Tronnow

You may or may not know, or have known but also forgotten again or have never known and are just about to find out,  I moved to Canada! Almost two months ago (7 weeks and a day to be precise) I hopped on a plane, endured a pretty uncomfortable but reasonably cheap 7,5 hour flight and ended up settling in Toronto, or as the locals call it “Tronnow”.

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Last view of Belgium… It looks a bit less green irl

The first week I stayed in a cozy little place in Alderwood, which is a part of Etobicoke which is a part of the Greater Toronto Area. (Yes, that does spell GTA, and yes I do feel like a gangster all the time). During that time I looked for a place to live, and got to know the city a bit. I was VERY lucky to find a place I liked on the 2nd day of my stay (I did arrange some meetings beforehand, I’m not THAT lucky).

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I could think of worse neighborhoods to spend my first week in.

So the rest of my stay there consisted out of:
– Doing 4763 Ikea Trips (only 2 actually, I’m the kind of person who likes to carry an impossible amount of stuff in one go rather than just go a 2nd time. Not always the best idea, as the people who helped me when me, my mattress and 2 bags of furniture got stuck in the subway-turnstiles will confirm.)

– Learning how to take the public transport (Tokens? (Though I like them, they make me feel like I’m about to get on a -fairly boring- funfair-ride) Paper Tickets? (That you’re not supposed to take yourself which I did not realize until day 3, whoops!) Transfer Tickets? (That you are supposed to take yourself which I also didn’t realize, whoops!)

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Welcome to the TTC, the closest thing to time travel.

– Watching my first hockey game on tv (Which I really liked. Especially the part where they don’t lay down on the floor and cry for 45 minutes when they accidentally hit each other.. On the contrary)

– and just taking long walks ( I didn’t necessarily want to do long walks, but this is Canada so before you know it you’ve walked 20km in an afternoon).

After moving to a more permanent place (which is actually a living room, but it is a room and I live in it so I think it qualifies) with free sauna, pool and awesome roommate , I filled my days in multiple ways.

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I know you might think my bed is kind of low, but we’re up on the 5th floor so it’s actually reasonably high!

I explored my new neighborhood,

Bloor st West

To be fair, it doesn’t always look like this, the sunset helps.

as well as downtown,

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Lights and traffic violators everywhere!

(where I tried the national dish,)

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Not exactly the best looking dish in town (not the best tasting either, but it’s fries and cheese so I’m not complaining)

and other neighborhoods,

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I always feel like the CN tower is keeping an eye on me.

where we met an awesome Dutch family

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Meet the best 90-year-old Dutch organ-player in Canada.

I also discovered a nice park,

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Perdy park! (Humber Bay Park East actually)

went to a concert where the average age was twice my own,

Ian Anderson plays Thick as a Brick. DAT FLUTEPLAYING, SON.

licked some eyeballs at Niagara Falls (censored, so just a pic of the falls instead),

What can I say? It’s a waterfall.

took a boat to Toronto Islands without getting seasick (because the boat was on a lake, probably),

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Notice the red maple leafs in the foreground, for that extra touch o’ Canada.

found another nice park,

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Perdy Park 2! (This one’s High Park actually)

with rebellious animals,

What a rebel.

This probably qualifies as modern art.

got into a staring contest with other animals at the Toronto Zoo,

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I swear he lost it and started laughing like 2 sec after I took this picture.

learned about being a National Geographic Polar Photographer,

National Geographic Live

Paul Nicklen, amazing speaker, amazing photographer.

got kind of lost at another nice park

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Perdy Park 3 (but actually Bluffers Park. There is no Perdy Park. Yet.)

and celebrated Christmas mid-November.

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I’m just wondering what Santa is going to do with Rob Ford.

All of this while doing some job-hunting of course.

Special thanks to David for showing me around, willing to sit at the same table as me while eating and bringing me along to the pub.

Special thanks to Yebin for being an awesome roommate with some great cooking skills and sharing some of the food.

Special thanks to mom and dad for driving me to Amsterdam and just being so cool about this whole thing.

Special thanks to the people I’ve met here so far for being so awesome.

Special thanks to me for finally finishing this.

Special thanks to you for reading this.

(Do not forget to check out Canadium for more details about my ‘adventures’ in Canada)

Yes, Brighton again.

Sorry, I couldn’t think of a fun word-pun.

These are the last ones. These were taking during the blissfull ignorance times when I did not yet know of the stupidities that had occurred.

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Brighton Blues

After the CF-format failure I was kind of upset. Or feeling blue as one might say.

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ID YOU GET IT? I WAS FEELING BLUE AND ALL THE PICTURES ARE BLUEISH 😀 😀 😀

B(&W)righton

As some of you might now, I went to Brighton last weekend. As some of those some might know, I accidentally formatted a used CF card losing a days’ worth of filming and photography. I was SERIOUSLY upset and angry at myself for making such a dumb mistake.
(Though seriously, it was an easy mistake to make. I have 2 identical 8GB cards. I got the one that was full out of the camera, to switch it with the other one. Holding my camera I had only 1 hand to make the switch and I unknowingly put the same card back in. Since I always copy all my cards onto my computer  before I leave I just formatted the card, thinking they were older pictures that I had already copied. SO IT COULD’VE HAPPENED TO ANYONE YOU JUDGING JUDGERS. )
Anyway, lesson learned: never format CF cards, when they’re full just buy new ones.

Usually I can handle my own stupidity very well (I do dumb things on a regular basis so most of the times it’s just a case of sighing, slight cursing and watching people attempt to jump in their frozen swimming pool with their kid’s bike from a trampoline that’s up on a roof of a 5 storey-high building wearing nothing but the borat-swimsuit on the internet to make me feel better.) The reason I was really upset is because there were some nice shots on that card. Like really, National Geographic, Pulitzer Prize, International Photography Award winning stuff! Of course I have no proof so you’ll just have to believe my word for it.

As a tribute to the photos lost, here’s some pictures that survived the horrible format massacre (as in, they were on the other card) and that I kind of liked (or rather, didn’t hate):

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The comforting and soothing glow of a Burger King still open late.

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Bonus edited ninja-squirrel

Also, to anyone laughing at me (especially during me still being very upset) I wish you a not too bad but still mildly annoying allergy of some sort. I hope you get allergic to a specific kind of apples. You can just buy another kind of apple at the store so it’s not too bad but every now and then when you eat out they’ll be used in your meal, a salad or something and you’ll feel sick and sweaty and sad because you really wanted to eat dessert but now you just want to go home and wish you hadn’t laughed at me that time I formatted the CF card.

I f’cking really love fog

FoggersfiggyfoggersFoggiefoggers fooggyfoggers

 

 

I really do.

I love fog

No additional words needed. Except for these words telling you that there will be no more words.
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Except for these words telling you to watch the other images *HERE* !
 (Or slightly to your right.)

Nerdalert: Lens talk (but also kitty cats and honeybees!)

( It’s SO hot. This weather doesn’t make sense, so neither will I probably. )

I may or may not have (I haven’t) mentioned that about a year ago my latest family member died. (Dear real family: I mean my Canon-family, please don’t get  upset. Though I’d understand if you got a little upset, it was a mighty fine lens after all.) During a wedding my beloved Magic Drainpipe just fell apart. Litterally. I was zooming and suddenly I couldn’t move it anymore, it just got stuck on something. Then I tried turning it the other way and the AF/M button just fell off and the insides fell out and it was just horrible. Tears have been cried, trauma has been had.

I did not have the need (=money) to buy another zoom/tele right away so I left it there. But in a couple of months (77 days to be exact) I will be leaving on a trip (more on that later) where I might encounter some dangerous wildlife and I figured taking close up pics of them and then threaten to tag them on Facebook was my best defense. Because I usually don’t use tele a lot, I don’t have a lot of money to spare and I want to keep everything as light as possible but I do want a decent amount of quality finding the right tele zoomlens was proving to be mission impossible (but with slightly less action and a lot less Cruise. I am working on an equally catchy theme song though.) Though after some crazy random events (I clicked the wrong button on a forum) I found this beauty:

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It is the EF 50-200 3.5 – 4.5L lens. Born in 1988, and stopped borning in 1998. It is a push-pull lens, and one of the first EF-L lenses ever made. It is old so it does have a slow autofocus-mechanism, the pushpull is said to be a real dust-magnet and it doesn’t have the 2.8 my ex-tele had but it is a sharp lens, in good shape, very light and I got it for next to nothing. It is apparently also very rare which makes it even more lovable. There are a number of old EF-(L)lenses that are still high-quality and usually less than half the price of todays versions, the 80-200 2.8L is one of them, there’s also the 28-70 2.8L, the EF 35-135mm f3.5, and a couple more. If you want quality but are on a tight budget – these are your best bets.. If you can find them. Anyway, I could not be happier with this lens. It is all the things I was looking for + the bonus of being a golden oldie, which I love. It is definitely going to be a welcome companion on my trip.

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ushywushypullywully!

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As you can see it has a tiny crack in it but hey, chicks dig scars 🙂

To see if my new friend was up to the task, I took it to our very own nature reserve (=backyard) to test it on some local wildlife.

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Apis Mellifera Omnomnomnomnicus

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Gallus Domesticus Angrycus

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Apis vs Flora

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Cattus Jiminus

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Papilio Coitus

It’s not 70-200 2.8 L IS quality but for less than 1/10th of the price it doesn’t need to be 🙂

Anyway, my fingers have melted together with my laptop which has melted together with my desk which has just spontaneously combusted so I guess I will end it here. Bye!