Tuesday, July 17, 2007

To Moose Jaw for Real

Today we went to Moose Jaw. I had to include a picture of main street with all the old buildings still standing. That's part of Moose Jaw's charm. The history is still there; tunnels, possible gangsters, historic murals, old buildings and one thing not so historic, Nits.

Nits - The best Thai food in Southern Saskatchewan. It's a short 45 minute drive from Regina on a beautiful summer day. Moose Jaw is bustling when we arrive at the unimposing restaurant just a block from Al Capone's famous tunnels.

There's nothing special about the interior. Worn and plain would best describe it, full of patrons with one waitress trying to handle it all. Still she smiles and our wait for a cold beer to wash down the hot prairie dust is not long in coming. And the wait for the food is more than worth it as we view the menu that rests between pages that resemble a travel journal, sip beer and watch as the kitchen doors open and close and catch glimpses of herbs being pounded and the delivery boy running to and fro. The food is always worth waiting for. The appetizer is leaves that hint at lime and wrap around peanuts, ginger, coconut and we things we can't identify that results in an explosion of taste. The curry is amazing as in the Pad Thai. As we clean up the last morsel, a couple sit across from us. They are carrying motorbike helmets and looking rather disheveled. Another pair that have taken the highway drive on this gorgeous, hot prairie day to this little town in the middle of nowhere Saskatchewan to enjoy Thai food like you won't find anywhere else, anywhere else but Thailand that is.

And if Thai food isn't your thing, check out the dozen or so murals around town depicting Moose Jaw and Saskatchewan history. Whether you like history or not, they are just plain gorgeous to look at.

Safe travels,


Saturday, July 7, 2007

Memories of Hong Kong

Today's post brought back so many memories. It's been a few years since our trip to Hong Kong but I remember it vividly. When I entered Cathay Pacific's contest, 100 reasons you love Hong Kong, all those memories were rather overwhelming. So, I'm sharing my thoughts on Hong Kong. It's a concise version, as outlined in the contest rules, that hopefully gets to the emotional heart of that once city state. And, if you have any altruistic leanings feel free to hop on over to Cathay Pacific's website, peruse the other entries, and hopefully, vote for my entry beginning July 16. And if you don't, well, I hope you at least enjoy this short essay. So without further ado....

To the world Hong Kong is the image of economic efficiency. A vibrant, modern city whose secrets are hidden behind the smiles of the old men in China town, behind housewives hanging their laundry on sampans in Aberdeen, behind Victoria Peak rising high in a tribute to nature, and behind the business men striding down the commerce jammed streets.

Hong Kong loves her secrets. When foggy skies hide the heights of the skyscrapers, it does nothing to dim the excited rumble of change that roams through her streets. Secrets are hidden behind frenetic building projects, shopping havens and, at night, a multitude of neon lights. In the sunlight, secrets whisper beneath the umbrellas of elegant women who move in a graceful flow to unknown destinations.

Hong Kong is the world's dynamo but inside this vortex of activity, the old world floats at an easier pace against a backdrop of business and modern technology. That's what I love about Hong Kong, its ability to fold both old and new together into a spicy mix of new ideas and old world customs. Its secrets draw one here again and again - for you'll never really know Hong Kong.

Its secrets make the rest of the world sigh as they take a collective breath and say, some day. Some day they too shall visit.

Here's to you, Hong Kong!

Safe travels


Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Life is a Fickle Traveling Companion

Today an every day journey was reframed. An untimely death reminded me that life is short and that the days of my life are sliding by with little accounting. That’s how my journey began, fretting about unmet goals and unexpected tragedy. It began with the reminder that it’s possible, even likely, that destiny will decide to cut our life trip short without any consideration to how we might feel.

It’s times like this that make me long for the solitude of nature. So with my dog, Rourke in tow, or was that Rourke with me in tow. I headed as close to nature as I could easily get without adding to global warming and starting up a gasoline engine. Between the highway that skirts the city and the last row of houses, there's a path, overgrown with quack grass, and bracketed by trees and straggling bushes. Nature goes crazy here, in the silence heavy with the roar and rush of traffic that edges the city. Here you can turn off the traffic, take a sweet scented breath of meadow grass and meditate, about life, or about nothing - mostly about nothing.

The picture shows how easily things can be reframed, perceptions changed. I appear to be walking within an arbor of green, lush grass, not on an overgrown path on the fringes of the city.

Today’s journey gives me purpose. No day shall be wasted. That's what I'll do to honor a life unexpectedly ended. I will make good use of the hours left me whether in play or work or just a leisurely stroll in quiet meditation. I will have direction.

To a life with purpose.

Safe travels


"The wise man knows that it is better to sit on the banks of a remote mountain stream than to be an emperor of the whole world."
Zhaung Tzi