Author: The Beave

Thinking about Picking Mangoes in Australia?

Thinking about Picking Mangoes in Australia? Don’t do it!

Thinking about Picking Mangoes in Australia? The season is on the way. Are you thinking of picking mangoes in Australia? Perhaps you should re-think that idea. I know, I know…you have red and green, juicy, oval-shaped stars in your eyes with just the right texture. You are thinking breakfast, lunch, and dinner of mango-surprise… Your favorite fruit is the mango… Mango fruit salad. Mango juice. Mangoes on your cereal. Mangoes on your hard-boiled eggs. Mangoes in your lasagna. Mango grilled-cheese...

Broken Baseball Dreams

Broken Baseball Dreams

Broken Baseball Dreams. -Live transcript of Mr. H. o this story starts off how I was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays. The 18th round, second overall pick out of Canada. I ended up going down to Florida for a year and a half. Went to spring training with the Toronto Blue Jays. Proceeded to go to Kansas and Missouri. The thing is this whole time I had a long-term girlfriend. High school sweetheart of five years. So I decided...

Roger Waters Us + Them

Roger Waters Us + Them

Roger Waters.   Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.   24 October 2017.   For $167, my friend Christian and I found tickets 16 rows back of the stage for the Roger Waters Us + Them show at Rogers Place in Edmonton.  It is about as close as a person can get to seeing a Pink Floyd show that includes Roger Waters post-1981.  There were nosebleed tickets available for about half of the price so we went all in.  The top four concerts...

#metoo

The ‘me too’ movement is a serious matter on Facebook right now, in an attempt to bring sexual harassment to light.  It is incredible to see how many women I know who have been sexually harassed.  It is truly sad.  I too have a story about sexual harassment, and I posted it on Facebook with the #metto tag.  I wanted to shine some light on it from a male perspective as well.  This is how it all went down… 21...

Tragically Hip, Gord Downie, Amsterdam and Canada.

Tragically Hip, Gord Downie, Amsterdam and Canada.

Tragically Hip, Gord Downie, Amsterdam and Canada. 18 October 2017.   Time is really taking my rockstar heroes.  It took Gord Downie today. Downie was from a Canadian band called The Tragically Hip.  There is a small possibility that you have you have heard their name if you are from anywhere else, but if you are from Canada, and under 50, you grew up with them or you grew up listening to them.  Gord Downie was a iconic legendary poetic rockstar.  Brain cancer,...

The Situation of my Mother with Alzheimer and Dementia

The Situation of my Mother with Alzheimer and Dementia

The Situation of My Mother with Alzheimer and Dementia. Doug, my mom’s husband/my step-father, collected me from the mall.  He told me that he barely recognized me when he first saw me because of my short hair.  Doug then drove me to see my mother at the care-home where she stays.  The home was having a hot dog and hamburger sale so entire families were there to be with their loves ones who have been institutionalised… I was not sure how...

A Conversation with a Transgender

A Conversation with a Transgender

A Conversation with a Transgender. I had been spending time in Manila, Philippines, with a lovely girl named Irene.  We had spent the afternoon roaming the Manila North Cemetery, which was amazing as there are residents everywhere, living in the middle of the cemetery among the tombs.  It was really incredible to see. On the way back to the center, Irene asked what I wanted to do for dinner.  I told her that at the moment I was not hungry. ...

Learning Liquor

Learning Liquor

Learning Liquor. 6 October 2017 Sometimes I get called ‘Soft’ or get called a ‘Pussy’ because I rarely drink hard liquor.  When I get called a ‘liquor pussy’ and I am never sure if that is an insult or a demand…  It drives me a little bit crazy because most of the people who attempt to taunt me have never come close to partying to the degree that I have over the years since this journey began fresh to the...

The Synchronicity of Tom Petty and the name, 'Jen'

The Synchronicity of Tom Petty and the Name, ‘Jen’

The Synchronicity of Tom Petty and the Name, ‘Jen’. 5 October 2017. Life is weird and has patterns. One could never understand how synchronicity seems to happen in the bizarre ways it does… Tom Petty’s death has hurt me. I loved his music and the way he carried himself as the coolest and most casual person one could ever wish to meet.  He is one of my heroes. I have been listening to so much of his music again over the...

Earth Revolutions

My Earth Revolutions

Earth Revolutions. Maybe it is common knowledge but perhaps it is not… I have been thinking about this for the past couple of days and it is likely that no one has had to think about it unless it has happened to them… When you fly around this planet from east to west, you lose a day of your life when you cross the International Date Line. One day full of your life! Poof! Gone! Somewhere between Canada and Australia...

Guns 'N Roses Concert - Edmonton, Alberta.

Guns ‘N Roses Concert – Edmonton, Alberta.

Guns ‘N Roses Concert – Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  30 August 2017. I was up at 09:00 and my 17-year-old cousin Trevor was up and at it by 10:00 so that we could get on the road.  He and I got into his car and headed 5.5 hours north to Edmonton, Alberta… …Guns ‘N Roses. On the drive on the way there, I bought tickets on Stubhub for $145 ($183 CDN) for seats on the bottom of the Commonwealth Stadium, 36...

The Crotch Rocket at 212 km/h.

The Crotch Rocket at 212 km/h.

The Crotch Rocket at 212 km/h. 28 August 2017. I met up with Trevor, my 17 year old cousin, after lunch. Trevor asked if I wanted to go biking. “Heck Yeah!” That sounded like a blast! Trevor has a 2012 KTM SX-7, 250cc, four stroke dirt motorcycle with a lot of bottom end power. He also has a 2004 Suzuki GSXR, 600cc, crotch rocket. I would soon learn how accurate the nickname crotch rocket is for one of those motorcycles…not...

Terracotta Warriors Tour in China

Terracotta Warriors Tour in China

Terracotta Warriors Tour in China. 19 June 2017. I was up and on four hours of sleep when I had to hit the shower at 08:30. I was not sure if Markus was going to make it back to the hostel in time for our pre-booked Terracotta Warriors tour in China.  In the middle of my shower, there was a knock on the door. He made it! Good job buddy!   We had to be at reception at 08:50 and...

Fun Signs in China - Cultural Translation is Entertaining

Fun Signs in China – Cultural Translation is Entertaining

Some countries have really great signs.  Signs in China are some of my favorite.  Sometimes they are funny because of a difference in our cultures.  Sometimes it is a confusion in translation.  I assume, that someone must know someone who speaks fluent English…  However, for entertainment, I am glad they do not… Here are 19 of my favorite signs in China:   Thanks for looking at Fun Signs in China. If you enjoyed this, please share.     (Disclaimer for...

Drunk on a Plane in China

Drunk on a Plane in China

Drunk on a Plane in China. Beijing, China. 3 July 2017. I was up at 09:00 to get cracking at our plans. Markus and I booked plane tickets for Manila, Philippines that leaves today. But first, there would be a 15 hour stopover in Quanzhau.  We think could be the first city we visited in China, but we are not sure. Markus called it a ‘Blank Flight.’ We went for a walk around Beijing but we were bored because we had a...

Getting a Chinese Tourist Visa in Bangkok

How to Get a Chinese Tourist Visa in Bangkok

Background: So, the Chinese tourist visa is a bit elusive and somewhat tricky to get. The rules for getting a Chinese visa vary depending on what country you are standing in. It is strange how there are no real consistencies.  Here is what I know: I travel on a Canadian passport, and entered the Chinese embassy in Prague, Czech Republic, where I asked if it was possible to apply for the tourist visa there on a non-Czech passport. The lady behind the counter said it was no...

Swimming with Whale Sharks in the Philippines.

Swimming with Whale Sharks in the Philippines

Swimming with Whale Sharks in the Philippines. Oslob, Cebu, Philippines.  14 July 2017. I was up at 05:00 on a terrible sleep…  But it was worth it… …the wee hours of the morning would be spent swimming with whale sharks in the Philippines! Markus and I met with three other foreigners in Sharky’s Hostel and we were guided down to the water where we were given a briefing in a room with about 60 other people. The briefing was nothing...

Exiting North Korea

Exiting North Korea – Part 9

Exiting North Korea. Pyongyang, North Korea.  28 June 2017. * (For the previous part, click here: Travelling Pyongyang North Korea – Part 8) …I awoke this morning to realize that my Chinese roommate did not snore last night! How fortunate! I was in the shower in my room at the Yanggakdo International Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea, when the phone ran as a wake-up call from Kim, my guide. “Meester Beavers,” as he has taken to calling me lately, “It...

Travelling Pyongyang North Korea

Travelling Pyongyang North Korea – Part 8

Travelling Pyongyang North Korea – Part 8. Pyongyang, DPRK. 27 June 2017 (cont’d). * (For the previous part, click here: Life in North Korea – Part 7) As we are on our way back to the capital city, travelling Pyongyang North Korea, I was interested in local careers, so I asked my North Korean guide, Kim, about jobs.  He told me that all jobs pay nearly the same.  A dentist makes a similar amount of money as a bus driver.  I wanted...

Life in North Korea

Life in North Korea – Part 7

Life in North Korea. Kumgang, DPRK.  27 June 2017. * (For the previous part, click here: Mt. Kumgang North Korea – Part 6) The doorbell of my hotel room in Kumgang, North Korea, went off at 06:00. The front desk sent someone to my room door to wake me up because the telephones in the hotel do not work… Breakfast.  Bus.   Life in North Korea and off to Mt. Kumgang…my group of seven Chinese tourists and I… North Korea...

Mt. Kumgang North Korea

Mt. Kumgang North Korea – Part 6

Mt. Kumgang North Korea. Pyongyang, DPRK. 26 June 2017. * (For the previous part, click here: A Visit to the North Korea DMZ – Part 5) Kim, my North Korea guide, could not wait to see me this morning to ask me what happened with Jo, the Chinese girl, last night.  Nothing happened, but I enjoyed his effort to be nosy so much that I remained silent and decided not to tell him anything… “Good morning, Pyongyang!” After breakfast at...

North Korea DMZ.

A Visit to the North Korea DMZ – Part 5

North Korea DMZ Demilitarized Zone, DPRK. * (For the previous part, click here: (Barely) Backpacking North Korea – Part 4) Kaesong, North Korea.   North Korea DMZ. June 25, 2017. We arrived at the North Korea Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) after a long and rough three hour journey from Pyongyang.  A lot of military was in the vicinity of the North Korea DMZ.  My North Korea guide, Kim, had told me earlier that a soldier would be our guide through the North Korea...

(Barely) Backpacking North Korea – Part 4

Backpacking North Korea.  Pyongyang.   June 25, 2017. (Perhaps that is a little misleading.  I am hardly backpacking North Korea right now, but I did show up in this country with a small backpack.  I would love to backpack North Korea, but regulations against that are the stickiest of any country in the world.) * (For the previous, click here: Travel North Korea – Pyongyang – Part 3) I received three wake-up calls this morning from 06:30 onwards.  No one wanted...

Travel North Korea - Pyongyang

Travel North Korea – Pyongyang – Part 3

Travel North Korea – Pyongyang. Pyongyang, North Korea. 24 June, 2017 (cont’d). * (For the previous part, click here: Crossing from China to North Korea – Part 2) After I met my North Korean guide Kim at the train station, the first thing he did was take my passport away from me.  Since I was the only English speaker on the trip, I would have my own personal guide while the Chinese would share theirs. My guide Kim would be by...

Crossing from China to North Korea

Crossing from China to North Korea – Part 2

Crossing from China to North Korea. Dandong, China. June 24, 2017. * (For the previous part, click here: The North Korea Decision – Part 1) I was up at 06:30 to get things started for a five day/four night trip to North Korea.  I had a list of jobs to work on, including going onto this website and taking down any articles that were connected to politics or political events.  Also, I removed any recent stories to make Big Beaver Diaries...

The North Korea Decision

The North Korea Decision – Part 1

The North Korea Decision.  China – June, 2017. Prologue: Now I know what you are thinking.  ‘Will I ever have flowing locks of hair as beautiful as Beaver?’  The answer is, ‘Possibly.’ And I know what else you are thinking.  ‘Is he nuts?  North Korea?’  The answer is ‘No.’  I know that many of you think I am crazy and I often do things that are dangerous.  The truth is that this is not really the case.  Every major decision I...

Modern Toilet - A Quirky and Shitty Restaurant

Modern Toilet – A Quirky and Shitty Restaurant

Modern Toilet – A Quirky and Shitty Restaurant. June 12 (cont’d). Mark, Jamie and I got ready and headed to Modern Toilet, a restaurant I had read about where you actually eat from small porcelain toilets and drink from tiny urinals.  It was too peculiar and quirky for me to miss while I was visiting Taipei, Taiwan.  The dishes were named after feces and the seats at the tables were real toilets with the lids down… On the sign to...

Surprising a Friend in Taiwan - 10 Years Later

Surprising a Friend in Taiwan – 10 Years Later

Surprising a Friend in Taiwan – 10 Years Later. June 9.  Taipei, Taiwan.   I was awake early in anticipation of the morning, so I only ended up with 5 hours of sleep. I packed, left my backpack in a corner of the hostel and woke Markus. I checked Googlemaps for the name of my friend Mark’s school. I was unable to find his school on the map before when I searched abroad, but it was there this morning. BAM, I...

Touring the Pyramids of Egypt

Touring the Pyramids of Egypt

Touring the Pyramids of Egypt. June 3. I was up at 06:55. My alarm was set for 07:03 which would give me just five hours of sleep. It is incredible how a brain wakes itself up just before the alarm clock even when the brain knows it needs more sleep. How does the brain actually know what time it is when it is sleeping? How does it physically know when 07:03 is to wake you up just a little before?...

Flight to Egypt – Heck Yeah!

Flight to Egypt – Heck Yeah!  June 2. I awoke in Athens, Greece, just before my alarm at 08:30. I wanted more sleep, but I always want that. Sex, sleep and money…there is just never seems to be enough! My friend Menia was already up and making breakfast! Awesome! I had a shower and met her sister who refers to me as ‘Pfshh Too Soo!,’ a Greek expression said aggressively meaning ‘I spit on you.’ Menia taught that to me....