I left Uppsala in the very early hours of April 1st, after packing up all my stuff from my apartment, including my bedding, and flew to London Heathrow.
I found out a few days earlier that my good friend Vania was actually flying to Mexico the same day, so we managed to spend a couple hours together in the airport, which was awesome!
I then flew from London to Toronto, where I cleared customs and carried my heavy bags (after all, I carried ALL of my belongings from my long stay in Sweden, plus the stuff I bought in Asia) by hand to the transit lounge, as Toronto Pearson Airport kindly chose to charge an absurd $2 for a luggage trolley. Way to welcome people to the country.
Flying in to Toronto:
After a little while, I was back up in the sky heading west to Vancouver. The snow-covered prairies were interesting to watch as they passed below us:
I spent 10 days in Vancouver, taking care of various odds and ends and visiting family and friends, including participating on April 4th in my sister’s boyfriend’s final project for his documentary film program – The Beer Mile (click here to watch).
Matt Duquette (the guy making the film) decided to get a few people together to participate in the Beer Mile with him. It was simultaneously a terrible but terrific decision to agree to participate. I do not recommend anyone else doing it, although at the same time I highly recommend it.
The Beer Mile is a race wherein you drink a can of beer as fast as you can, run a lap of the track (400m = 1/4 mile), drink another beer as fast as you can, run another lap, until you’ve had four cans of beer and run four laps of the track. The beer foams up in your stomach, which is not at all pleasant, but the challenge of keeping it down and trying to defeat your opponents is fun and hilarious. JF, Matt, Spencer, and David can be seen here:
The same four are seen here, along with one of Matt’s classmates who was assisting with the filming:
And there’s me, not the fastest by any means, trying to finish and hoping to place second-last (my normal place in any track events back when I was on the track team in primary school)…
The track was not cleared before the event, so we had to share with children on bikes, who couldn’t keep up with me:
Spencer and I weren’t trying to place first – we were the men in jeans, taking our time, while the others were going for gold:
However, one thing that didn’t make it into the final cut of the film, is that I did manage to place second-last with a crowd-pleasing final dash to the finish during which I nearly knocked another kid off the track (kid should have been checking her rear-view mirror and pulling off to the side, clearly hasn’t taken a drivers’ ed course yet).
The day after the Beer Mile, I had lunch with my friends Howard and Margarita.
That evening I hung out with my friend Denise downtown. We had bubble tea and chilled at the beach at English Bay while the sun set, which was really nice.
On the morning of the 6th, I went to the dentist to get some old fillings replaced. This is the view from my chair, until they lowered me down and gave me the ceiling to stare at…
On April 10th I flew from Vancouver to Beijing to Kunming. Photos of my first trip to China will be posted in a couple of days.