Happy Hallowe’en!

If I had to go trick or treating tonight, I’d go as one of these (click the image to see it bigger). Make yourself look creepy at Find Your Future You! There’s really no options at this site to make you look anything but creepy.

I know this is not much of an update, but it’s better than nothing, no?

Troy and Firda Went to a Camera Show

Banff Springs Hotel

While I was browsing some online classified ads in the Cameras and Photos section some time last week, I saw a posting with a scan of a flyer advertising a camera show on Sunday near Toronto. I asked Troy if he’d like to go despite the $7 admission. He said yes and I got all excited about the prospect of getting a bunch of cheap rolls of film and maybe an inexpensive Hasselblad for the rest of the week.

Fast forward to Sunday. We left home just a little after 8 in the morning. For a Sunday, that was quite an early start. The door at the camera show wouldn’t be open until 10. When we got there, they hadn’t even started selling the tickets, but when they did, we were actually among the first 10 people in line. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. What losers. But we prefer the term “camera geeks”, thank you very much.

We had to stand in line in front of the door for nearly half an hour, during which we got to listen to the BC (before computers) versus AD (after digitals) debate among the people lining up behind us. Good times. Also, while lining up, I completely forgot what I was looking for at the show. I asked Troy and he said he didn’t know. I decided that we were looking for whatever we can get, Facebook-style.

I was expecting to see a lot of cheap, crappy, plastic cameras on the tables but there weren’t really too many of those around. If you shoot film exclusively and you’re obsessed with Leicas, Rolleis and Hassies, you’d be in heaven. Me? I like shooting with crappy plastic cameras. I felt a little out of the league there, but I had fun anyway. It was nice to be able to touch cameras that I used to only be able to see on eBay pictures and not being able to afford.

All the Hasselblads we saw cost more than they do on eBay so we didn’t come home with one. Sad llama. But we did come home with a bunch of expired rolls of 120 film, a beautiful Ricoh Diacord L twin lens reflex camera we bought from a grumpy, old, Leica shooter, and a Lomo Smena Symbol camera that evil Lomography is trying to sell for $95 a pop online. We got ours for a measly $5 from a mostly junk table, which is probably what it’s really worth. Take that, Lomography!

Speaking of evil Lomography, they’re having an invite someone and get $20 in your account dealy-o. I really want a Diana+ camera but I want to buy it with THEIR money considering they already charge too much for just about anything. So, if you’re feeling benevolent, please leave a comment with your permission to send you an invite to Lomography. I’ll get $20 if you sign up and you’ll get $10 (or 10 Euro if you’re in Europe) in your account when you sign up. In addition, you’ll get to see the pretty pictures I took with it when/if I got the camera! Please pretty please with whipped cream and a red cherry on top? ;) You know you wanna!

Travel Stories from Western Canada

Red Kayaks

I’ve been putting off writing about the trip for so long that I’ve actually forgotten some of the things I found interesting. I’d better write the ones I haven’t yet forgotten now before the trip becomes just a distant memory.

BC Lookouts. For some reasons in British Columbia, they put up lookouts at all the wrong places. So you’re driving in the mountains and you see a beautiful view. You start looking around for a lookout so you can stop to enjoy the view and take some pictures. Just when the beautiful view can’t be seen anymore, there it is: a lookout! Seriously. Why did they even bother?

Misleading Sign. On our way to Banff, AB from Jasper, AB, we stopped at the Peyto Lake lookout. I wasn’t feeling too great (it was that time of month) and didn’t really feel like doing strenuous hiking. I read the sign at the beginning of the trail and it said that to get to the lookout there was only a small steep part on the trail and I thought, hey, I could do one small steep part. That turned out to be One Big Fat Frickin’ Lie. When they said a small steep part they really meant half a dozen big, stinkin’ steep parts. A couple of people who passed me on their way back and saw me looking like I was about to die were nice enough to cheer me on and told me that it was totally worth it. And it was. But boy, did I almost die from exhaustion.

Banff Before Jasper. There is a good reason people usually go to Banff before they visit Jasper instead of the other way around like we did. If you go to Jasper before you go to Banff, you just won’t be too impressed with Banff. In Jasper, we ran out of time before we ran out of things to see (and we were there for three days). In Banff, we ran out of things to see after only half a day. If I could do the trip all over again, I’d skip Banff and either spend more days in Jasper or in Vancouver Island.

Haunted Room? While we were in Canmore, AB, if we were not driving around, I’d be in bed reading. We spent two nights in a two-bedroom condo type thing and once every night while I was alone in the bedroom, the bedroom door handle would be moving up and down, like someone was trying to open a locked door. The door wasn’t locked. Each time I thought it was Troy and I would open the door to allow him in but there was no one in the hallway. It didn’t scare me or anything. It was just weird. It actually happened again the morning we were leaving. I thought to myself, silly ghost, and it made me smile. :)

Whale-watching. Going whale-watching on a Zodiac off the coast of Tofino, BC was a lot of fun, though I can understand why it’s not recommended for people with bad neck or back and pregnant women. It can get really bumpy! We saw some humpback whales and at some point a couple of them went circling our boat and got so close to us that I was worried that they would go under our boat and capsize it. Of course it didn’t happen. They’re whales, not some silly shark from Jaws. Duh!

TV Show Set. Troy’s parents and I went to Squamish, BC one day and upon following some worn-out signs to some beach (which turned out to be not much of a beach but it did have a breathtaking view of the fjord), we came across the set of a new Canadian TV show called Search and Rescue. They were filming six months worth of episodes there. It’s probably going to be a really lame show but I’m going to have to watch at least one episode when it’s aired next year just to be able to say that I’ve been there on the set. :)

Questionable Malaysian Food. When we were in Richmond, BC, we went to a couple of Southeast Asian restaurants. It’s funny that a lot of the stuff in the menus that they claimed to be Malaysian was what I know to be Indonesian. Like Gado-Gado. Gado-Gado is SO Indonesian but in the menu it was described as Malaysian vegetable salad with peanut sauce. Huh? We ordered something called Indonesian Spring Rolls in one of the restaurants which turned out to be something I didn’t even know exist before. Not a big fan of the spring rolls but Troy and his dad seemed to enjoy it. At least the Nasi Goreng I had was pretty authentic.

Sugus Candies. We visited a couple of malls in Richmond for some “Asian experience” and came across a couple of Asian supermarkets that, surprisingly, didn’t sell any durians (blasphemy!). But what they lack in durian department, they made up in candy department. Those places actually sold my Most Favourite Candies Ever: Sugus candies! OMG, I was in heaven! None of the Asian supermarkets I’ve been to in Ontario carried those. I wish I’d had the foresight to stock up on the candies, but I only picked up one small bag of assorted Sugus candies and a single block of Black Currant-flavoured ones, and they’re all gone now. Sad llama. :(

I can’t think of more stories from the trip. Troy might be able to remind me of some more. Will have to ask him. But for now, this will have to do it.