Thursday, 10 June 2010

The importance of balancing your 'ying' and your 'yang'

MP3 track of the day: Singing in the rain - Gene Kelly

Weather: Rain, rain and ... err ... more rain (until 6pm)

I've decided to stay in Vancouver another 3 days as I've got quite a few days to burn before my flight to Alaska; there seems to be plenty to do here (even though Vancouver looks a little run down) and the hostel is cheap and nice. This meant that I could take my time around the city which was good, as the day started with heavy rain and so I decided to stay in and check somethings on the internet (weather for one) until around 1:00pm when I decided to head out into the rain.

As my new camera memory cards didn't have any cases I have been asking (when I find one) camera shops if they sell the plastic camera card cases, and today was no different. I found a camera shop in town and asked there, however he said no ... but then he went behind his counter and gave me two that were lying around for free ... bonus, job done!

As it was raining I decided to head to the museum of Anthropology, located out of town on the 'University of British Columbia' campus. This required 2 buses to get there and all my navigational skills to get around, what appeared to be, the largest campus in the world.

I hate university campus areas, they are full of students doing student things like talking about rubbish in big groups, skateboarding around like its 'cool' and trying to withdraw $3.75 from an ATM.

When I arrived at the museum it seemed pretty good, however my trip there had taken longer than I expected leaving me only two hours to do the museum and the Japanese garden next door. I managed to blag student rate at the museum and got in there just in time for a free hour long tour. The tour leader had to be a lecturer from the university because she was very knowledgeable and she kept saying "... what I find fascinating about this piece is..."

She went through the main gallery there were wooden totem-poles from the first nations American west coast peoples. She explained the differences and it was all very interesting. Most of the tour was focused on this part; we did venture into a collection of ceramic plates donated by a bloke from the Czech Republic (Koerner) who fled to Canada at the start of WW2. Now, if I was fleeing Nazi occupied Europe, the last thing I would remember to pack would be my collections of tea sets ... each to their own I suppose.

We then stopped at a new exhibition called 'border control'. The museum had commissioned certain artists to create a piece about 'borders'; the idea was that these borders keep people apart and can also mean the difference between a rich healthy life, or a poor short life ... and the art was meant to reflect that. It was very clear that some 'artists' either mis-read the memo, or just didn't get it (I mean, how can 6 jugs placed in a circle have anything to do with borders ... I would get the museum to ask for their money back). The one that the lecture pointed out was this piece of hundreds of 'paper boats' (actually made out of plastic) that were located through out the gallery (attached to the ceiling) and met at one point to carry onto the end of the gallery together (supposed to symbol two rivers meeting). The bit she found 'fascinating' was the, and I quote, "... the childish simplicity of the piece..." I thought yeah, that's because a child could have done this and I bet it would have been allot cheaper.

We finished off at the museums pride and joy ' The Raven and the Beast'; a replica piece about the story of how humans first entered the world, within the eyes of the first nations peoples, it was pretty impressive. I didn't take any photos within the museum but you can find images of what I saw there here.

After the tour I headed back to the main gallery to have a last look at the totem-poles of the north-west American first peoples before heading out to the Japanese gardens.

Unfortunately they closed at 5pm and it was 4:30pm when I got there. Some 'student' was sat within the kiosk and explained to me that he liked to make sure everyone was out 20 minutes before closing (flaming students ... even when they have a job they can't be bothered to work the full time) and that he reckoned to get 'inner peace' I would need an hour at least within the garden. I wasn't really that bothered about 'inner peace' (though when he said this I fully expected to see 20 students within the garden high on pot, and I looked over the walls to see if I could see the smoke) I was more bothered about the $6.00 entry fee for 30 minutes. To add even more insult to injury, my guidebook states even though this is the best example of a Japanese garden, outside Japan, anywhere in the world, it didn't actually use any Japanese plants (how lame is that? Another 'student' half attempt of making money). I decide that, as I'm planning on going to Japan, I'll see a garden there and I headed off.

There was only one problem with the above and that was that my 'ying' and 'yang' were out of balance; I had been to a Chinese garden and so my 'ying' was fully charged but I hadn't been to Japanese garden making my 'yang' low on juice. I therefore decided to walk around the Japanese garden (actually I was trying to see if I could peek in) stopping at each corner to turn 360 degrees anti-clockwise whilst humming 'Kum-ba-yah' to make sure I had an even balance of 'ying' and 'yang'.

Once this was done I set to getting back to town and once back, I found a 'London Drugs' store which I went in and found my favourite biscuits on offer and chocolate at 5 bars for $4.00 ... I bought both of these and a bottle of water getting some great deals ... my 'ying' and 'yang' were working well. The girl at the counter served me as if the building was on fire. She was in such a rush that I was just about to suggest that her 'ying' might be a little too high when she started to serve another person.

After this it was around 5:30pm and I had about 30 minutes to kill before I wanted to go for tea, and so I headed to the waterfront again and read my guidebook. After this I went for a Chinese (not too worried about overpowering my 'ying' as food doesn't count) and then headed back to my hostel.

Well tonight I plan to get a good nights sleep as my 'ying' and 'yang' had told me tomorrow would be a good day weather-wise (actually that's a lie ... BBC weather said tomorrow would be good) and I want to go to Stanley Park.

Today I've spent £38.00 ($20.00 on my hostel, $5.00 on transport, $12.00 on the museum, $10.00 on shopping and $9.00 on tea) which is much better ... hopefully tomorrow will be even cheaper.

Toodle Pip!

P.S. What's that Chinese thing where energy flows through the house and if you have your four-poster double bed pointing east, under a roof beam, without a pair of pink slippers (toe's together to form 'v') pointing west ... you wake up every third Monday with a really bad headache and bad karma.

P.S. I haven't been drinking, or taking any drugs or participated in anything illegal in regards to the 'ying' and 'yang' ... I've just lost the plot that's all.

P.S.S. Being thoroughly bored of rubbish American humor (only us Brits can do proper comedy) I went onto Utube and found this ... it's very funny


  1. Feng Shui I think

    Never underestimate the power of properly located slippers...

  2. Ah that's the one,

    you are right ... only a cushion positioned with one of it's corners pointing directly to the front door has equal power to the slippers

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