1997: Western Canada

A note to all readers: You do not need to reply to this unless
you feel compelled to respond.

This is L’il Miss Bo-Peep reporting live from Calgary, Alberta. In this assignment,
my journeys will be explained starting from day one to the day I arrived back
in Surrey, British Columbia.

Weather: Edmonton/Calgary, Alberta: High 34 C Sunshine with occasional Prairie
showers

Vancouver, British Columbia: High 18 C Heavy rain and overcast

Now which one would I prefer? Definitely this weather here! Imagine, I even
got a tan/sock line on my journeys (and trust me, I don’t tan!). Gee, this
weather is weird here–in the winter, it is so cold (even a Calgarian, Ollie
admitted it) and in the summer it gets this hot!

Week One

Day One: Wednesday, July 30th, 1997

Vancouver Time:

7:47 am The four headed out and after picking up Edelweiss sandwiches for
lunch, we began our travels on Highway #1.

9:36 am Yaay! My “wild” cows were there again! Which reminds me,
this ride out was much better than the ride to Kamloops and back (B.L.A.S.T.
’96). For one thing, I wasn’t stuck in the middle squished like a banana and
another, there was no camera to take a picture of me sleeping. Besides all
that, I had 14 hours to sleep, think, dream, daydream, snack, write, take
bathroom breaks (not that you really wanted to know that), think and sleep
some more.

10:15 am Was snoozing away when all of a sudden, somebody up front yells,
“DEER!”. Gee, thanks for waking me up. I turned around but it was
too late–I couldn’t see it ‘cuz it was too far behind.

11:03 am Welcome to Kamloops, British Columbia–Home of the Alanis Morissette
twin and B.L.A.S.T. ’96. Pit stop for gas and bathroom break.

11:26 am Finally saw some sheep and horses.

11:35 am LUNCH: Guess what? Uh-huh, Edelweiss sandwiches in the car along
with my fave, British Columbia ‘soft’ water. Mmm. . .thirst quenching!

11:49 am Saw some other animals: llamas that looked like camels with one
lump (by the way, what are emus? I saw a sign that said that there were some
for sale).

12:04 pm Saw some goats–first on this trip.

12: 15 pm Hmm, there was this horse that kinda looked strange. I gotta draw
it out for you to see but the middle section was spotted like a dalmatian
but the rest was brown.

3:44 pm Went past Mt. Robson and not too long after that, the Great Divide
(ya know, the song that P.O.G. sings). Marie, ya know where I’m talking about
right?

Some where in-between this time, we stopped at Jasper just to rest and see
if I could find an inexpensive pair of clips that would fit my glasses.

Edmonton Time: (please note: Edmonton time is one hour ahead than Vancouver
time)

6:57 pm Finally, some close up wildlife (this is wild for real this time).
A family of mountain goats with 2 kids and one was crossing the highway.

7:03 pm Approximately 5 wild elk by the roadside except I don’t think they’re
quite ‘wild’ anymore.

9:37 pm How odd! We passed a directional sign that pointed to Camp He Ho
Ha. Why wasn’t it Camp Ha Ho He or Ho Ha He?

Day Two: Thursday, July 31st, 1997

Of all things to do on the first day in Edmonton: SHOPPING! Sure, it had
air conditioning and all but couldn’t we go shopping back home too?! Well,
at least the merchandise (meaning clothes) is a lot cheaper here–ya can’t
get much for 5 bucks in Vancouver. Here, I got a ribbed-tee for that price,
a knitted jacket, and my aunt got a pair of Nike’s (new leather cross-trainers)
for $7.49 without the GST. As well, we needed not to pay an extra 7% as PST.

Hey, in the middle of our shopping spree, we met up with ‘Dad’ and Doris,
Grace, and Helen. Boy, was Helen ever excited about the wedding!

Day Three: Friday, August 01, 1997

The second day in Edmonton was just like the first: SHOPPING! This time,
we went to the West Edmonton Mall. Really, what is there to do there unless
you plan on paying 30 bucks for the rides that seem pretty dangerous (especially
when you know that a roller-coaster car there became detached once and killed
some people)?

Day Four: Saturday. August 02, 1997

Helen & Zeke’s (who’s real name is David or Dave for short) wedding!
They looked so cute! PJ (aka Jim Cheung) was the officiator of the ceremony
and Zeke was wearing his Edmonton police uniform as his outfit. I met up with
Isaac Quan (aka ULCA Bruins) with some girl whom at first I thought was his
girlfriend. He says ‘Hi’ to ya Marie.

The reception/banquet was very interesting. We had a multi-media production
of how some couples met (Garry & Teresa, Richard & Susan, and ‘Dad’
& Doris), some live entertainment from people like our very own Auntie
Brenda (who sang Faithful Friend by Twila Paris and Steven Curtis Chapman),
and dancing! The dancing part was fun for Sheila whom danced with Doris, Steve
and everybody else doing the Macerena (spelling?). The fun part for me was
standing out with Alex and Mike and just socializing with them and watching
my sister have fun. However, this other song starts playing and Steve and
Doris and Sheila drags me out to the dance floor. So I made a fool outta myself
trying to dance.

Guess what? I’m now officially related to ‘Dad’ through Helen and Zeke. As
well Marie, you and I will be a ‘sister’ to a new ‘younger sister/brother’
pretty soon. Yup! ‘Dad’ and Doris will be real parents in half a year or so
(expecting in late February). They are already 8 weeks in. Who thinks that
the baby will be a girl? Doris and ‘Dad’ both want a girl but I think it will
be a boy. Don’t forget to congratulate them next time you see them if you
haven’t done so already! So, who’s next?

Oh yeah, and I just gotta tell you about this guy I sat beside with at the
banquet (even though he is kinda ‘cute’ for a Regina person, don’t take this
the wrong way). Before I tell you who he is, all of you should’ve met him
before because Doris and ‘Dad’ have brought them to our ‘old’ BCAC before
during the year of ’96 (No wonder he looked familiar at JMC!). He didn’t know
me but I already knew what he looked like and who he was from JMC. Tim(othy)
Wong is Caucasian but he looks more like a ‘blended’ kid. He’s adopted into
a Chinese family so he knows how to read some Chinese and speak it as well.
Pretty impressive I tell you. He came from Regina so ‘course he knows Rhoda,
Jemia and even my school ‘friend’ Carol Wai. I found out that he is the same
age as I am and we (Sheila, Tim and I–Josephine, his sister chickened out
on us) ended up singing a song in front of everybody to get Helen and Zeke
to K-I-S-S. The song? Our version of The Little Mermaid’s Kiss the Girl:

There you see her,
Sitting across from you.
Looking so beautiful,
You know she wants you.

She won’t say the words,
Not a single word,
Until you
Kiss the girl

Sha-la la la my oh my,
Time will fly,

Until you kiss the girl.
Or you will miss the girl.

Anyway, that was my day — the number one highlight of this trip — that was
the main purpose of the trip anyway so I’m glad that I enjoyed it the most.
Remember, next year on this very day is their first anniversary: it’s
paper!

Day Five: Sunday, August 03, 1997

Sunday Morning Service: 11:00 am

Edmonton Chinese Alliance Church (‘oy sing wah yun suen dao wui’)

Hey, I actually saw a person I knew there. ‘Course like the way I knew Tim,
she didn’t even recognize me. Actually the only way I know her is through
massive observations during JMC. I took note who was who and she stood out
the most because she was from my floor and not to be mean or anything, she
reminded me of a guy (her haircut) the first time I saw her in the ladies
washroom. Daniel, thanks for talking to Hannah and silently confirming to
me that she indeed was not a guy during JMC. Well, this time I knew that she
was a girl for sure even if I hadn’t seen her at JMC because she was wearing
a dress. All right, who knows which church Jonathan Lim (or was it Lin) goes
to (in case you need refreshing, he was at WC ’96)? I know I couldn’t get
a chance to call him even if I wanted to because he was in Malaysia (or was
it Hong Kong?).

After service, we went to Helen and Zeke’s gift opening at their ‘new’ place.
There I found out one thing that was very interesting, Tim Wong is actually
related to ‘Dad’ in a way too which means I’m ‘related’ to so many people
that it’s beginning to get confusing (but it’s neat to think about it). Now
you see why I told you not to think anything was going on before.

That night in Edmonton, we went to Cheesecake’s Cafe for dessert and boy,
I saw this huge Black Forest cake and right away, I thought, ‘Boy, would Daniel
love to eat this!’ The cake was at least 5 inches high and 2 inches wide per
slice. It came with fresh whipped cream and with what looked like real cherry
filling and chocolate filings sprinkled on top. I didn’t order that ‘cuz I
figured that if I was here at a cheesecake place, I should order cheesecake–and
yup, I ended up ordering a raspberry-peach cheesecake. Mmm. . .

On that night, I discovered a mosquito bite! Aagh! It itched like crazy and
all that calamine lotion did not help it one bit! Maybe I got it from gazing
up in the night sky looking at the Big Dipper and catching a glimpse of a
falling star (it was probably a falling satellite though).

Day Six: Monday, August 04, 1997

Did I ever tell you that there are some theatres like A Theatre Near You
here in Edmonton? The movies that were showing there at that time included
Jurassic Park: The Lost World, A Simple Wish, Liar! Liar!, and Speed II: Cruise
Control. The daily matinees are for $1.50 (don’t forget, it is without PST
too!), evenings are for $2.00 and midnight shows are for $3.00. Tuesdays are
the best deal–for the whole day, it costs only $1.00 for a movie!

Anyway, we started this day off with breakfast at some place with Kitty &
Kevin this time. It served pancakes as big as the plate and it was very filling!

Guess where we went next? For those who guessed SHOPPING, congratulations!
You deserve a shopping award! We went to Winners and got some more clothes
and to Staples to buy myself another purple pen (another good deal). I also
wanted to go to Blessings Christian Marketplace but they had already driven
me to the places my sister and I wanted to go and they were very tired (and
I think bored).

After we got tired of shopping and when the sun decided to ‘calm’ down for
a bit, we decided to check out Heritage Day at a park in Edmonton. We thought
that it was going to be very interesting ‘cuz everybody was talking about
it but all it had was expensive food from different countries around the world
and music. The Pacific National Exhibition Fair is much better even though
we have to pay an admission fee to get in.

We ended up going golfing (well, semi-golfing) in the evening ‘cuz my uncle
and his brother are golf fanatics. So I ended up being taught how to ‘drive’
a golf ball. Well, really how to swing a golf stick (I don’t think that’s
what you call ’em but I can’t think of the proper term for it right now) and
hit a ball from the tee. I always thought that golf was boring, especially
to watch it and well, after experiencing it, I still can’t see what the big
‘wow’ is even though it is less boring when you’re playing it.

Day Seven: Tuesday, August 05, 1997

Most of you probably know that our family has a Science World membership.
Being a member at Science World gives us many advantages, including getting
into 180 different science centres around the world, which means I had to
take advantage of that and get in for absolutely free at the Edmonton Space
and Science Centre. Comparing with Vancouver’s own science centre, it is nothing!
The only thing that was ‘better’ in a sense was the planetarium’s dome screen
which proudly boasted to be the biggest and tallest in North America (well,
Canada at least). So while my sister and I were roaming around there for 2
hours, my aunt and uncle visited this dinky l’il museum that took 1 hour to
find and 3 minutes to look at. I now see why that they only accepted ‘donations’.

Guess what? For those who knew that I said that we went SHOPPING again, you
are right again! You deserve a ‘gold’ shopping award! We went into a quieter
mall and that is where we got the Nike deal I mentioned before.

In the evening, we went to visit our family friend. They have this one girl
who is in grade two and boy, she’s like this every time I see her, she is
attached to me more than to anyone else. She showed me her room, drew me Sailor
Mars (she’s into the ‘Sailor Girls’) before I left, played piano (her own
composed songs that sounded so good — absolutely no dissonance!) for me,
and got me to somehow help her with her Crayola ‘keepsakes’ craft. Boy, was
I ever kept busy! She also talked non-stop!

In case I haven’t already mentioned and if you’re wondering what I did in-between
the free time I had at home, I really did nothing . . .unless you count watching
TV and playing cards a very interesting or an actual activity. We played so
much cards that I got bored of Speed, Double Speed, Big 2, and Crazy Eight!
I ended up playing some solitaire games ‘cuz I was too sick of those.

Week Two

Day Eight: Wednesday, August 06, 1997

10:20 am I couldn’t believe that I was actually goin’ to Calgary. Somehow
in the past few days, the Lord answered my prayers and people convinced my
aunt to change her mind about Calgary.

10:31 am On the way, we passed this really neat incinerator in an oil refinery
place and it looked like a large torch burning. From what I learned at Science
AL!VE, if methane and methanol are similar, if anything passes through it,
it will combust.

11:34 am Some of these directional signs are so weird! This one said, ‘Ma-Me-O-Beach’.
Where do people come up with these names?

11:35 am We got stuck behind a truck that stank of manure! Belch!

12:20 pm We actually went into Red Deer for a bathroom break and a small
snack. So that’s where Red Deer is–in-between Calgary and Edmonton.

Later on that day when we arrived in Calgary, we met up with UCLA Bruins
again and we ended up having lunch together and I finally got access to my
E-MAIL account! I was dying to use the computer before and finally, someone
with access! I then called up my friends at Westside Calgary Alliance Church
and talked to them a bit and I called Ollie up too (he’s goin’ to summer school,
what a ‘geek’). Know what? PJ is teaching a bunch of ’em at Westside GUITAR
on Wednesday nights at 6:30 pm! Now my friends know guitar more than I do!
Anyway, I got a chance to meet up with them at the Wednesday Night Prayer
Meeting at 7:30 pm and I saw Dawn, Selene, Maureen, Sol, Gabby, and the rest
of ’em including some I haven’t met before (Ray, Jeff (Geoff?), Stephanie
etc.). But I missed seeing some of the others ‘cuz they were either away or
at work. I was having too much fun that I even forgot to get a pic of my closest
friends there. Oh well. Know what? I rather like their prayer meetings! It’s
a very exciting time. First there is a praise n’ worship time and then we
divide into small groups of people (we get to choose), we share with the group
and then we pray together. For some reason, it feels like I’m more ‘at ease’
in that prayer meeting than the ones I’ve been to in GQ. Yup, they have a
pretty ‘warm’ and ‘friendly’ group. If I had to move to Calgary, my number
one choice would be Westside even though their church is very small (well,
they’re expanding soon!).

Last night was definitely the second highlight of this trip. We ended up
having a late dinner with PJ and Freda and they told us how they met and all
and it was very interesting to be able to compare it with Henry and Lenis’
as well! Their stories are so neat especially with Jim’s added sound effects
to the story of how it happened. You gotta get Jim and Freda to tell it to
ya the next time they come (which would likely be in the first week in September).

Day Nine: Thursday, August 09, 1997

The last day in Calgary. In the late morning, we headed down to the Calgary
Zoo. It was really big and a lot better than the old Stanley Park. In fact,
UCLA Bruins told me that it was the biggest zoo in Canada. Well no wonder
it’s better than Stanley Park, they charge you admission!

Hey, did you know that in Edmonton and Calgary they have the ETS (Edmonton
Transit System/CT (Calgary Transit) LRT (Light Rail Transit) that’s just like
our Skytrain? However, they charge you a bit more and it is run by an LRT
operator on each train. Some of these trains use the regular railway as well
(I guess kinda like the Westcoast Express eh?).

Anyway, we dropped by Chinatown for lunch and boy, people were right. It
is nothing compared to Vancouver but it is very CLEAN! I’m sure Daniel would
like this Chinatown better too. Right by Chinatown, there was an market that
people claimed to the miniature version of Granville Island. It was more like
a version of New Westminster Quay and Lonsdale Quay Public Market (I guess
it’s kinda like Granville Island’s Public Market too) but there was really
nothing too see at the Eau Claire Market.

We went back to PJ and Freda’s place (that’s where we are staying) and my
aunt took a snooze, Jim and Henry went to buy a fan but it was sold out everywhere
because of the heat wave yesterday and everybody bought one I guess. I was
on the computer working on my assignment. Phew, is this ever long!

Day Ten: Friday, August 08, 1997

We left early in the morning at around 9:00 am to back home. Guess what?
It was raining! So I was like, ‘Yes! We left Calgary on a day it rains
so we’re probably heading into sunshine in Vancouver.’ So anyway,
it seemed like a longer trip back, but it was only 11 hours including the
washroom breaks. I was praying that we would get back on time for GQ and we
made it at 7:15 pm! But to my dismay, my mother couldn’t drive me and
Gladys could only drive my brother ‘cuz she was driving the pick-up.
Oh no! So I quickly phoned Lawrence as my last resort and yees! He was able
to drive my sister and I to church, which ended up almost givin’ me a
headache ‘cuz I couldn’t stand that tension and ‘fighting’
in that planning room. Anyway, I’m done my assignment now.

This is L’il Bo-Peep signing off!

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