Hello, from the 6ix

It’s been close to four months since I last shared an article here. Admittedly, during these months I did want to write a few more blogs, poems even, but ended up getting side-tracked by work and life and the pandemic. Finally, I’m here. 

So, what was I up to all this while?

Well, quite a few things actually. 

Work: I’ve been very busy writing some amazing articles for newcomers to Canada. You can find all of my work on the Arrive blog. When the pandemic hit, newcomers (both, those who had recently landed in Canada and those who were planning to move soon) were impacted to a great degree. Through the articles on Arrive, we stepped up to support the newcomer community to the best of our abilities which meant writing a lot more than I usually write and delivering it at a much faster pace than what is normally expected in my role. That left me with little to no time for my personal blog. 

Cooking: I have many talents, cooking is not one of them. Ever since I moved to Canada, I’ve been a ‘take-out’ or ‘order-in’ kind of a person. It took a whole pandemic to convince me to start cooking. Now, here’s the thing about me – when I start something new, I go all-in. So, I stocked up my pantry with all kinds of spices, herbs, and flours, and even got a blender. Not any blender, I got the Nutribullet Combo; that’s how you recognize my level of seriousness. Initially, the plan was only to cook some traditional family recipes that I was craving. But somehow I ended up expanding my capabilities and cooking a wide spectrum of cuisines, including the Korean basic, kimbap.

kimbap
Look at this wonderful piece of food-art, made by an amateur chef like myself

And as it turned out, I’m actually good at cooking. My YouTube recommendations are now all food-related videos – from how to debone a chicken to how to slice perfect vegetable juliennes, I’ve binge-watched it all. It actually took me a while to notice how I wasn’t seeing any of the usual k-pop and k-drama videos that normally show up on the YouTube page for me. I guess it was indeed a major shift in my lifestyle. The best outcome of this entire initiative was that I was able to reduce my monthly food expense by 50 per cent. And that actually got me thinking about how much money I could have saved in the past one and a half years if I’d cooked at home. Let’s leave that math for another day.  

Side-project: I teamed up with two other friends who were building a dating app, to assist them with content, product strategy, and inside sales efforts. A lot of my time and energy these days, after work hours and on weekends, is focused on various tasks for the app. Since we’re still in the early stages, I won’t say much but I definitely want to share that this app is unlike anything that’s out there and will potentially disrupt the dating market as we know it. If you’re curious, go check out Kupenda; it’s a dating app that’s centred around the users’ mental health and wellbeing. And here’s the kicker – if you’re not looking to date, you can join as a matchmaker and earn rewards.

Family stuff: Just before the pandemic, my parents (who live in India) were unwell and my uncle passed away. I was supposed to fly home at the time but just as I was planning my trip, the travel restrictions came into effect and I had to postpone. Not being able to travel and be with my family did impact me in some way and it was one of the reasons why I couldn’t think about sharing content online for a while. My parents are fine now and things are slowly going back to normal but I do want to visit them as soon as I can.  

TV shows: If we’re all being honest, we’re watching way more television than we normally do. It’s the same with me. I have various subscriptions for TV shows: Netflix, Viki (yes, I pay for an entirely different service to watch k-dramas because just Netflix isn’t enough), Crave, and HBO so obviously, I watch a lot of TV. I’m not into movies as much. Some of the really nice Netflix shows I’ve binge-watched during this pandemic are: Money Heist, Never Have I Ever, and Extracurricular. I highly recommend Extracurricular if you’ve watched and liked the multiple Oscar award-winning movie, Parasite. 

So, now you know about all the things that have kept me busy during quarantine. What I would like to know is –

What have you been upto?

I would love to hear your stories and how the pandemic has impacted your life. If you’re following my blog for updates on immigration or life in Canada, tell me how your plans have changed. If you’re following my blog for Korean culture and entertainment, recommend some nice k-music or k-dramas I should watch. And if you don’t belong to either of these categories and are simply following my blog because you like what I write, then talk to me about what’s on your mind lately and share how you’ve been doing. 

Wait. And if you’re not following my blog yet, then subscribe now for email updates on all new posts:

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Lastly, I’ll leave you with this song that I’ve been listening to on loop for the past month or so. I hope you like it. 🙂  

Until next time,

Stay safe and be healthy. 

N

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