Smiling at Strangers

{September 12, 2010}   SO BASICALLY, my first week here was fun and games.

Would you like to hear about my first week in Toronto? Excluding the trip-from-hell from BC, which involved a car breaking down on the way to Prince George (where I was to catch the plane), a resulting midnight jaunt on the greyhound, three 50-lb gigantic luggages I could not carry by myself, having to place my life in the hands of the gods whilst taking a ride from a complete stranger (thank you, Matt-from-the-bus-depot), waiting for 4 hours in freezing temperatures outside the airport in the wee hours of dawn and falling asleep on the pavement at 3 in the morning, losing luggage in the Toronto airport terminal, and the ride I was supposed to get FROM the airport terminal not showing up?

Unless the problem was as severe as this, there is no excuse.

No? You hate hearing me gripe and moan? Ok. Fair enough. I’ll just skip straight ahead to my first few days IN Toronto, then, which was, has been, and is all peaches and cream.

Googling "peaches and cream" also gets you creepy cartoon animal lesbians. Just so you know.

My apartment is like a replication of some pseudo-impoverished Mexican dive… ok, that sounds way more negative than it was meant to. (Also, what on earth is “pseudo-impoverished” supposed to mean? I’m tired.)  Anyway, don’t get me wrong; I adore my place. It just makes me feel like I’m living in a hostel in Mexico…cracked plaster and horrendous, garish paint on the walls and the heaters; pastel blankets on the low bed; door handles installed improperly so that the wedge sticks straight up and has to be turned sideways to open, rather than the wedge sticking out to the right and getting pressed down to open as is the norm; a window that looks down three floors into a little alley crisscrossed with power lines, or 6 feet across the alley to the next building. This alley is also enclosed completely by wire mesh, across the tops of the buildings and all the way down the side, yet somehow it manages to house quite a number of pigeons. I don’t know how they survive. But they do entertain the cat, Chester, who always freaks me out by looking like he is going to pounce from the window to his demise on the ground below.

So that’s the house. It comes complete with cat, who I mentioned, Spanish dentist, Spanish house cleaner (other peoples’ houses, not ours, more’s the pity), Japanese business student, and ornery Room #2 who will get mad at you for creaking the stairs when arriving home at 2 in the morning. More on that later.

Actually, more on that right now. There’s this very good invention called the internet; perhaps you’ve heard of it. Anyway, with the aid of this convenient tool, I made connections with people in Toronto before moving here. And by “people” I basically mean “one person”. And by “made connections with” I basically mean “had a few months of great email exchanges and chats with and developed a crush on”. So yes, I’ve had quite a few things to look forward to in moving to Toronto. (I wonder if he will ever read this. If he does, I wonder if I will be embarrassed.) So, the very first day after arriving, and virtually every day since, I’d been hanging out with said young man and waiting for him to make a move. But, people in Ontario are conservative and prudish, so in the end it was me who had to make the moves. As aforementioned, these moves ended in me taking him home at 2 in the morning… oooo, doesn’t that sound risqué? Don’t worry, my blog is PG-13, and so were our actions. The nub and gist of it is that the stairs up to Room #3, my apartment, are apparently very loud, because in the morning, Room #2 complained about my noisy homecoming.

I responded with a sincere letter that I left outside their door. It read as follows:

“To the stairs of 1— C——- Street,

It would be greatly appreciated if you did not creak so loudly. Your sounds during the night are disruptive and uncalled for, and there have been complaints about you. I hope this will not continue to be a problem.


Rooms #2 and #3.”

And the next day, the slip of paper was back, with a response from room 2! It said “Dear stairs, you are doing a wonderful job and your work is appreciated. Please do not blame yourself. -#2.”

I personally think the stairs should speak for themselves in their defence; they don’t need representatives. But I do appreciate the work they do as well, so perhaps I should just leave the issue as it is.

For now.


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