Some women assert that they are more feminine and womanly when they are pregnant. They claim they have found their purpose, a new meaning in life. Well, I can tell you I wasn’t comparing myself with a freaking fertility goddess. I felt like I was going through puberty all over again.
Monthly Archives: September, 2012
I remember looking out the plane window, staring at the sunrise over Europe, and being scared of the long road ahead of us. Forty weeks. That’s a long time.
A nurse called my name and I was asked, once again, to give a urine sample. To this day, I have no idea why pregnant women constantly have to provide doctors with urine samples—good thing our bladders are bursting most of the time though, it makes things easier.
I called the University of Ottawa Health Services, where I had a checkup done a year earlier. I was immediately put on hold and I could hear Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” playing in the background. “For Christ’s sake,” I muttered impatiently, “is there a more inappropriate song given the circumstances?”
I’m pregnant. Not the “I-just-peed-on-a-stick” kind of pregnant. I have been expecting our own little Canadian-Chinese-French (in alphabetical order) for over eight months now. Yeah, I know, I hid it.
I’m usually happy to visit France. I enjoy traveling and I love seeing my family. The first few days there, I immediately feel very French as I reconnect with my roots—it feels like slipping into an old pair of jeans. I catch myself thinking that it would be really nice if Feng and I could rent a place in one of Nantes’ funky neighborhoods.
After a few days as a tourist in my hometown, I usually enjoy getting off the beaten track and finding new places to explore, no matter how far and how gritty they can be—basically, I need some non-tourist spots.
I wanted to see the world and I did. And now, I can look back and appreciate Nantes for what it is—a lovely city, really. I still wouldn’t live there again for many reasons, but visiting as a tourist feels great.
This summer, “A Journey to Nantes” art project (“Le voyage à Nantes”) kept the crowd entertained. The 8.5 kilometre-long “cultural urban trail” across the city, from one landmark to another, was spiced up with various street art projects, from tree houses to urban playgrounds.
When we organized the last-minute trip to London, we also decided to cross the channel and to visit my parents in France for a few days. It just made sense: we had already flown 5,600 kilometers to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, may as well travel a few more hundreds kilometres and stay with my family for a bit.
In London, we took the time to check out a few main places after dark, including the Jubilee Gardens with the picturesque London Eye and views on the River Thames, Carnaby Street, Piccadilly Circus and the Palace of Westminster.
In London, we spent quite a lot of time in a few tourist spots, including Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square, Victoria Embankment and Piccadilly Circus, all within walking distance from each other.
The Tube is an international icon for London and its graphic elements, such as the station logo, have become easy-to-recognize pop culture symbols. There is even a popular London Transport Museum at Covent Garden, and its busy shop sells tons of Underground-branded souvenirs, such as stylish travel card wallets, prints and toys.
Parliament Hill is one of my favourite landmarks in Ottawa : it’s a scenic place with great views on the Ottawa River, and there is always something going on in front of the Canadian parliament. So naturally, in London, I was drawn to Parliament Square and Westminster, the local “equivalent”.