Random Thoughts 1

I have an analytical mind.  Not sure if it is a good thing or not because it means I like to ponder and wonder about things that happened around me.  Some thoughts seem to pop up more often than others, maybe because they are more exciting (or annoying).  I thought writing them down here will keep these thoughts under controlled and not let them run wild in my head.  We’ll see about that….

Pedestrian Crossings

There are pedestrian crossings everywhere in our city.  Wherever there is a road, and I mean including a busy four-lane road, you can almost certain that there will be a pedestrian crossing somewhere.  The pedestrian crossings are particularly prominent at the school and park areas.  I think these are good ways of taking care of the pedestrians’ safety by mninimizing the chances of jaywalking.  In Canada, pedestrians have the right of way over cars.  That means drivers have to come to a complete stop when someone is crossing the road.  Unlike where I came from, majority of the people do put these crossings into good use and drivers are diligent in stopping for the pedestrians

Pedestrian crossings at the exit from a circle / roundabout.

As good as it may seem, what I don’t understand is the pedestrian crossings that are located right at the exits from a traffic circle a.k.a. roundabout. Cars in a traffic circle usually have to maintain certain speed and they exit from the appropriate lanes.  Having the pedestrian crossings located right at the exit from the circles, in my opinion, does not make sense because it is causing danger both to the pedestrians and drivers.   Firstly, as a driver, there are so many traffic one has to watch out in the circle.  On top of that the road ahead is not straight which means restricted visibility at times.  With a pedestrian crossing located right at the exit from the circle, it means pedestrians have the right to cross the road regardless of the traffic, and so they will.  That also means drivers have to come to a complete stop at the exit from the circle when there are people crossing the road, while other traffic in the circles are expected to maintain their speed…….doesn’t this sound dangerous to you?

This is just something I cannot comprehend.  Everytime I passby a circle and see those pedestrian crossings, I grind my teeth.  This is probably the most illogical traffic systems I have seen.

My Walk-In Closet

Walk-in-closet, not mine but similar except this one is tidier. 🙂

I lurv my walk-in closet!  Not because it is spacious but I can actually change my clothes in there.  It feels like a dressing room, only it is filled with all my lovely clothing.  Well, may be that’s what a walk-in closet is meant for but I was  not accustomed to that given I never had a closet that I could walk in to in the past, so this is definitely something new to me.

We have quite a huge window in our bedroom, from torso height and up.  The huge windows are fabulous for good airflow and natural lights.  However, they are facing the bedroom windows of our neighbours that’s about 50 meters away.  So if we are not careful, our neighbours will be treated with interesting “views”, and vice versa of course.  That also means there is no changing of my clothes in a corner of the room just in case I have forgotten to lower the blinds.  Yes, I did forget and I have to play duck and crawl several times.  Well, I did say I wasn’t accustomed to changing my clothes inside the walk-in closet. 

But!

Everything is about to change since I have discovered the wonderful fact of changing in my closet. 

Goooood bye to ducking. 🙂

Talking Over Someone

Let’s say you were having a conversation with someone and you were talking.  The person didn’t let you finish what you wanted to say and started talking.  You felt you need to finish what you were saying so you continue talking and talking louder.  Instead of stop and listen, this person said you were talking over her.  What do you do in instances like this?  I actually got tongue tight and sometimes I lost my trail of thoughts most times because I was surprised by the reactions.  I thought she was talking over me! 

English is not my first language and to make my case or to impress someone I need to be very conscious of what I said and how I said it, especially the corporate environment I am in where I deal with “Consultants” that seem to have the right thing to say everytime.  Unfortunately, people that speaks perfect English does not equate to people with an open mind.  There are some that do not have the patience in allowing me to speak and they act like it is a waste of time listening to me.   

This has happened a couple of times at work.  There were colleagues that do not hesitate to talk over me in a group call.  Some ignore me when I tried to participate. Some colleagues do not listen with an open heart .  When someone is not speaking perfect English like them, they automatically believe the individual has nothing better to say.   Not that they have anything better things to say too because most times they only raise their voice and speak faster, with the attempt to intimate others.  So lately I have came up with my respond.

“I understand what you are saying.  You have already said that from the beginning of the conversation so if you could let me finish what I have to say………and by the way understanding is not agreeing.”

Duh!

July

Canada Day Celebration. Thousands of people are on the street for events, parade and celebrating.

Edmontonian has this love hate relationship with the month of July.  There are alot of exciting festivals, events and celebration in July;  celebration such as the Canada Day and events relating to street performance, food, heritage, musical and etc.  Afterall, we are called the City of events.   And with 17 hours of daylight a day, there are tones of reasons to be outdoor. 

Funnel cloud please don't touch down.

However, as summer arrives it also means ocassional nasty storms.   Storms that will bring rain, thunder, strong wind, hail that are sometimes golf ball or bigger size and possibly tornados too.  Hence, while having outdoor fun the Edmontonians are faithfully watching the sky and clouds in summer.  The advise is when you see a funnel cloud, take shelter immediately!

Sometimes bad weather happens in the month of June and August too but not as often as the month of July.

I am sticking to Spring as my favourate season. 

Wii

We had a long and harsh winter last year, our first year in Canada.  There was literally no summer and definitely limited outdoor activities so I bought a Wii console, some games and a Will fit sometime around August thinking I could do yoga and play some games at home.  I later changed my mind about taking it out, to avoid any unpleasant comments from my in laws.  After 8 months in the box, my Wii is finally seeing lights!  I am so glad that I bought it because it is a wonderful way to have family fun while keeping ourselves active indoor on a rainy or wintery day.  My favourite game is “Just dance 2” and lately found a Karaoke game for Glee.  Kay’s favourite is Disney Sing-It and Nick’s favourite is the hockey game. 

Whenever I am playing “Just Dance” or “Sing-It”, I thought about my good friend Jo.  Jo is really good in dancing and singing and I am sure she will enjoy the games as much as I do.  What I like most is the idea of being able to sing and dance with Jo again one day.  I can imagine it will be a blast having fun together and being young again.

This is Kay’s favourite just dance song and dance, and mine too.  Make sure you turn on the speakers. 😉

 

The Same

Something never changed.  Something like my mother in law and her behaviour.  A lot of people asked if my mother in law has changed since we have moved out from her house.  After living with her for one year and seeing her true colors, I say “not a single bit”.  She is always very different the moment the house’s door swings open.  Outside the house she is this kind, humourous and caring person.  At least she pretends to be but behind closed door she is a wicked queen.  Honestly,  I have to give it to her (and her acting skills).  She is able to put up such a good show outside the house, I believe even I tell others about my experience living with her, many would take it with the pinch of salt.  Anyway,  that’s not my biggest concern.  I don’t think I need to justify my experience to anyone.

So what happened this time?  Since we have moved out, my mother in law started to bring food over once a week.  Not only that, she has brought them in big portion too.  Sometimes with fruits, raw meat or vegetable as well.  Wow! and I said she is not a good mother in law eh? 

Well, if you have a chance to look at the food closely they are usually cold with a layer of oil frozen on top, and if you tasted them you will know they are leftover.  Unfortunately for me, I work from home so I am usually the one that has the “honour” of receiving those food from her.  It’s hard to show excitment and enthusiasm  seeing her, with the amount of leftover I have to deal with at the back of my mind.  On very frustrating days, I have thought of not answering the door but the same time it is not my personality to be rude, so I have yet to do that.

That’s not the end of the story.  After staying with my monster in law for a year, I know she usually cooks fresh food to bring to her daughter in the morning, twice a week.  The first time she brought food over to us, it was around 12pm so the timing was within her schedule.  The food was warm.  The first thing she asked when I answered the door was “have you eaten?” to which I answered I haven’t.  She told me she didn’t know I haven’t taken lunch and the food she brought are meant for our dinner. 

So she assumed I have lunch before noon huh?  Nah….she can care less if I have taken my lunch or if I actually have anything to eat.  She meant she cooked those fresh food for her dearest son i.e. my hubby, and not meant for me to consume as lunch.   I don’t mean to be critical but I can’t think of a reason she would want to highlight those are “for dinner only”. 

Obviously, the subsequent weeks, she started bringing food later in the afternoon, an indication that she doesn’t want me to benefit by having them for lunch.  I never expected her to do anything for me but it is hurtful that she constantly showed me I don’t deserve the least from her.

On one of the Fridays afternoon, she rang the door bell and was shocked when Nick opened the door.  She immediately apologize for the cold food, dropped them and quickly left.  The subsequent Friday the same thing happened.  By the third week, she was probably worried that she will bump into Nick again so she moved the food delivery to the middle of the week, but still in the afternoon. 

Things started to change when we bought her an expansive termopot as mother’s day gift, to replace their worn out kettle.  We also bought a set of cordless phone, a meal paid by me, and the druken chicken that I cooked for my father in law on father’s day.  Suddenly she is bringing warm food before noon twice a week and she would highlight they are warm and there are enough portion for my lunch too. 

Yup, that is my monster in law alright.  Situation has changed, and I guarantee you it is just temporary until the excitment of those expansive items has worn out, but she definitely hasn’t change a bit.

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8 thoughts on “Random Thoughts 1

  1. I look forward to sing and dance with you too! 🙂 Unfortunately this Jo you know doesn’t do any of those things anymore and even so our living space has no space for that.

    This post is an exciting arrays of different ideas! I think the same as you about the pedestrian crossing, I personally don’t like roundabouts and think why roads can’t be more straightforward, instead of turning round and round? I like your closet and think it’s nice to have one that tuck in the corner.

    English is not my first language too but I feel my brain works in a very strange way. When I’m thinking hard about what to say I’ll get stuck in the middle of it but when I let my mouth do the thinking I can chatter on and on especially when I’m agitated or angry, my mouth will work quicker than my head and that’s when I start to talk over people. It’s not easy on face-to-face meeting when I’m the only woman and face with 6 men in the room but the most important thing when we can’t explain well in long flowery English is to be clear and concise. Sometimes I do notes, can be a pain but that’s the extra effort I do for not appearing any less able than their convoluted communication or talk just the for sake of talking.

    As for your monster-in-law, just take it like your part time drama class. “Life is theatre”, Shakespeare said, monster-in-law just need good supporting casts, humour her… 😉

    I too go through everyday life observing little things which I read from papers and see in everyday life which is not logical and quite funny, unfortunately I’m not at the best frame of mind or even time to note these down. So putting thoughts down in this post is truly amazing! 🙂

  2. Hi Jo, glad you enjoy reading this post. It is like a peek into what’s in my head everyday….there will be more of such post to come because I realise I am analysing too much sometimes.

    I think we will have alot of fun with the Wii games…even the boys too!

    I know what you mean by the extra efforts you have to make on communicating in a language that is not your first. In our position right now, it is not just about getting the message through and getting others to understanding but also speaking it with authority and confidence. That is something that Asian was not trained to do too…so there are many levels that we need to work on in terms of communicating.

    As for my MIL, you are quite right. I am a supporting cast sometimes. Even though I am not pleased with the leftover food, I still thank her and when she raise her voice outside my house, with the attempts to let all my neighbours know that she has brought food, I thanked her loudly too….and sometimes she said something that does not make sense in front of my door like “Sorry ah? Sorry I dirty your floor!”, I just replied “Oh no worries! You didn’t even come into my house!!” so I try to match her voice level whenever possible. Haha. I think I deserve the best supporting actress award in this case.

    • The best supporting actress for Oscar 2012 is …. *drum roll *…. J!!!
      Clap, clap… and a big round of applause and standing ovations! and you can almost see me at the end of the theatre wiping my eyes with a kerchief and sniffing away. I’m so proud of you girl! 😉

      • Thank you! Thank you! (bow and holding my award in one hand….) Thank you for all your supports, I truly appreciate it. I like to thank my family for their unconditional love, my hubby Nick, my daughter Kay; my friends Jo that are always listening and very encouraging; my mother that is always laughing and crying with me on my journey and experience; my readers for their supports (I know you are out there reading!); my neighbours that might be watching and easedropping, and not to mention my mother in law that gave me the opportunity to shine! Thank you once again!!!

  3. Pedestrian Crossings:

    I think if the number of pedestrians is not a lot (not sure how many people are there in your town), the system may still work? I suppose there is no other solutions. Putting a traffic light at the exit would disrupt the flow of traffic. As a pedestrian (who has recently crossed many roundabouts in Spain), it is already a pain to cross 6 exists just to get to the opposite side of the road. Hmmm … I really can’t think of a better solution.

    My Walk-In Closet:

    All I can say is … I wish to have that kind of space in Singapore! I have a walk-inn closet too. That is my bathroom.

    Talking Over Someone:

    I seldom talk. So I am cool with it. If you want to listen to what I say, you have to give me the opportunity. If you talk me over, you do not deserve to listen to what I have got to say. The “you” here is of course not you.

    And that’s why I love blogging. I can keep writing and no one says to me, “Stop, I have got enough of you.”

    July:

    I want to see a funnel cloud in real life. I love looking at clouds. In fact, one time I tried to oil paint the sky from the window of my living room (that painting is somewhere in my website I think). I think that is one of my best paintings – not that I paint any good.

    Wii:

    I was once a Nintendo fan. I wish I have had the opportunity to play Wii. But I think I may have grown out of it. I am now at my … erm … prime age whereby I need more violence (like God of War) and need more sexiness (like Heavy Rain or the upcoming Catherine).

    The Same:

    I really shouldn’t comment on the stuffs that are going on between your MIL and you. One thing good is that change is constant. Nothing stays forever.

    • Hi Wilfrid, some of the pedestrian crossings can be very busy at certain hours which usually coincide with the peak traffic hours too. My thought is why can’t they put the crossings farther away from the circle, say may 50 to 100 meters away. That will allow cars to exit the circles and have a chance to slow down. Of course pedestrians will have to walk a little more to get to other streets, but definitely safer that way. Apart from being convenient, it has to be safe for pedestrians and drivers too.

      Haha…I understand what you mean by the “you”. I use “you” quite often myself and I do sometimes worry others get the wrong idea.

      Wow! You do oil painting? You are very talented indeed. Not that you need me to tell you that but where do you have all the time to keep up with all your interests and work?? Is that why you haven’t been putting “family planning” as the priority? 😛 Anyway, on the funnel cloud, You want to see a funnel cloud from very very far. The one on my blog is not the scariest because I try not to discourage anyone from visiting Edmonton in July. 😛 Afterall, we have been tormado free since year 1981 (touchwood!). if you google up some images, you will know what I mean by a scary (or interesting) funnel cloud.

      • I guess … I sacrifice on the time spent on my career. I stick to the working hours and seldom do overtime. Perhaps that’s why my career is going nowhere. Erm … family planning wise, I can ensure you that I have been working really … erm … hard.

        I suppose positioning the cross 100m further would translate to an extra 200m walking per crossing? That seems quite a bit. I cry when I need to walk from the MRT subway station to my new office building in MBFC (600m).

        You know, I dreamed about your issue. I mean not *your* issue. The issue of the roundabout. In Spain, they have traffic lights *inside* the roundabout and then more traffic lights for each crossing. I suppose that is the way to go?

        Hmmm.

        Hey, I see wanna see a real life funny cloud. I mean … funnel cloud!

      • Hi Wilfrid, I want to say maaaybe you haven’t try hard enough (about the family planning)…but I think I will just leave my comment as it is. 😛 If you are serious about watching some funnel clouds, come visit us in July and we (or you..hehe) can go do some storm chasing.

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