For Fun, Attention or Quiet Self-Identity : National Heritage Dress

One thing for certain, travelling in big cities of Japan and South Korea, you can rent a national dress and parade around in it for a few hours.  It’s around 30 – 45 Canadian dollars.  We never saw this money-making practice when we were in Germany, France, Denmark, Czech Republic nor Barcelona, Spain.  Maybe there’s…

Different Flavours for Different Farmers’ Markets: Canada and Abroad

It’s de rigour for us to check out the local farmers’ market whenever we travel and visit a town, city or country. Squeezing in Happy Time– Local and Abroad In past blog posts, I’ve enjoyed showcasing a few in Toronto, Vancouver, Freiburg (Germany) and Hilo (Hawai’i)  –wonderful local foods, sometimes crafts and ambience which puts…

Awestruck on La Rambla and Beyond: Barcelona, Spain.

Barcelona, Spain is like Vancouver, British Columbia  –millions of tourists pour into each city every year.  After four days, we still had not exhausted its rich treasure chest of sights and experiences.  Inevitably visitors end up crossing or on its main pedestrian street, La Rambla. It was my first time in Spain whereas for Jack,…

5 Kids in One-Bedroom Apartment- Unearthing Space and Its Impact

There’s a Vancouver divorced dad-blogger who blogs about life in downtown Vancouver with his 5 children in a 1,000 sq. ft. rental condo. In fact, he probably lives just few blocks from us. Well, it’s admirable he has some of his growing children in bunk beds.  And the kids are only with him for 2…

Are North American Cities Boring?

For some North Americans after a long European vacation trip, returning home is to the familiar and mundane  –especially  when home doesn’t have soaring, centuries old architectural monuments or lots of jaw-dropping art.  Or the North American just might be relieved:  thank goodness for space and wilderness.   As a Canadian, I don’t quite view Europe as prime destination to experience stunning,…

Humanities and Arts: Talent and Creativity Redefines Logic

Whenever there are cutbacks to classroom time, courses or extracurricular school activities for: the arts, theatre, music, creative writing, I’m concerned. Arts, Humanities Touches Daily Life:  Highest and Mundane Details Those snickers about people who major in philosophy, history, literature  –university / college programs which don’t provide a clear-cut path to an immediate job, I wonder:  …

Canadian Camping Newbie @32 Years

My first time camping in a tent on the ground was when I was 32 years old.  I just started to know my partner who had been on numerous camping trips himself. That seminal, first camping time was during a bike trip outside of Toronto.  It meant cycling with our gear, sleeping bag for  over…

A Candle for Canada’s 150th Birthday

This blog post is light and small like a cupcake. 2017 is Canada’s 150th year as a country. Sure, the country did exist centuries before, as a collection of different nations of native Indian and Inuit peoples.  That memory and consciousness is still with us today alongside with Canada – in their voices, in names of some…

Reject Not at First Glance : Stained Glass Church Art

Two decades ago, I tossed out my 30-lb. stained glass artwork into the garbage a few years after I finished two stained glass art courses.  I dubbed the art piece, “Spring Thaw”. “Spring Thaw” was hoisted out into the garbage room,  because I thought it was unworthy of transporting 4,000 km. in moving  to Vancouver from Toronto.  Yes, it was…

Where Was I? During History in the Making

Women’s March –  Jan. 21, 2017 This  peaceful protest march caught like a firestorm with over 160 sister city marches across the world.  I didn’t join our local city march which attracted over 4,000 people.  Instead I was having a hair cut. The massive  march was galvanized first, by American women in protest of their newly sworn-in President Trump, known for his…

Teenager Helps Father Sponsor Relatives to Immigrate to Canada

That Ontario teenager was myself.  I don’t have a photo like what you see in some recent newspapers: Smiling Canadians posing in photos with Syrian refugees as they arrive at our major city airports.  My experience is not about helping refugees. Humdrum Insider View:  Helping Others Immigrate Let me give you our family’s insider view. …

Creative Alchemy of Making Unfettered Art. Part 1 – Visual Art

One of the glass barriers I want to shatter every time when creating art, is my own inhibitions. That blank canvas, tabula rasa, that snow-white endless blank computer screen or empty writing page either begs an artistic watermark or taunts me to sully its virginal purity. Making Art, Take a Risk of Falling Last year, a blogger-writer and…

Easy-Peasy or Daunting: Getting to Local Art and Attractions by Bike, Foot, Transit

A long while ago, I was  volunteer blogger for Tourism Vancouver’s blog, Inside Vancouver.  My special self-chosen niche, was flogging outdoor Vancouver attractions, reachable by bike, foot or transit. So I zoomed into fabulous outdoor art, parks and scenic vistas.  Metro Vancouver is abundant with an array of  jaw-dropping scenery, galleries and historic sites clustered…

This Traveller Loves to Come Home Too

That’s me –after several weeks abroad and enjoying every day, immersed in a foreign country and language environment,  I love to come home too. To my own bed, quiet at home and diverse choice of food. Not Get Too Lost I’m not exactly your tourist,  clutching tightly onto my pillow from home or I’m peering…

Living Best as City Mouse

Even though Cycle Write blog is peppered with wilderness photos and near poetic odes about Nature, at heart, I live best as a City Mouse.  An urban life person. Sure I’d love to claim that I revel in cabin or at least home living in the unlit forest.  There is an implicit suggestion, that liking…

Cycling Through Curtains of Fog, Twilight and Darkness

I don’t fancy myself much of a night rider. I don’t go night cycling just for fun.  Night riding for me is strictly utilitarian –commuting to and from work, occasional shopping or cycling to a restaurant/event not far from home or hotel.   I’m slower because I can’t help but think something might suddenly jump from behind inky black shadows…

That Train in My Canadian Cycling Horizon

Every few weeks when I’m cycling, a major train pops up on the horizon with dinging bell, 1 or 2  red locomotive engines, pulling a serpentine string of cargo train loads and tanks.  The train is either the Canadian National Railway or the Canadian Pacific Railway. Like any cyclist, I just hope the frickin’ train is…

Canadian Contrasts or Ignorance: 3 Cities, 3 Solitudes

It’s harder than it appears:  distillating facts and personal musings on the major cities where I’ve lived, worked and cycled so far.  Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary are big and jostle for world stage, as Canada’s world-class city. Several sword points to note: Vancouver in my infographic, refers to  City of Vancouver.  Not 20 other suburban cities around which…