After a long slog from Copenhagen, arguably the world’s fanciest airport, I arrived in Toronto around mid-morning. After a little nap, I was up and hurrying to meet my friend at the nearby small airport in town. I made sure to take my umbrella because it was definitely going to rain. Time now for a cab. After missing my train in Paris, I’ve learned that it is often hard to find taxis when you want one. My new strategy was to try not to let the cabbie get away if I though I might need him later. The hotel guys hailed me a taxi, and I had the sense to ask the driver to wait with me once we reached the arrivals area of the airport. There I stood with my bright green umbrella open and the trunk of the cab up. My friend was pleased as punch to walk past all 40 people standing in line waiting for a cab and then get into the warm, dry one I had ready. He looked like the cat who’d swallowed the canary. Finally, a personal victory in the battle of the taxicab! Yay!
The next day it was time to see the town a bit more. I’d been to the museum last time, and had walked around the University with another friend, but I hadn’t explored the city any further than that. This time, I got brave and took the subway all by myself. I know, I know – it’s really nothing to brag about, but I felt so proud of myself for figuring it out that I had to say something anyway. Part of why it’s nothing to brag about is because they make it so easy. The subway in Toronto goes pretty much everywhere you’d like to go, it’s clean and people will help you. Leave it to the Canadians to make something so well-run and useful. First I walked around the fancy district of town, saw some galleries and bought a couple of little things in the shops (after all, it was cheap compared to Zurich). Then I made my way down to the funky/trendy side of town where the young hipsters shop. The locale with the record stores, the thinly-disguised head shops, the used clothing stores and of course, the condom shack. Yeah, there is actually a shop with that name in Toronto. I must be getting old because I didn’t find anything I needed to buy while I was in this section of town. But the people watching was pretty entertaining. I stopped in a public garden on the way back and photographed some of the flowers, and noticed it was getting late. In fact, it was almost dinnertime. I had already decided to go back to the place that I’d been to in March – the one with the coconut cream pie and the beautiful view of the cityscape. This time I brought the camera, and the waiter was kind enough to sneak me on to the usually closed-off terrace. This is what I love about Canada; the people are just so nice and helpful. It’s a wonderful country to visit. I lingered at the table and savored the delicious food. Tomorrow it’s time to go home for a little while. After all, someone’s gotta water the plants.