JACAC 2015: Musings so far (barely Day 1!)

Good morning from Laval, Quebec! It took a quick look out the window this morning to re-establish the fact that the 6ft tall pile of snow was not the same Vancouver 12 degree sunshine and cherry blossoms. 

After a restless night of sleep, I have spent the better half of the morning trying to figure out how I can distill hot water from a coffee maker. You’re right, I should know how to do this- I just learned what a carafe is, and as a non- coffee drinker I’m pretty impressed with the little system I’ve got going on! 
A lot of the trip so far reminds me of Ottawa:
A room by the washroom to keep you up all night with the sounds of erratic flushes and door slams. Hunger and the search for nourriture: 2 for $4 boxes of Wheat Thins stored in the room for some desperate late night snacking. Trudging through what seems like an never forest to get to civilization: a Metro supermarket! Being surrounded by so much alcohol in the supermarket that you’re uncertain if you actually entered a liquor store or not. But then there’s the snow. And trudging from one building to another outside in the dark hauling your giant luggage around in -14 degrees is not a fun time. Until of course, we discovered these underground tunnels that take you through each residence and connect most of the major buildings! The tunnels have really cool murals all over them representing organizations, clubs, people who have visited, countries, and just general personal expressions of art (will try to post pictures later). 
Unfortunately it seems that the organization for the conference is a little all over the place.  Lucky to have been connected to 5 other Canadian students in Toronto as we all boarded the same little jet prop to Laval  (some parts of the ride were a little concerning/ terrifying lol). Got on the plane and was the only Asian person for miles, and was in fact asked by an airport personnel if I knew where Iw was going (Quebec). Greeted by the windchill and signs only in French, as we were waiting for our luggage to come through a security/ airport personnel made an announcement about the carousel area being strictly for incoming passengers and no one else… in French. But that’s the thing, the French is always there in your brain, it’s just a question if your brain will dust off the cobwebs and access it in order to direct a cab to the residence. Luckily, the 6 of us split a cab to the residence which came out to be less than $5 per person in the 15 minute ride.
We arrived at U Laval’s residence and the place was giving off an eerie ghost town vibe. The campus was pretty desolate as it’s Reading Week, which made finding rooms a little concerning. JACAC participants are spread across the entire campus in the 4 different residence buildings, which is unfortunate because they are pretty spread out. The majority of us are in the Agathe- Lecerte building which is the farthest from the residence admin and unfortunately breakfast/ meeting rooms. The corridors aren’t as well lit as they should be, and the building was completely empty as I was finding my room on the third floor away from all the others on the first! So that was an adventure, but hoping to get my room transferred- off to do that now, lunch, introductions and tour and then the rest of the day to explore! 

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