Since it’s the Homecoming weekend, I shall dedicate a post to University of Western Ontario (UWO), or Western University, where I had spent a winter semester earlier this year. 😀 Although I was just there for a short 4 months, the experience I had was unforgettable and I wouldn’t trade anything else for that. It wasn’t smooth-sailing, but it definitely made me a person with a broader perspective. Meanwhile, here’s my favourite things about UWO:

1. TIM HORTONS EVERYWHERE, WELL, ALMOST
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Lemonade and red velvet muffin = the perfect snack.

If you ask me what I miss about Canada in general, Tim Hortons will top the list as well. I love the fact that they have opened so many outlets (even in close proximity) in the school compound. My favourite outlets are the ones in Sommerville House and the Social Science building whenever the queue in UCC gets crazy.

And only in UWO per se (well I’m not sure about other universities in Canada) do the queues of Tim Hortons get wayyyy longer than Starbucks (cf: UCC, Social Science building). That Canadian pride. 😉

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Tim Hortons has accompanied me throughout my winter semester while I deal with crazy amount of assignments/readings, through thick and thin. :’)

A CUPPA DOUBLE-DOUBLE/ FRENCH VANILLA PLEASE.

2. THE CAMPUS ARCHITECTURE
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Coming from Singapore, you have no idea how impressed I was with old brick buildings. (Read here on how a traveller thought Singapore is soulless, and has no history and identity – which is true to a certain extent) Every building is old but beautiful with history, and my building crush has to be Middlesex College! A castle in school, really?!

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The famous UC with the Canada flag hanging high and proud. IMG_2376

And even one of their affiliated college, Huron College, looks so beautiful:
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I wish our campuses in Singapore look like these instead. 🙁 Is architectural crush even legit?

On a side note: my own school in Singapore has been undergoing construction since forever, demolishing old spaces and building new things to profit more from consumers (mostly us, students). It’s getting annoying, sigh.

3. FRIES FROM THE SPOKE
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BEST. FRIES. EVER. The burrito and tacos are nice too, just that the fries are the best I’ve eaten. Period.

4. SUSHI FROM SOMMERVILLE HOUSE
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When I get sick of Western food, these sushi from Sommerville House are my favourite go-to. I have to admit they’re expensive (CAD$5.99~CAD$8.99 or more), but they’re fresh and the rice used is perfect.

5. CHEAP PIZZAS
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These portion of pizza is considered ONE slice; they cut it into two so that you could eat easily. And they’re HUGE compared to whatever I’ve seen in Asia. Just look at this:
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And all these for CAD$3.75!!! Plus they’re yummy. Sigh, no wonder Americans love their pizzas – cheap and good.

You should also realised how much I love my Timmies by now.

6. THE PURPLE PRIDE
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This school has the power to make you feel you’re one of them within the 1st week of school, because every student there either has a Western jacket, or a Western bottle, or even a Western towel – basically just Western anything. Their bookstore sells any kind of Western printed merchandise you can think of, and I’m guilty of spending a lot of time ‘window shopping’ there because they lure you to buy them but they’re not cheap. 🙁

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Their t-shirts go as low as CAD$10 when on sale, but their pullovers are close to CAD$100, especially when it’s by Roots!

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Even Tim Hortons in school made their donuts purple on special occasions!

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This impressed me so much – the students gathering at The Spoke to watch and support the Canadian team during the Sochi Winter Olympics! Oh the patriotism. This made me feel proud to be there even though I’m no Canadian.

7. THE WELDON LIBRARY/ THE MUSIC LIBRARY
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Weldon’s the biggest library in UWO; the building’s old, the lift is old, but I still like that place. I frequent there to do last minute work, print assignments and well, hang out. And, you’re allowed to drink in the library… which means many cups of Tim Hortons as library companions.

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And the music library in Talbot College is my favourite hangout to do my Jazz readings – because I refused to buy the textbook. 😛 The library’s small but conducive since only music students go there. And my favourite seat is pictured above. I love those dictionaries of music, feeling like legit musician whenever I stare at them. Basically, they make me happy to be a music student. 🙂

8. EAGER STUDENTS IN CLASSES

This is a culture shock to me: ALL students, if not MOST, would report to class early. To them, early is on time and on time is late, and late is… not possible. And the attendance in classes was really amazing, because every class I went to was FULL (except Jazz – which was a night class).

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This is me sitting at the back of the class without a table. 🙁

My friend and I always feared reaching Phonetics & Phonology tutorial class late because we would have NO SEATS. And this applies to my Advertising class as well – it was weekly lectures but it was always full although NO attendance was taken. Such an eye opener for me. In addition, they prepare for classes beforehand and always have so many questions to ask in class. This is so un-Asian. haha!

9. THE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE (UC) HILL

That steep hill brings back a lot of memories because it was so slippery with snow or ice during winter, and I was really afraid to walk down because of my Uggs (bears no friction at all). So I always walked down the slope while doing half-squarts to keep my centre of gravity, oh embarrassing moments!

10. THE COOLEST SCHOOL GYM
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This is by far the biggest and most beautiful gym I’ve seen in my life. Not to mention, it’s a freaking gym on campus. The people there would make you want to exercise, no kidding. The gym was always filled with people, and the girls’ changing room were mostly filled with fit athletes although it was winter. I was in awe, they were all willing to go that extra mile to bring clothes and shoes to exercise during the harsh winter, to maintain their abs that won’t be seen anyway. And they would put their make up back on after washing up, change back into the thick layers before heading out. 101% for effort for the girls! They made me feel so guilty for being a lazy bum.

and for bonuses…

11. THE CANADIAN GEESE
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Heard that they’re scary and violent, but these fat geese really know how to enjoy life in harsh winter. It’s no wonder their fur is so expensive!

12. WESTERN FOOT PATROL
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They walk you back to your residence/ bus-stop when you don’t feel safe. Although I have to say that London per se is really safe like Singapore. Nevertheless, it’s good service though I’ve never tried it. Haha!

Anyhoo, have a good homecoming, mustangs! x
I miss you, Western!

keep travelling,
J