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Published: March 7th 2014
I saw a lotto outlet in the airport and it was advertising a $400M jackpot! I thought our $16M jackpot in the Philippines was already out of this world. Truly, we are worlds apart from the west. This is what I love about travelling. It opens your eyes to a whole new world with new possibilities. I believe in investing in education so I will consider this as an educational trip rather than a luxurious getaway so I won't have to feel so guilty. This one month trip will cost me a few months salary.
Almost all the houses are nice and made of wood. I thought it was just preference but now I realize that their houses need to be made of wood because concrete is cold. It's still winter. My first ever. I was supposed to come here in February but decided against it when a friend told me that I would not be able to travel if I came in February.
It was rainy on my first day. As it is on most days according to the weather report. Seattle is only two hours away, I've been told. I know from the movies that it rains
all the time there, so it figures. There's not much traffic on the roads here. So if Seattle is two hours away I'm sure its farther than I think it is. Unlike in Manila where sometimes it is faster to walk than to drive. There aren't a lot of buses and taxis here. Cab fare is about 30$-40$ so DO NOT take the cab. Wait for the bus and dress warm so you don't freeze to death while waiting for it.
Everything is crazy expensive here. Minimum fare on buses and the metro is $2.75. That's about half of a days wage for most Filipinos. I'm gonna be here for a few weeks so I would have to be very creative so it won't take a lifetime to pay my credit card bill. The cheapest food you can eat is a six inch sandwich in Subway for $3. So I think that's what I'll be eating most of the time during my stay here. Food is amazing here! Vegetables are so fresh and crunchy. I just realized that they feed us dump vegetables in the Philippines. The asparagus that I had last night was crunchy and juicy. Far from
the fibrous asparagus that I'm used to. They have so many varieties of teas that I've never seen before. Some taste more like juice than tea. Sooo good!
ATMs are hard to find. People use mostly debit cards and credit cards.
The internet is sooo fast. Even the free wifi in the airport is fast.
Like what I've heard, Canadians are nice. Almost everybody says hello to me in my morning walk. We don't do that in my country. Not that we're snubs but we've been trained not to talk to strangers.
BC is clean but not obsessively so. I still see thrash here and there. I saw mattresses on the side of the road. I heard it would cost them money to have it collected by the garbage truck.
There's a lot of wild animals! The squirrels are much bigger than the ones that we have in the Philippines. Wild ducks and other kinds of birds abound in lakes and swamps. A lot of them are fat because people feed them.
The traffic rules are different so I have to be very careful. You can't ride a bike without a helmet. There's a
button that you have to press to cross the street which will give you about 15 seconds to cross the street.
Getting a tourist visa to Canada is the easiest and fastest I've ever seen. I submitted my application online on a Sunday and the following day it was already approved and I sent my passport to the embassy. My plane tickets cost me USD1,100! I did see a $500 ticket but I didn't have a visa yet. I didn't want to risk buying that ticket only to have my visa application declined.
The 11 hour flight was painful! I forgot to order vegetarian food before the flight so I only ate the side dish. I hope I can still call PAL to have it changed on my return flight.
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