Saturday, July 25, 2009

I now know one more person in Toronto...

... sort of.

I went to a singles event Thursday night to meet new people. Pretty much from the get go I crossed paths with a woman who was just as uncertain what the evening would hold as I was. So we stuck to one another's side, making fun of the other people at the bar. Perhaps not completely conducive to meeting people, but it was pretty clear the bar scene was not either of our scenes. I'll meet new people some other way. People mingling and drink are just ... well, begging to be made fun of.

I never fully caught the woman's name though. It was too loud and her name was too unique. But I gave her my card with my name and number on it so we can reconnect in a quieter environment.

So far, I still do not feel like I live in Toronto. I don't feel different at all. Except for physically. I have already begun pricing out dehumidifiers. My apartment is fine temperature-wise. Apparently Toronto has been experiencing unseasonably cool weather. Only low to mid 20s. Still, the humidity is just too icky for me. I feel ... sticky all the time. I walk two blocks to get groceries, and step right into the shower when I get back. Sitting and watching tv (I have opted to not spring for cable yet, given that summer is all reruns anyway. I have managed to tune in six channels that seem to meet most of my viewing needs. And I've watched more news and read more newspapers than I really ever did in Edmonton. Go ahead. Ask me about ... well, okay Toronto news only has Toronto news on it. Quelle Surprise, non? whoops -- tangent!)

Where was I? Oh, yes, sitting and watching tv is fine. But the exertion of standing up and getting a glass of water brings me on a collision course with the humidity surrounding me. I think if I could dry this place out a bit (and it is REALLY aggravating my allergies!) I'd be a content relocated Edmontonian.

The weather does make for some really interesting vistas, though.

This haze that creates the three-dimensional effect here is not smog. It is the humidity hanging around the city. This afternoon (and much of the last few days) was treated to a real heavy downpour. It only cleared up maybe an hour ago.

And the sun sets at 9 p.m. here. Bit of a bummer -- that means in the winter it will probably set at 3 frickin' pee em. (Well, let's not get ahead of myself. I'll complain about that bridge when I come to it).

The only other initial observation I've made about Toronto so far? People honk their car horns for no reason. They'll be driving along. No one near them. And HONK. I look around, thinking maybe the driver is trying to get the attention of a pedestrian to say hi. Nope. Driver just drives on, looking straight ahead, no doubt keeping an eye on some phantom perpetrator who prompted him to honk in the first place. Seems oddly aggressive to be driving around angry at nothing. Even for Toronto.

(OH! I found a "neighbourhood video rental/convenience store" just a block and a half from my apartment. One to two bucks to rent a movie for the night. I always wanted to live by a video rental/convenience store. It feels so ... urban. And CHEAP!)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"The" Move

My last night in my Edmonton apartment was an uncomfortable one. I had loaded up close to everything from my apartment into the Uhaul (okay, Kent loaded it for me -- thanks Kent!), and was left with only a sleeping bag, pillow and clock radio. Not one single solitary soft thing.

I ended up scrunching up my bathrobe (which I had, luckily, forgotten behind my bathroom door when I packed) and putting it under the sleeping bag in an ill-fated attempt to make my carpeted floor a bit more comfy.

The next day I spent SIX hours cleaning my apartment. I hadn't intended to spend that much time. I certainly hadn't thought I had six hours worth of cleaning to do. But I did.

When the manager came for the walk through, he opened my oven door, and peeked into the bathroom, said "this looks wonderful" and handed me back my damage deposit. Go figure.

I don't really have many pics of my drive to Toronto. Truth be told (and Cal, my travelling companion can attest), I was in a poor mood for most of it. Too much could go wrong with "the plan". And I feared all of it.

I was about an hour out of Edmonton before I realized I needed to tape the passenger-side side mirror in its place. With each highway bump, the mirror was shimmying further and further from its slot in a sneaky attempt to plummet in protest to the pavement below. Good thing I had packing tape easily accessible in the back. And Cal's son is some kind of duct-tape-tailor.

Cal and I chose to drive from Medicine Hat, Alberta to Kenora, Ontario in one fell swoop. About 13 hours driving. The last maybe one to one and a half hours with me training a flashlight on the dashboard because we couldn't figure out how to have the headlights on at the same time as the dashboard lights. Our choice was to be able to see the shining eyes of deer prancing from the wooded sidelines. And we saw one mom, with two babies. Who completely freaked when Callie honked the horn to get them off the road. One actually fell down in an attempt to rev its gangly legs up to retreat speed. But I'm happy to report the family safely made it off the road, and we continued safely on our way.

A day or so later (it all blurs together), we saw a confident bull moose who didn't seem all that bothered to be the photo subject du jour. The mom and babe were less confident, and took off on a determined trot at the sight of my camera:

And then we were in Toronto, uneventfully (with the slight exception of staying overnight at a tiny town that had no cellphone coverage. I didn't care one whit about this ... Cal still suffers the shakes. Serious electronics infatuation, that gal)

Welcome to my neighbourhood:

And view from my balcony:

If you squint -- or zoom the camera -- you can see what you're looking for:

(wait until dark, and it's real purdy:)

There are a number of fruit/vegetable/flower shops within walking distance. Fresh fruit each day. That I wash in dishwashing soap before eating because who knows who squeezed the kiwi before me. But still, nice.

And I live just north of Greektown. Usually this place is crawling with older Greek men checking out the action:

(Cal and I weren't sure just what this place roasts:)

... and someplace for those Children of the Corn formal events. (It's hard to see with the reflection on the window, but cree-pee!)

And thus brings our "These are the places in my neighbourhood" segment to an end.