I Like That

I Like That
See, hear, taste, touch and inhale the wonders of the world.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Packing a Bear Gerber

I LIKE THAT Frank gears up for hikes, no matter the destination. On the last day in December 2011, we bundled up for a winter hike on one of the Campbell River trails. I sported a wool toque, a puffy down-filled coat, gloves, running shoes, a scarf and a small backpack to hold my camera, water bottle, tissues and lip protector.

Frank wore his tam, a military-style camouflage jacket, wool kilt and socks, hiking boots, and his Gerber Bear Grylls fixed-blade knife with its attached high-shrill whistle.

We parked our vehicle on the driveway of the Elk River Timber trail, walked around the barrier and headed down the wide path. I was fascinated by the common views of bush and trees while at the same time an overturned tree or a narrow path leading to who knows where caught my eye and curiosity. It looked to me like hooligans loved the trail also because they had spray-painted their tags on whatever surface would take it.

It was a refreshing walk. The weather was cool enough to keep our pace brisk. I stopped once and awhile to take photos of bear tracks and dear tracks along side the bike and human prints on the soft trail surface.

After an hour we turned in our tracks and headed back to our van. Luckily the Gerber did not have to be pulled from its safety sheath.

Bear Gerber knife on hip

Hiking trail in Campbell River

Monday, December 19, 2011

Alligator Soup

I LIKE THAT Frank and I had brought along a translation book on our first excursion to China in 2005. We wanted to be certain that what we saw posted on a huge billboard hanging from a popular restaurant in the city of Yichang in Hubei province was what it boasted.

Yes, indeed, the specialty was alligator soup. We entered the establishment and were guided by an elegantly dressed young woman to a table near the large plate glass window that overlooked the courtyard. I ran my finger under some of the Chinese characters on the menu and said, “Bu e yu.” The waitress didn’t respond as I expected her to. I was looking for acknowledgement of my request, at least with a nod. I repeated the phrase. No response.

 Frank gave it a go with his pronunciation technique and still the young woman did not respond. Frank repeated the phrase.

“Yes, I know,” the server said. “What would you like?”

We smiled and laughed and became fast friends with Riya and later, her friend, Junior, which we learnt to pronounce properly as Julia. Riya explained that she was very nervous to speak English and did not trust her pronunciation. We assured her that it was lovely and that she was very patient for having allowed us to pronounce ‘no alligator’ in our version of Mandarin.

We spent our first year in China in this city of 1.4 million teaching English at a middle school. On our days off, we would meet with Riya and Julia to explore the city. We shared meals with them several times and it was a magnificent adventure every time.

Surrounded by food in China
Alligator - our Specialty

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Alias is a Lion

I LIKE THAT Grayson is such a tender soul. Frank and I drove to our grandson’s hometown for his birthday and took him out for lunch. We settled down with a savory sandwich each and sipped on chocolate milk. After our meal, Frank presented Grayson with a wrapped gift. He admired his name in big letters on the wrapping paper and spelled it out loud to his proud grandparents. He pulled at the clear tape, saw the box label inside and expressed his joy.

“Oh, Grandma and Grandpa, you got me a big box of Cheerios. I love Cheerios,” he said.

“There’s more to it. Look inside,” Frank said.

He pulled away more tape and tugged at the soft toy. He pulled out a colourful lion. We asked what he wanted to call the lion and he said, “Alias.”

Together we made a song about Alias.

♫ Alias is a lion, he likes to say roar, roar.
  Alias can be gruffy but he’s very, very stuffy.♫

We sang the little jingle all the way home to his birthday party where his family had prepared the house with colourful balloons. A well-crafted Spider Man cake was put before him and the gathering sang Happy Birthday.

“How old are you, Grayson,” someone said.

The smiling boy spread his fingers in one hand and said, “Five.”

I'm five!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

URAL Bikers Deliver Food

The URAL Bike group of Campbell River lit up their bikes and followed Santa on his ride to deliver food. Inspired by the work being done by 99.7 FM The River radio station, the group stapled posters to paper bags supplied by Save-on-Foods and delivered them door to door in their neighbourhood. The generous folks of Campbell River came through with a donation of over 228 kilograms in nonperishable goods. The bags were retrieved by the URAL bikers and delivered Tuesday evening to the Relief Truck parked in Mariner Square.

“It was so much fun we think we’ll expand our drive to more neighbourhoods next year,” said Dianna, one of the delivery team members.

Santa loves his URAL bike with sidecar