"À Rome, fais comme les Romains."
- A certain quote in French.
In some of the great beehives of humanity around the world, one can be chased by raging bulls down city streets. In others, one can find oneself wondering in wonderment in front of one of the most wonderful Wonders of the World.
And in Ottawa, you can skate along the largest skating rink on the planet. Mike told me that it's actually the second largest.
The first is called Antarctica.
Adhering to the age-old addage of "When in Ottawa, do as the Chinese students do," I once again headed out to this spectacle of winter. In the picture above are Cheng and Kai, two zhung-guk saram from the Tsang Lab.
Council workers drill test holes all along the Rideau Canal, to ensure that the ice is thick enough for the masses to skate on. So it's perfectly safe.
Apart from the danger of falling down a test hole.
I found out from Alaa and Nadeen that there aren't many skating opportunities in Saudi Arabia. One interesting thing that they both do is always put ice in their drinks, despite it being unnecessary in the Land of Polar Bears.
Nuna on ice is a fun thing to watch. Arguably more entertaining than Disney on Ice.
But as with all things that Ji-Young nuna encounters, she learned extremely quickly. It wasn't long before she was propelling herself along the Rideau with skills reminiscent of Kim Yuna.
Alaa treated us to Maple Taffy. It's maple syrup, boiled down to a thick glue-like paste and dipped in clean snow. Well at least, I hope it was clean. I washed it down with my cup of hot apple cider.
The taste was "interesting," as my Dad would say.
It's been many years since I made a snowman. The Kong family and I ventured out into his backyard one morning to attempt what is normally impossible for those dwelling between the tropics.
Making a snowman is no easy feat. For a start, the snow needs to be compacted and it tends to fall apart. And creating the head is a sculpturist's nightmare. After a multitude of inadequate approaches, I used a square bucket as a mold and simply placed it on top. It was fine, but made my snowman look more like a robot.
I named it Snowbot.
Here's Ethan with Wei-Wei's snow creation, reminiscent of the seal pups currently in the midst of a clubbing controversy.
Here's my finished Snowbot, complete with infrared vision and ready to blast any competing snowman to smithereens.
In a rare instance of superior political correctness for the Korean language, I recently realised that unlike its English counterpart, the word 'snowman' in Korean (nun-saram) is not gender biased. I was enthralled.
Snowpersons, firepersons, watchpersons... you can never be too politically correct these days.
If you were observant enough in the last photo to recognise that Snowbot was on a table, you may realise where in this photo Snowbot ought to be.
I guess you could say it was 'enrobed' in snow.
And that little lump in the centre was all that remained of Wei-Wei's snowpup the next day. I'm guessing though, that as the snow melts, both of our creations will re-emerge from their enrobement with victorious expressions on their faces.
Snow is a little bit like mess. It continues piling up over time, which makes you wonder why you bother dealing with it.
My answer is because I like to.