Grimace at interracial couples

I cringe at eye contact, or rather, I feel deeply embarrassed when people stare at my partner and I walking side by side, hand in hand. In those eyes, confusion, unfriendliness or even aversion is written. My partner, D., is a Sri Lankan from Seattle. He has brown skin, while I’m a light-skinned Chinese living…

Canadian permanent residency – the ultimate quest

Like many others around the world as I write this, I am currently going through the arduous process of attaining Canadian Permanent Residency. I say arduous here, as among the many other “hoops” you are required to jump through, one of the key facets of the application was to sit an English language exam. Being…

A scene of life in Hanoi

Morning, 7 a.m., the time when the early birds start chirping and hunting for those juicy worms, the time when the sun rises above the gloomy navy sky and also the time when people of the world start their day. You can hear the clanking sound of doors opening and birds chirping to the point…

Uninterrupted

There is an arresting spectacle happening under the north side of the Cambie Bridge in Cooper’s Park. Uninterrupted is a cinematic art installation directed by Vancouver’s Nettie Wild, an award winning documentary film maker recognized internationally. Images of the life cycle of salmon are digitally projected onto the columns and underside of the bridge. In…

Vancouver: my hometown

I’m barely 19 and fortunately my identity crisis, a psychological crisis that begins during adolescence and that sometimes extends into adult life, has quickly passed. For a good part of my life I did not know who I was, partly because I’m “exotic.” By “exotic,” I am referring to the fact that I have ethnic…

Dethroning Christy Clark

With the neoliberal consensus shattered worldwide, the soon-to-be new B.C. government must act decisively Progressive politics should be a broad and ecumenical church. No one is born a socialist, a liberal, or a conservative; we are all learning and evolving beings, with ideas shaped by our upbringing, race, gender, class position – and by the…

Onwards to Tram Mountain

Woken up by my phone notification, I turned on the screen to check what was new. There was an invitation from a friend of mine to Tram Berg – a place where the deep, deep valleys reside, where nature breaks free of the intrusion of human urbanization and also where lies the suburban lifestyle. The…

Entrance Island Lighthouse

Entrance Island is a picturesque little rocky island located 841 metres north of Gabriola Island in BC’s Salish Sea. The lantern of its white lighthouse tower has a red balcony below and red covering on top. There are several buildings, all in white vinyl siding with red roofs. The island is frequented by harbour seals…

Be yourself in Vancouver

Everyone knows Vancouver is a great city to live in. The mix between large urban buildings and nature makes the city attractive to all kinds of people. Vancouver is consistently named as one of the top five worldwide cities for livability and quality of life. Besides that, it’s also the third largest film production centre…

A Parisienne attempts a Vancouver makeover

Freshly disembarked from her native France on a winter morning (it’s all of 3°C out), the Parisienne, her ankles swollen with pride upon stepping out onto the soil of the new continent (or was it perhaps poor blood circulation due to the trip), changes her shoes. Indeed, as soon as she leaves the airport she…

Towards a progressive-green majority in B.C.

The month of May has been one of the strangest interregnums in the history of a province that has had its share of idiosyncratic and, well, wacky politics. Election night left everybody hanging, and the recounts and absentee ballots – which were only tabulated two weeks later – only narrowed the margin of the closest…

Gems in the heart of Hanoi

I am here in Hanoi, Vietnam for three months and I am thrilled to re-explore the beauty of the city where I was born and raised. Looking around at the densely populated houses and the people, I know hidden gems will be found and fun will be had. As my friend and I walk down…