Nearly a Year Ago

Nearly a year ago, you welcomed me back.

I had just landed back in Toronto after a 2-week trip to Japan, and the first person to welcome me back was you.

We first started talking 3 weeks earlier, just before I went away on my solo trip. Right from the beginning, I enjoyed talking to you, which was why I dreaded that my vacation might mean I wouldn’t be able to talk to you for 3 weeks. Would you even remember me after I return?

Little did I know, I would spend my entire trip messaging you.

When I woke up each day, I would wonder if you’ve finished work. Going to dance class? Had dinner yet? I couldn’t wait to talk to you. How often did I stand still on the sidewalk, totally absorbed in our conversations?

I remember one time, we had just finished an hour-long conversation, and when I stood up, I almost panicked because I forgot where I was. I really like the feeling of losing track of time because of how much I enjoy talking to you.

If I saw anything remotely interesting, I would take a photo and send it to you. Food? Send photo. Bug stuck between windows? Send photo. Places that make me wish you were here to experience together with me? Send photo.

I remember my first trip to Japan. I have always enjoyed the freedom of solo trips: go where you want, eat what you want, sleep and wake whenever you want without having to accommodate others…

But this time, traveling solo felt lonely.

The afternoons were the most productive times, because you would have gone to sleep. The afternoons were also the most painful times, because you’re not there with me.

I missed you so much when you slept, and always feel selfish when I secretly wish you’d wake up in the middle of the night to say hi. When you actually do wake up in the morning, I feel like winning the lottery every time! Serena is awake! Serena said good morning! Serena sent a smiley face to me!

You make me so happy…  When people asked me what were the highlights of my vacation, I told them it’s getting to talk to Serena every day. I would explain that there’s this girl I can’t stop talking to (and can’t stop thinking about), and it’s because of you that I had such a memorable trip.

So on November 17, 2016, when my train from Pearson to Union was delayed, we made a last-minute decision to meet up and have dinner. I wanted to pay for the meal, but you wanted to treat me as a “welcome home” gesture.

More than just a welcome home, I felt like you welcomed me into your life.

Even after returning to our daily work routines, we still messaged each other all the time. We had opposite sleeping schedules since I worked nights, but we still found time to chat.

You make life so much more enjoyable. You amplify how good a meal tastes, how exciting a stroll down the street feels, and how happy I am to have you in my life.

I want to spend every waking moment with you.

In the winter, I would finish work and call you on Facetime while still in my car, and talk until it’s either time for you to go to work, or until I start shivering. I enjoy our time together so much, there’s never enough time!

A customer gave me a bath bomb once. He works for the LUSH warehouse, so they get to take home products with minor defects. He always brings soaps and such to my coworkers. This one time, he said while handing one to me:

“Give this to your wife.”

We had only known each other for 3 months by then. I knew he only assumed I was married, but I was too giddy to correct him!

Only a month prior, I became dissatisfied with addressing you as “my date” and asked you to be my girlfriend. By January, I also became dissatisfied with calling you “my girlfriend.”

Some people think we are moving too fast, but the reality is, we are already such integral parts of each other’s lives. You’re so important to me.

You asked me back in November what I wanted…

I want a future with you.

I want to make you happy.

I want you to feel safe.

I want you to say and do whatever you want and know that it’s okay.

I want you to feel loved all the time.

 

My darling, Serena

I love you

 

 

 

You see, I can’t wait to ask you to marry me either 

The first time we met was at our university, and there, I want us to start the next chapter of our lives.

You took 1 specialist program and I had 2 majors over 7 years. Although classes were all over campus, each of the 3 programs had its own building. Coincidentally, the 3 buildings are right next to each other, and in their centre is a court yard.

See you there at 11:00am 😀

2017 September

We met up with my friend to go to Tofu Village in Koreatown. I used to like coming to this place. Good portion sizes and used to think they had good flavours. See the banchan in the top right? Sweet potato in a sweet sauce. Quite nice. I like all the banchan from this place.

Glass noodles turned out too be more greasy than I thought. Not that good.

The tofu soup was alright. Had to wait a while for it to cool down. Had a few seafood pieces in there, but generally lacked some flavour.

Pork bone soup seemed average.

Hard to chew galbi.

For dessert, we went to a small cafe next door. Can’t remember the name. I’m still a fan of sesame ice cream.

Butter baker opened up on Dundas. When I first walked by it and tried the croissant, it was quite nice. All the other desserts were very sub-par.

Travelling east for brunch, we went to Maple Leave Tavern.

On the pricey side for fairly standard common grub.

Let’s try something we don’t see everyday. $3.00 Sour pickled eggs. Taste spoiled. Bleh. Serena liked them though. I’m still used to my sweet and salty eggs.

Don’t remember which menu item this was called. Pretty good taste, small though.

$14 Tavern Breakfast. Scrambled eggs, sausage, grilled bacon, roasted mushroom, crispy potato, grilled tomato, and toast. Not bad. Portions seemed small at first, but not that bad. Still lacked veggies in my opinion.

$18 Grilled Beef Short Rib and Salami. Portion size was VERY small. Taste was just okay.

Longo’s cake of the month for $24.99. This month is blackberry pistachio. Quite nice. While not exactly high-end, it’s an affordable cake that’s more creative than usual grocery store cakes.

In moderation isn’t too bad, right?

GB Pulled Noodle, near Bay and Elm. Classic ground pork noodle.

 

 

Their broth is fairly nice. Light, yet flavourful.

We started looking around for a house. There was this house near Downsview Station. It’s easy enough for TTC, but too far of a drive for me on the 401 to Milton. It looks nice from the street, but that’s just a stone facade. The actual house is quite quite old on the inside.

Very nice neighbourhood though. This is the view from the front door. It’s a park right across.

Here’s what the basement looks like. Bit of a dungeon. We ended up putting down an offer for about $725,000 but ended up not going along with it because of the distance. It was quite affordable, and the environment was very nice. Just distance.

We went to the Bridal Show to get some ideas for vendors.

Pretty small event at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

The highlight was the runway show. Very nice to look at, but didn’t really give much inspiration. Fun to watch!

JaBistro again for sushi.

$27 classic 7-piece nama raw sushi.

$14 Hokkaido salad, with snow crab, ikura, salted salmon. Pretty nice flavour.

We still mostly like them for their torched aburi sushi.

$15 Saba oshizushi and $16 salmon oshizushi. Yeah, this is what we came here for.

Another morning brunch, at the Senator near to Yonge-Dundas. We like their fruit jams.

$15.95 Real Good Plate. Bacon and Eggs, Buttermilk Pancake, Home fries, Maple Baked Beans, and Challah Toast. Begging for HEART ATTACK.

$14.95 Huevos Rancheros. 2 Eggs, Chorizo, Black Beans, Tomato Salsa, Avocado, and Home Made Cornbread. Cornbread was quite nice, haven’t had that in a long time.

Despite being so close, it’s our first time going to Kimchi Korea House on Dundas. This was some kind of boiled pork. Very spicy with the other pepper ingredients. Not bad.

Somehow I picked this sweet and sour pork. It was okay. I guess Kimchi Korea House still targets students. Large portion sizes, affordable, and can’t complain.

Being the summer, time for some more gelato at G for Gelato…

Mango was okay, always get pistachio, and forgot what the white one was. We really like their gelato, which has fairly intense fruit flavours without being overly sweet.