Showing posts from May, 2014


Guelph is an inconspicuous little city of 120,000 just to the west of bustling Toronto. Boasting a large University and being a logistics hub for southern Ontario, it has attracted steady growth. Guelph is also my hometown, where I was born and grew up, and it is where Katya and I call home today.
I left Guelph more than 20 years ago when my family moved to even-sleepier Owen Sound. We then migrated east to Ottawa, and then I went to college in Hamilton, then moved to Alberta, then South Korea, then British Columbia, then Russia and back to British Columbia again. In all that time Guelph rarely registered on my radar, except to visit my grandfather and my uncle, aunt and cousin who all still reside there. As fate would have it, I now live in Guelph. Katya landed a great job with Linamar Transportation, working in their logistics office in the city's west-end. She is making more money than she ever had in her life, with good benefits and at a company that treats her incredibly wel…

Russian Pop

One of the most fun and hilarious aspects of living overseas is getting to know the local pop music scene. Korea was (and still is) filling the air waves across Asia with K-Pop, and I kept a few choice samples with me which I still have today. I love how K-pop throws random English words into songs, and doesn't always get them right. Things like "I love you on the bottom of my heart" cracks me up!

Russia also has a toxic pop scene, and although many say the quality isn't as good as Korea's, and it seems a lot more "wannabe" than America's, I find it interesting and, I admit, likeable. I enjoy quite a few Russian pop tunes, more than American trash or K-pop...stuff. One thing that can be said for Russian pop music is a lot of songs contain more traditional Russian tunes. It's not uncommon for an accordion to bust out in the background of a Brittany Spears knockoff, and those haunting minor-chord melodies that make traditional Russian music so un…

Pacific, Meet Katya

Katya's first morning in Victoria consisted of Tim Horton's, lost bus tickets, and an impossibly huge wave that smacked her right on the backside, welcoming her to the west coast.

Following a shell-shocked and jet-lagged three days in southern Ontario, where dreary January skies, unfamiliar restaurant selections and mounted police were the main attractions, Katya and I made our way on a Greyhound bus to from Kitchener to Toronto, where a flight to Victoria, BC was booked.

I had made our travel plans very meticulously, and every bus, shuttle and airline ticket was paid for weeks in advance. The Greyhound pulled in to Toronto's main bus terminal and we just had to walk a block to wait for the airport shuttle. Katya remarked how dreary Toronto looked (to be fair, it was one of the rainiest Januarys on record in Ontario, and had barely any snowfall). The shuttle bus arrived and lo and behold, we had lost our tickets!
To Victoria
All my careful planning and booking was turning …