."
"I don't think I can live the way I did."

A good friend of mine recently got very sick from a rare form of disease.  His life got flipped upside down.  No warning.  No symptom. It just happened.  So fast and so unexpectedly.

Since this has happened, a goal of mine to live life to the fullest has make more sense than ever.  Life is seriously too short.  There are so many things that can happen to change the state that you are in right now.  You may not have the luxury to wait it off later to do what you always have in your mind to do.  Who knows when life throw a curve ball at you?  It is the beauty of life to have surprises but they don't necessary are nice ones (like my friend's).  

People always give themselves so many excuses not to step out of their comfort zone to do things.  Most of the time it is just in your head how hard something you want to do is.  What's so hard to just try it?  If it doesn't work out, no one will die (well....i guess depends what you have in mind to do.  I mean most of the time).  At least you find out it doesn't work, right?

Stop wasting time.  If you want to do it, you can make things work.  Try it!!  You can make your life more colorful.  Seriously, not that hard.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Was it a dream or am I dreaming right now?

Logistically, moving back went smoothly.  However, psychologically I think it will take a while to adjust.  The first week, perhaps was a combination of my cold, 3 hours time difference, and the resistance to accept the fact that i moved back home and have to leave my friends in Toronto, it felt so surreal.  the feeling is like I was either dreaming right now or it has been a dream.

I thought moving back would be simple and easy as I'm from here and familiar with here.  Opposite to what I have expected, everything seems familiar but is so unfamiliar.  I felt like a human who lived in another planet with Aliens and now come back to Earth.

There's a unique flow of each city.  Now after a year and a half in Toronto, I adapted the flow of Toronto.  Though I'm from Vancouver, I've disconnected from the flow here.  It will take a while to pick it up.  I guess you can't switch from one flow to another just like that.

It took me 1/2 year to pick up the flow in Toronto enduring the torture of feeling not belonged.  Hopefully, it will take shorter time to get through coming back.

Lessons Learned

Over a year has zoomed by.  I've moved back to Vancouver after spending a year and a half living and working in Toronto.  It felt like I woke up from a dream.

It has been an amazing experience.  From my move, I expected to gain only work experience and to move on from my long-dragged on past relationship.  A year and a half later, looking back, I found I've learned much more.   

I have learned

  • what friendship truly is
  • that I cannot do everything myself and it is OK to accept others' help
  • family should not be taken for granted
  • when you open your heart up, you will find you are being loved more than you allow yourself to see
  • what does my mom mean by using my heart to treat others (because I've met so many friends who treated me with their heart)
  • life is too short to not live it to the fullest
  • life is not fair but still beautiful
  • what is support
  • being able to give is a blessing
  • that you can get a lot of things done but not get stressed
  • what I want and what I think is important too
  • the breeze that carry the smell of the sea makes me smile
  • you need to being at the right place, at the right time to meet the people you know and become friends is not an easy thing.  This deserve you to treasure and cherish.
  • there are places where weather determine how human live
To my surprise, I've learned much more life lessons just moving to another city within Canada than travelling to the other side of the world.  I'm so glad I have this opportunity to experience temporarily loosing something I took for granted in Vancouver.  This experience made me realize how fortunate I'm to have so much in my life.  I learned to appreciate and cherish people and things around me.

Happiness is not a thing that you have or you don't.  If you are not happy, perhaps, try to change your perception and attitude.  You may find happiness has always been around you.  It is only you never notice it here.