It covers a very diverse area, and the people from different areas are very diverse. Even beyond Hong Kong and Taiwan the concept a single unified China is something I struggled to get my head around. Our guides would often reference dynasties from hundreds of years ago and say “they unified all of China.”
We flew with Qantas into Beijing from Sydney. Technically we started in Melbourne, but the international leg departed from Sydney. We had tried to get Qantas to let me join the flight in Sydney, instead of flying down to Melbourne, and then back up to Sydney again. But they said no, at least not without paying $1500 to change my ticket.
I studied Chinese in high school, all the way to year 12, though I barely remember any now. I’ve eaten with chopsticks since I was a kid. I just remember chopsticks being in the cutlery drawer with everything else, like the little cake forks you use to eat cake. They’ve always just been there.
I’ve been to Hong Kong a few times, either as a 3 or 4 day stop over going to or from somewhere else, or for around a week with the school band, I played the bass clarinet. But I had never made it to mainland China.
Dad had been interested in going for years. Dad convinced mum to go by organising the trip through an agent with dedicated guides and drivers each day to take us around.
I started the weekend with a sore throat, but it seems to have retreated. I spent this morning making two trips to Bunnings. Nothing of note can be achieved in one trip, it always takes two.
I’ve been playing a some Starcraft II on my PC connected to my TV. Other games I can play with a controller on the couch, but this really needs a keyboard and mouse. I had been playing with them on the coffee table, but this makes it a lot more comfortable to sit on the couch and use the computer.
Last weekend I put up a new blog post with a lot of photos from a national park just outside Helsinki. I enjoyed that day trip a lot, and it was good to go back through the photos.
This weekend I’ve been going through my photos from Oulu in Finland, not ones from the two nights chasing the aurora, but ones from around the town. I hope to have those ones up this week.
After spending a couple of days in Helsinki I figured I had rested my ankle enough, and I wanted to head a little way out of the city. I installed the local Helsinki public transport app on my phone, and asked Google Maps for directions. Nuuksio (which I still have no idea how it is pronounced) was two busses away. I knew I didn’t want to be trying to get back to Helsinki in the dark, so I set out quite early in the morning, in the dark.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks. Work has been mostly nuts. I have gotten used to commuting by bus, and there are work weeks when I won’t use my car at all. I am now dreading the new Canberra Transport bus timetable.
The bus to Civic from my suburb is being cancelled and I will have a 30min walk in the morning to catch a bus, or have to change buses. Either way, it’s a 50% increase on my commute each morning, which is pants.
Photos this week were from my commute, either coming or going.
Earlier in the week I jumped off the bus a couple of stops early on the way home to play Pokemon, and battle in a gym. The sky threatened to open up, but never did. #TeamPixel
I had a busy weekend last weekend, my parents were visiting from Melbourne. They chose a good weekend for it. It was the Canberra Day long weekend, so we had Enlighten and the Balloon Spectacular to keep us busy. I’m not good at organising activities when my parents visit, spending most of my downtime in front of a TV.
The first event we all went to was Enlighten, and the Night Noodle Market. Canberrans are very experienced at lining up for overpriced food from temporary food vans parked on the grass.
The lights this year were very similar to last year, and the year before that, and the year before that…
The best display is always Questacon, probably because it is a giant white screen that makes it easy to project onto. This year it was celebrating 50 years since the moon landing and the part Honeysuckle Creek (and Parkes) near Canberra played in receiving the broadcast.