I've been here now since March 15th. I've done more socializing here in two months that in two years in Dublin. My sister has an active social life revolving around museums, theatre, opera and various esoteric things. I have had to finally say that I need to focus on my writing but the call of the social life is strong!
Toronto is a wonderful city. It has a huge series of ravines going right through the middle of it which gives the city an area for hiking and exploring second to none. When you're down in one of the ravines, you forget you're in a city for a while. One day, we were walking the Moore Park ravine close to where we live. The trees were in full leaf although still almost fluorescent green and very juicy and alive looking. Suddenly, a deep rumbling started from somewhere and got louder and louder. I could not imagine with it was as I looked through the trees to see what it might be. It sounded like an tornado arriving or perhaps a VERY large animal. It turned out to be a train! High above us was a bridge. We had to strain our necks to look up, it was that high. The train rumbled over, a reminder that we were indeed in a city. I had noticed the bases of the bridge when we had walked past earlier but had not looked up and registered how amazingly high above us it was. The colour of the pillars blended in with the browns and greens in the woods so it was easy to even miss the whole thing.
Toronto is the most culturally diverse city in the world. I can really see that. I meet people off all hues, religions, walks of life here. It is so different to the US. For starters, I don't get asked every day where I'm from and then have the rapturous response to my saying I'm Irish. No one events comments on my accent. I must say, it's nice to blend in and not be the topic of a ten minute conversation every time I meet someone new! Having an accent here is not seen as strange since most people have some sort of 'foreign' accent.
The Canadians are also very friendly and helpful. I walked to the supermarket the other day to get some groceries. I had a small backpack on to carry the purchases and, when I arrived at the apartment again, I discovered that I had lost my key wallet with my ATM card and my cash, as well as the organic broccoli I had just got for dinner. I raced back to the market, praying all the way that some kind person might have picked up my wallet and keys, especially. The guy giving out samples of something at the door said he hadn't seen it. I was on my way in to the cashier and mentioned that I had also dropped my broccoli and he said 'Oh, was that you? We put that back on the shelf'. The cashier recognised me right away and said she had my wallet and keys. She had tried to get my attention as I was leaving but had a big queue of people to contend with and couldn't leave her station. She very kindly took me to get my broccoli back too!
Small gestures like that gladden the heart. They were all as friendly as the Irish are supposedly famous for.
I took the subway for the first time last week. It was easy, fast, clean and not very crowded. Imagine that!
I love that you can find just about anything here. Any kind of food, clothing, art, books, information. The huge mix of nationalities means that the whole world is at your feet here. I am only scratching the surface of course and hope to have more interesting things to write about as the months go by.
This evening we're out for Japanese food with my niece and nephew and other friends. Another lovely evening to look forward to.