My Days in Toronto

Day 1

Carlingview Airport Inn. It wasn’t too bad even though the room had a strong cigarette smell. It was a non-smoking room but it almost felt like the occupant before us had indulged in a secret puff. The walls showed signs of old age; scratch marks, black stains of who-knows-what, and specks of dents. Perhaps that smell came from the walls. There was nothing nearby to eat except Mr. Greek, and so we filled our empty stomachs with souvlaki, salmon, and vanilla ice cream. I love the weather here. Just minutes prior to landing, the pilot announced that the ground temperature was zero degrees. Zero. Thank God for warm weather, city sights and sounds. I feel like I am closer to the edge of insanity each day of my life in blizzard-land-Alberta. I wonder, if the cows feel the same way too. I don’t know if cows think of stuff like that, but I’m sure they are not as absent-minded as myself to forget toothpaste in the packing. Yes, we did not brush our teeth going to bed.

Day 2

We slept in and missed breakfast. Instead, we got a honey bun from the vending machine. More pathetic still was the fact that the hotel only provided one teabag in the room. There were coffee bean bags (surprisingly, it was Starbucks brand), but guess what … the coffee maker did not have the slot to brew the coffee. I don’t know why it was removed. Very clever. Anyway, we had bites of the icky honey bun and sipped that one cup of tea we could have.

Checked out at noon, and headed straight for university grounds. As I stepped into my sister’s residence, I was reminded of Lister Hall; my first year experience of hostel-living at university. The walls were the exact same creamy white paint. Although, it felt like a crazy maze in there. As expected, sis’s room was a mess. She took me on a tour around her campus after we ate lunch at Subway. Gosh, they have better food selections as compared to U of A. I loved the Faculty of Music & Performing Arts Building. Piano lessons are conducted on grand pianos! Whoa … just peeking into the classroom makes me jealous that I’m not a music student at this university.

After the refreshing tour, we returned to the dorm to await the arrival of the boyfriend. Finally, I got to meet this Taiwanese guy, who swept my sister off her feet into fantasy-love land. First impression was good. Although, the rest the time spent together can be explained by one word … awkward!! Don’t blame the observer, okay. I felt like a lamp post the whole time. The two lovebirds can’t keep their eyes and hands off each other, and I have never seen this love-struck side of my sister. Jeebers, keep it private and away from public eyes! Anyway, we  decided to go to Yorkdale mall to watch a movie – Marley & Me. It was a really nice mall. Classy and chic. Somehow, I started to notice that the majority population in York area are south east asians (especially, east indians). And you know what’s most refreshing to my eyes? Everyone was dressed fashionably. People here actually know how to dress up! I’m not saying just the people at the mall. Everywhere we went, from the subway to the bus stations and back to university … ahhh, the city life. This emphasizes my dream to get out of Deer town as soon as I can before I get sucked into the pathetic redneck lifestyle.

After the movie, we ate dinner at the Rainforest Cafe. This was one weird … restaurant. I guess it was suppoze to make you feel like you’re in a rainforest surrounded by animals while you enjoy a scrumptious meal of steak. We were seated near by the elephant structures … and good heavens, they would sound their trumpets every 15 minutes. It got quite annoying after a while. The lights will dim and flicker, and there will be sounds of thunder followed by the elephants snorting … geez. I can’t complain too much because the food was good.

Day 3

Oh yes, these varsity residences need to provide better mattresses for students. I had such a bad back when I woke up in the morning. It was an early start today as we were heading to downtown Toronto. We took the bus and the subway; all in all it was an hour-long journey. Our first stop was the Gardiner Musuem of Ceramics. Needless to say, some were interesting … other sections of the musuem were boring. The boyfriend does not appreciate art, and I felt bad for dragging him along to these places.

The boyfriend did bring us to a really good pizza place to eat. Oh, the taste of authentic italian pizza … yummm … I love it. After lunch, we visited the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). This place is huge! There was so much to see, but I was more interested in contemporary art. After a while, the two lovebirds started to get bored and tired … and I suggested them to walk around on their on, or head to the cafe to stare into each other’s eyes. I continued my quest to experience the world of contemporary art. I spent my time wisely, just taking it all in.

I remembered one work of art very vividly. I can’t recall the name of the artist or the name of the painting, but it was 12 pieces of square canvases, hung against the wall in a 4 x 4 manner. Each canvas had a different coloured background with block letters stamped onto its surface. These letters are part of sentences of what it seems to be from a diary/journal, as the sentences do not read complete in each canvas. The first canvas starts off at 1 a.m.. The second, at 2 a.m., and subsequently 3 a.m. … all the way to the last canvas at 4 p.m. Some believed this work of art as an expression of anti-vietnam and anti-american feelings. It was used in one airport but they had to take it down due to the controversial issues around the painting. I did not figure out the hidden message, but I thought it was a really cool concept.

These two pictures shown below are views 4th floor of the building 5-storey building. I have no idea what the checkered-looking building is, but the view of CN Tower was spectacular.

And … the next stop was CN Tower. Did you know that the tower gets struck by 60 to 80 lightnings each year? Apparently, it is worth a visit up to the tower during a thunderstorm. That is a cool fact. The view was breathtaking. Sometimes, I wonder how we do it. We have come a long way in technology and advancement; the birth of a metropolitan city. What’s next?

Day 4

We all slept in till noon. Everyone was just exhausted from yesterday’s trip. I’ve never walked so much in a day before. My cellphone’s fitness tracker tells me that I took 11190 steps yesterday. Phew!

Anyway, we travelled on the subway and bus again for an hour. This time, we headed east to Pacific Mall. The chinese area. Very chinese. Anyway, my sister wanted to bring me to eat Mongolian BBQ. No, not Mongolie grill. Apparently, this BBQ is done using water. Not oil. Now, that I have yet to see because we arrived there late for the lunch hour. Too bad for me, but I still got to eat oh-so-yummy hot pot meal!

I love this concept. Each person has their own hot pot to stew upon. I can eat my beef and pork without obliging to eat only chicken due to friends who do not eat red meat. Why … why doesn’t Alberta have food like this? The glory of asian food!!

And then, we returned back to the hostel after a tiring few hours of shopping at Pacific Mall. It was time for me to pack up and check into the hotel for an early night’s rest. My flight back to Edmonton was at 7:15 a.m. the next morning.

I enjoyed my visit to Toronto. I feel lucky to be reminded that there’s still a part of me that is alive.

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