Weekly Recap

The Sunday Letter | 2016.06.19

I arrived back in Nova Scotia exactly two weeks ago. Hopped off the plane and quickly acquired a Tim Horton’s everything bagel toasted with herb and garlic cream cheese. My token offering to the gods of Canadian travellers.

Life

There were exactly two days where I didn’t have to do much before jumping back in to classes with my Masters at King’s. Strep throat then proceeded to chase me and I’ve been recovering from that for the last five days. I didn’t get sick once in Bosnia and I think my immune system was just done with me.

Travel decompression is a weird thing. Everyone deals with the transition differently. From being on the road to living out of your home base again. Or from living abroad and returning home and having that weird reverse-culture Shock feeling, where suddenly the rituals of home seem more foreign than the ‘foreign’ place you’ve been.

I like to think I’ve gotten better at coming home. It’s hard when you love being on the road. In Jr. High I went every summer to overnight camps (or ‘sleepaway’ camps, as they say in the USA) where I’d be away from home for a week or two. I would have so much fun at these camps, where I had friends, a great routine, freedom to read in my spare time and lots of adventures and exploring.

Coming home I always cried in the car. Then for the next few days I would be irritable, grumpy, and generally annoying to my parents. I like to think I’ve gotten better, despite the added difficulty of jetlag.

Now when I come home there’s usually a day or two of ‘oh how nice, the shower always works! All my stuff is here! So convenient!’ Followed by a day or so of ‘Hm, what’s my next adventure now?’ And then eventually figuring out and committing to my new ritual of being ‘at home’.

This time I was away ten weeks, and coming home I was grumpy (just ask Rob). I was like, “Classrooms? No! I don’t want to go back to class. I’ve been IN THE WORLD. I must go back!” To which Rob calmly reminded me, “Hey, remember how you really want that Masters. Like, it’s an important thing you committed to it, and it’s something you really want to do?” Me: “Oh, yes. Right. Okay. Focus.”

How to love Nova Scotia after being away

The first thing I do is eat ALL MY FAVOURITE FOOD. Like, I hit up Wasabi House twice in the first week I was here. Also, if you go to Wasabi House, my favourite thing there is the torched salmon belly. TRY IT. It’s amazing.

Other places I raided multiple times included: The Canteen and Two if By Sea, Good Robot brewing on Robie Street.

The thing I haven’t eaten yet that I am most looking forward to eating Is the K-dog from the Food Wolf and Tokyo Fries from Stillwell (I hear their new beer garden is pretty swell). Also, I haven’t been to the Timber Lounge HFX. That opened last month and looks awesome. You throw axes and drink beers. Bam. Fulfilling Buffy the Vampire Slayer childhood fantasies with buddies. Sounds like a great time.

Duncan’s Cove

Other than stuffing my face, another way to fall back in love with home is going to the ocean. This may be a Scotian thing. We’re tend to be happier in the presence of water. We took the van and our friend Ben and walked the Duncan’s Cove Coastal Trail, about a 20-minute drive outside Halifax.

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The area has a lot of abandoned WWII bunkers and a lot of great surprises, like a huge echoey cave that waves crash into, and unexpected detours around coves.

Also, this ultra-modern house that makes you feel like you’re in a dystopian novel.

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Also, this ultra-modern house that makes you feel like you’re in a dystopian novel.

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So yeah, welcome home, me!

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Book of the Week

I used to do these separately, but seeing as I’m trying to read one book per week to keep up with finishing my goal of 52 books this year, it seemed natural to include it in here.

“We Stand on Guard for Thee,” by Brian K. Vaughn and

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Brian K. Vaughan is the writer for Saga, an epic graphic novel series that I’ve been reading, so when I saw his name on the cover and the big bad American bot stomping out Canada, I figured I had to pick it up. The artist he’s teamed up with for this piece is Steve Skroce, known for his story board art for the Matrix. I wanted a quick and easy read and this seemed to fit the bill.

Quick was the right word. I’m not sure it even took me an hour to finish this, I zipped right through. It’s a fun read, although if you’re looking for something deep or fulfilling in terms of storyline, avert thine eyes. It almost reads like a pilot for a series. All these characters and context are introduced, but there are so few panels that by the end you’re left feeling, ‘But what happened in between?’.

There is some good humour, like a first-generation-Canadian woman of Syrian parents arguing with a Cree man as to which one of them has more of a historical right to pilot a giant robot to destroy the invading Americans. (The woman ends up stealing it, but she apologizes, like a good Canadian).

U.S. vs. Canada dystopian novels are always fun. Mostly because the idea of it happening has always seemed so crazy and improbable to me. Well, maybe not with this election cycle, but it definitely seemed improbable in the past.

Here’s some other fiction about the U.S. And Canada going to war. This list is a few years old. Do you know any others?

Cool things on the Internet

This guy always lets his mom know he’s okay. An epic doc shot entirely on iPhone about the first Bangladeshi to scale the seven peaks. A photo essay through a Bosnian Eco zone. Princeless is ruling feminist comics. This writer infiltrates and tweets a Trump rally. Setting out on a life of travel in your thirties. How photography can create mindfulness and meaning in your life. I really want to try a Teforia.

That’s it from me! It’s nice to be back.

Hi, I’m Mel, blogger and tea sommelier at Mel Had Tea. I love to explore, learn, and meet new people. Nothing inspires me more than reading, traveling the world, talking to strangers, and drinking tea.

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