Contingent Contemplation: Trinity Street in Vancouver

When I was young, my dad would drive the whole family to Trinity Street to take a look at the dazzling display of lights every Christmas. It wasn’t until one year when I decided to go there myself that I had to Google it up, and learn the tragic but wholesome reasoning behind the well-lit neighbourhood of Trinity Street.

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Contingent Contemplation: Back To School

…for the last time!

Well, it’s finally here. My last term in school. Wow, I kind of dragged that out. That’s why I was adamant on going back to school shopping for school supplies, despite having many years worth of used binders, leftover looseleaf papers, and way too many pens and pencils.

I ended up going to Walmart to snag some cheap BTS deals, only to realize that I didn’t really have much to buy. I ended up getting 2 packets of lined paper. I had wanted a notebook, but even that I failed to get because I wanted one notebook that can contain 3 subjects. I’m only taking three courses this term, and by now I’m too familiar with myself. I take notes for about half a month into the term before I stop. So honestly, one notebook with three dividers is all I need. They didn’t seem to have that at Walmart.

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The only other thing I’d need is a backpack. I’ve used my currently backpack for about two years, and it can easily last the next 4 months. But again, this is my last back to school shopping, so I went and got a small Herschel backpack. I honestly didn’t want a Herschel, but that was all there was in every single store. That or Jansport. I’ve used Jansport for a few years and I don’t like its lack of support, so Herschel it is.

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I can’t believe back to school shopping won’t be a thing I’ll be doing anymore. Or maybe I’m glad I won’t be fighting against the hordes of families trying to grab glue sticks on sale? But I have a feeling I’ll be feeling a little blue when the next back to school shopping season comes around…reminding me that I’ve got to face the real world now. At the same time, I’m kind of glad to be almost done. Give me that piece of edumacation paper so I can go out and do stuff!

Contingent Contemplation: Canada Day

July 1st has always been a public holiday for me. In Canada, people will wear more red than usual and go downtown to celebrate the three provinces coming together to form the country of Canada. Then, after moving to Hong Kong, July 1st was a day celebrated by all as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day. For Hong Kong, it was the day the British rule stopped in Hong Kong, and they were handed back over to China. But they would also retain their freedom to remain capitalist and not be put under the communist government. “One Country, Two Systems”.

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Canada Day used to be special in my family. My mom, dad, sister and I would go downtown to watch the parades, followed by the fireworks. My dad, the stingiest guy on earth would pay for parking downtown. That’s how special that day was. It was a family day. After coming back to Vancouver, it was no longer a family thing. It was more of an “oh look, the fireworks are on TV” thing.

2015 was different. I went downtown bright and early (okay, it was around 1PM) to check out what was going on! I was actually doing something for Canada Day again! For one, I knew that the FIFA Fan Zone was running (it’s ran by the marketing agency I used to work for! Pretty proud), and they’d be giving away free Coke. Away my boyfriend and I went to quench our thirst with promo beverages! People were there watching the England vs Germany game and they were in overtime! Eventually, England won 🙂

We had come just at the right time to take pictures with the actual FIFA Women’s World Cup trophy. It was there for three hours on display to the public! The fan zone was a place for everyone to come together to watch the games, as well as get some free swag from sponsors, and experience some hype around the FIFA games.

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Meanwhile, the Convention Centre was bustling with more festivities. There were SO many drink samples (McDonalds, Nestea, some truck promoting milk, this other iced tea brand, Sparkling Ice, and I don’t even think I’ve listed them all), but since it was a sweltering hot day, there were huge lines ups for all of them.

The Olympic Cauldron was lit to celebrate Canada, and there were shows going on around Jack Poole Plaza. We ended up buying snacks and drinks from the nearby food carts. I couldn’t resist the skewers. LOOK AT THEM! As for dinner, we ate at the Spaghetti Factory because the line up was decent (everywhere was a little crazy), but ended up eating through the parade. We were pretty tired, so we didn’t mind.

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After dinner, we started getting ready for the parade. It was crazy how many people had spots reserved starting from God knows when. They had blankets, snacks, and some had their own poker games running amongst friends, sitting around to make sure they’d have a good spot to view the fireworks. And of course, leaving was a whole mess altogether. That picture above was the crowds of people rushing to get home.

All in all, this year’s Canada Day was one of the most fulfilling one I’ve had in years 🙂 I was super tired after walking around all day, but it was worth it. I just wish it wasn’t quite so hot!

– Karen

Contingent Contemplation: Philophobia

I haven’t done one of these contingent contemplation posts in a while.

Philophobia is a thing I have. I don’t understand why it’s not a part of everyone.

Philophobia is the fear of emotional attachment; fear of being in or falling in love.

It’s a scary thing isn’t it? When you fall in love, you’re committing your emotions to someone. Everything that that person does will come to emotionally affect you, whether it’s big or small.

My family are people who I love, though I didn’t choose it I guess. But you can very much say that I also have a fear of emotional attachment to them. The thought of losing loved ones is never fun, and I sometimes wonder why I’m given a family, only to have them taken away from me some day down the road. But at the same time, that fear of love gets dispelled when you manage to forget the mortality of things and realize that although other people come and go, luckily enough, my family is here to stay. They’re here for me and love me unconditionally. I cannot help but do the same.

A few years ago I decided to get a pet. It was against my dad’s wishes, and I didn’t have the guts to tell him about the hamster I had bought. Then as I carried the little thing in a paper bag with her new cage at my side, I realized there’s no way I can keep this a secret. Our Hong Kong apartment was only so big, and my hamster will not go noticed. I phoned my dad, telling him of my purchase, hoping that telling him via the phone would lessen the shouting. Funnily enough, he didn’t shout. He wasn’t the happiest, and he worried about the hamster ruining our hygiene (I’m so sure that a 17 gram little hamster will bring the plague to our family. On second though, plagues were started by rats. Hmm.). A few months later, the hamster’s picture would replace my baby picture that he kept as his phone’s lock screen.

My hamster is probably the first and last pet I will ever get. Allergies aside, her passing away impacted me a lot. It’s weird, because I had willingly given my heart to her. And she took that little bit to the grave when she passed away two years later. I realized that I could never be brave enough to get that dog I’ve always wanted. My issue wasn’t with taking care of pets, but with their ultimate departure after you’ve committed to loving them.

Philophobia has followed me into relationships. All my prior relationships consisted of me keeping the guy some distance away. I wasn’t willing to get too involved emotionally, fearing that I will get the worst out of it. I over-think everything, and try to base my decisions on what will hurt me the least in the long run. It just wasn’t worth it to take the risk and ultimately feel the pain. That’s probably why none of them worked out because I always choose to end it, fearing developing the relationship any further.

But here I am, having fallen in love with a guy, and it’s funny because I don’t think I willingly choose to either. I think it probably has something to do with the whole “you’ll know it’s right when it’s right” thing because you can’t help it. Philophobia makes itself more known to me every day because I’ve let myself fall in love. He’s doing his best, but I’m not the most confident of myself relationship-wise. At times, you wonder if they like you just as much as you like them only to realize you can’t gauge that. So you go on to look for signs that can tell you, only to falter at points of doubt. You think of all the ways and reasons you can lose him. Then you let the fear ruin you.

Philophobia sucks. You’re unsure of your next steps, but at the same time you want to take them. And it almost feels like every step further, you feel yourself wanting to pull back because you know it’ll hurt if it goes wrong. But for the first time, I think it’ll be worth it. I just need to get Philophobia out of the picture.