The blog is not finished! But after the Theft (yes, capital letters), the want/need to update the blog took second fiddle to dealing with the Theft and just finishing the trip sans computer. Since being home, it's been hard to get that motivation to complete it. But I will. Ever so slowly. Please be patient!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Toronto Turnaround

The following takes place on Days 132-136, April 8-12, 2011

There seems to be a common question that pops up when people find out that I was flying to Toronto from Sao Paulo. Even from people that already knew the reason. “Why are you going/coming back to Canada?” There’s really two main reasons.

First, it has to do with the Round-the-World Ticket I purchased from Star Alliance. To save on segments and on kilometers, both of which are limited on a Round-the-World ticket, my travel agent suggested that I do South America as a separate, round trip ticket.

Second, and the part I was most excited about, was seeing a few friends in town. As the date got closer and closer I became less sad to be finishing the first part of my trip and more excited to be seeing my friends. A familiar, friendly face to hang out with.

Expectations are meant to be shattered though, it seems.

I arrived in Toronto completely unprepared for the weather. I was wearing sandals, a t-shirt, and shorts. The temperature was a chilly 6 celcius. I feel ashamed to say that I felt cold considering I come from Saskatchewan. I should be itching to go swimming at that temperature! But instead I was a wimp and raced into the wonderful heated terminal building.

Canada is in the midst of an election so I wasn’t surprised, on the bus ride to the metro, to pass by the campaign office of a local candidate. Turns out, as we drove closer, that it was the office of the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Michael Ignatieff. There were a lot of people there and a few news trucks. I searched around and caught a glimpse of the political leader as he walked up the sidewalk towards the front doors. Here is where I half forgot where I was.

Out loud, with a full bus, I exclaimed “Holy shit! He is actually there!” Then I realized, much to my embarrassment, that the elderly couple beside me and the family with kids across from me on the bus can speak and understand English.

The hostel I got was just down the block from Church Street but I took the opportunity that day to do the one thing I was most excited to do: laundry. In a real washing machine and with detergent that doesn’t destroy clothes. Oh the simple things!

IMG_4497My biggest disappointment though began that night. I was invited out to the birthday party of one of my friends’ ex-boyfriend. It was fun to meet all these cool people, and I’m glad I went, but my friend was incredibly late showing up. We only got to hang out for an hour or so before I was dropped off. That would be the only time I would see any of my friends in the Toronto area. I’m not faulting any of them. Quite the contrary. One got a job with Elections Canada and the other, the one I did get to meet for a bit, is a journalist for a campus newspaper. Both are jobs that pretty much force their workers to not see the light of day during an election.

IMG_4498Just bad timing on my part.

I did manage to make friends with a few people in the hostel. I was more or less productive in my time in Toronto. Got laundry done, had Tim Horton’s coffee numerous times(and introduced Veronica to the joys that is Timbits), officially voted in the Federal Election, picked up some new socks and other items I felt I needed, got my fill of poutine and caeser drinks, and fully recharged my internal batteries.

IMG_4502So yes, while I was a tad bit sad and disappointed that I never got to see the friends I spent so much time in Toronto to see, I still managed to have an ok time. Next time, I’m going to be sure not to go there in the midst of an election. It’s the joy of having so many intelligent and politically minded friends I guess.

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