What is going on in the Trumpland?

26828161_10215108623257415_1113191477_oAmerica is shaken by the government shut down, the nation is flying over to District of Columbia to march for their voices, their president plays for the audience, and I, over here, will try to explain what is going on in the Trumpland.

Although there was a significant amount of tension in Washington this week due to the government shutdown, the breaking news coming from the Washington Post clarifies that the President finally “signed the short-term spending bill to fund the government through Feb. 8.”. Additionally, the bill extended Children’s Health Insurance Program and delayed three Obamacare taxes. The parties still seem to have different views about immigration and spending, however, government officials are back to work until it’s time to fight about the issues again, in two weeks time.

The week of the shutdown, there were major events that took place (and still taking place) in DC.  The month of January is facilitated numerous rallies including the major events of this week, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Walk (January 15), March for Life (January 19) and Women’s March (January 20). Some of the upcoming marches include The National People’s March (January 27), Muslim and Refugee Ban: A Year of Resistance March (January 30).

I had the privilege to attend the March for Life, however, could not make it to the Women’s March although I truly support the movement. I have taken the March for Life as a journalistic experience to be able to observe and criticize a view I did not fully support.

There were over 100,000 people with their posters and loud voices in the event as well as speakers that were strongly religious and based their reasons on their faith. By all means, there is nothing wrong with that… but there is also a lot of things wrong with that. In 20th century, it still leaves me speechless government enforcements through faith happens. And it truly shakes me to see that these enforcements take place not only in Middle East or Asia, but also in the United States of America.

Would the practice of abortion, euthanasia or suicide matter if it weren’t forbidden in our religions? Yes, religions set boundaries, but what are the limits of those boundaries?

I have not heard a single speaker addressing a counter argument or at least mentioning the word ‘rape’ or ‘mother’s life at sake’ while they were speaking about abortion. However, they did not forget to talk about how great adoption is. Mind you, adoption is painful in many ways for the children until they feel home, and sometimes they don’t at all.

During his speech, Mr. President made sure he showed off all the glam he brought to America. It felt as if he were trying to win his votes over for his next term ahead of time. I’ll have to admit Trump is a good speaker but has no character.

I suggest attending one of the upcoming rallies in DC if you reside here, and experience the passion, politics and millions clogging the roads through the Washington Monument to the Hill. Do not be afraid to explore views that you struggle with, it is a great opportunity to strongly reaffirm your own stance in the controversies.

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Welcome to the Nation’s Capitol

Hello world,

As I was having a sweet struggle this past week, semi freaking out, majority of my time spent being tired, and walking, watching the views I recognize through the political culture aired through international channels in awe… I was star struck. Or White House struck.

However, sadly, this post is not about how the ceilings of the library of congress were majestically shiny or how I get to wake up, and sleep to the view of the Capitol Building. There is so much yet to be excited about for the next 4 months I will be spending here, but I also need a piece of mind for reflection. So here it goes…

The first few days for me was excitement, meeting so many new faces and recognizing the personalities behind the faces. Second, dilemma between keeping up versus resting. Third, feeling small.

I believe the connections you make happen in the first few days. It may not be your only chance to do so, but you create your own circle, and you circle around it. I started massively loud and ready to charm, got very tired quickly, and went under my shell for peace.

The environment I am in right now is fully supportive, and I am slowly making the shift to saying simple no’s to things I do not enjoy. I am trying to let go of some odd fears and pre-judgements. Trying to remember, not every experience is the same and not all past experience can reflect to future.

I would worry ahead of time, but I am in a scary flow state where I do not worry much here (yet).

I have so much to talk about Washington DC, the history and distinct character of the city, the weather, my wonderful roommates, and my soon to start internship. Much fun awaits…

Like the pilot shouted through the speakers as the plane landed, “Welcome to the nation’s Capitol”.  

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My view every night…

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Comment below if there is anything specific you would like to know about DC for the next post. Otherwise, have a wonderful week.

Philosophy behind the Black Licorice

It’s another Friday. I woke up, almost making it to noon, decided to throw my fitness into trash, and have two cups of peppermint mocha. Today is a milestone. I hate peppermint, I swear I do, but the Starbucks instant-mocha I had at home changed things up for me.

Never judge a book by its smell. Although if I would, I would like every book at my local library because I simply like the smell of old books. But, I wouldn’t say my local library hold a good selection of books my taste. Also, black licorice Twizzlers look like a good idea at first, but they are Satan’s food.

Warning: Dangerous Substance.

Moral of the story: Life makes decisions for you by simply flowing while you are stuck thinking about the possibilities. I did not plan this to sound like a John Lennon quote, but it did.

I checked my emails before deciding to write about a cup of peppermint mocha, (It was 8/10 by the way), and read that the dilemma I had about an important decision was resolved for me. I did not want to work with a company that didn’t represent my values, but they seemed to like me…

The email said they were sorry to mention the position I would fit was already filled. Another sigh of relief left my nostrils as I clarified this decision one more time.

It’s not that hard trying to get the mechanic toy train to fit the right rails, think about conducting it…I’ll work with my toy train for another week before I get to the real deal.

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Me and bread. A platonic love story (Gluten tolerant but does not care).

Before I close, I would like to thank everyone who took the time to read or skim through my blog. I have gotten an unusual traffic this week, new subscribers and people sharing my content. Thank you.

The next post will be posted from Washington, DC if the plane lands safely with bomb cyclone around. But hey, I am sure it will be fine.

Thank you.

Hazal

Extended Travel Guide for the Ultimate Wanderer Series: Winter in Downtown Vancouver

Over the holidays, I felt blasé as hell. Literally. I overcame that phase through learning how to knit, and driving to every corner of the city. What’s better to do than capturing the colors of a beautiful parrot that also freaks you out because there’s a possibility that it might attack you? Or, getting into New Years with not-so-wild crowd of kids and parents in the heart of the city? Well, it was a time. As I enter into my last week in Vancouver, I finally finished crossing out my bucket list of places to visit (minus Capilano. I still need to make it on the thrilling suspension bridge). It’s time to say goodbye to Vancouver for a bit of a time, and runaway from another possibly large snowfall. I shall return soon.

Here are my “Top 3 Places to See in the Heart of Vancouver”

(Comment if you want to read about it more- I am happy to continue with a part two of this post!)

  1. Stanley Park

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Excuse yourself if you haven’t started whining about how you can’t book your tickets for next year, like, right now. The event called “Bright Nights in Stanley Park” included three million lights according to the City of Vancouver information website. As I recall from the event, it was facilitated through the contributions of BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund and 800 firefighters worked like Santa’s elves to light up the whole area. The event has been ongoing every holiday season for 20 years, and was it ever spectacular! I have been to the big event of 2017 “Enchant”, smaller events like the “Lights Festival at the Bear Creek Park”, in Surrey and many more. I am fed up with seeing lights everywhere I look by now, but Bright Nights in Stanley Park was the best out of all that I have seen. There are live performers around, decent hot chocolate (cheap for once!), Santa’s workshop, lights, cardboards, lights, cardboards, lights and more lights. All of this is free. If you would like to take the train ride with exclusive lights, it is 15$ for adults. For 10 minutes, I suggest let your kids take it because it will be magical to them. Like I said, I am fed up with lights, so that part was ‘meh’ for me. You can still catch a ride in the event until January 6th, or wait for the next seasonal one (which will probably be a different train ride for Easter. See more info at: http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/bright-nights-train.aspx)

In nicer weather, Stanley Park is amazing to take a walk by the sea side, admire the amazing view, and ease your mind. If you don’t mind the rain, in all weathers, it is the best location to a rent a bike (please carry a map with you, you’ll thank me later), or go for a run. Hint: Justin Trudeau was spotted running in Stanley Park earlier last year!

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  1. Queen Elizabeth Park

A little bit of sun helps makes this place look full of life, and fall is probably the best time to see the shades that every tree brings in the picture. However, we have been getting sunny weather now and then too, I assure you that it is a good idea to make your way to the Queen Elizabeth Park. The park is the home to a quarry garden, a rose garden and Canada’s first arboretum with plantings done in 1949. According to the city of Vancouver, there are approximately 1500 species of Canadian trees.

On the highest point of Queen Elizabeth Park, visitors see the iconic domed roof of Bloedel Conservatory. It is a 5$ entrance for adults to observe more than 200 free-flying birds as well as seeing different plants from the desert zone, tropical and subtropical habitats. There are many words to describe the colors of this place, but I’ll let the pictures help you with the rest…

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  1. Vancouver Art Gallery

In the heart of downtown Vancouver, this majestic building is located. As I made my way out the Pacific Centre, I walked along historic hotels and delicate buildings, but when I saw this one, I stopped and stared, like every other person would. In front of the Vancouver Art Gallery, you are much likely to see ballerina’s twirling, filmmakers with their gigantic cameras and a lot of people like me, admiring.

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I had the privilege to see one of the largest collections under the roof of Vancouver Art Gallery, “Portrait of The Artist: An Exhibition from the Royal Collection” which captures the painters painting themselves (as Michelangelo would say), and one of my favourite artists Gordon Smith’s “The Black Paintings”. I adore Smith for his way of expressing his emotions of the wartime memories so touchingly. Both exhibitions are still open to viewers until February 4, 2018, accompanied by many newer exhibitions in the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Adult rates are 20$, and students with valid ID can enter for $18. Arts students can get a yearly membership for 5$, whereas adult memberships are $48 (See website for more info: http://www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/visit_the_gallery/plan_your_visit.html).

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Until next time,

Hazal