OK, first of all – Wow.
Toronto is such a beautiful, clean city.
The architecture here is gorgeous! There is no shortage of old, gothic cathedrals around, and green spaces fill every spare nook.
I am playing the “embarassing tourist” full-heartedly and without shame, carrying my bulky camera around my neck at all hours of the day. AND I have been getting some good shots! But unfortunately cannot figure out how to get them on here just yet… (Dial a nerd!?)
Over the last couple of days (and only my first couple on the ‘other side of the world’) I have more or less been roaming the city streets and just seeing what I am able to stumble upon..
Its been working out for me!
There is currently a Busking Festival going on right in the middle of this busy metropolis, and although I generally find street performers a little too chatty and a little less Do-y… There have been some goodies here!
My particular favourite was a one-man-band who went by the name of “Juzziesmith” (an Australian).
I literally could not walk away from his performance.. And it wasnt just that he made great music (which he absolutely did), but he also radiated happiness and satisfaction with his situation which is so rarely seen. I was in awe. And this guys smile.. His smile is one that you NEED to experience (look him up: Juzziesmith.com).
He was particuarly touched when a young boy got up and started dancing to his music (although i think children really just jiggle to music..), but of course as a perfect metaphor of human mentality; his mother dragged him down again in embarassment within seconds.
Juzzie did not take this in his stride as most people would though. Perhaps this is why I feel like this stranger deserves such a detailed mention in my post… But he quite un-reservedly told the mother what a special moment she had just attempted to prohibit. And so, the boy was released again, to dance. And everyone appreciated the moment.
I have also discovered Torontos MASSIVE “Eaton Center”. Which is a 4 or maybe 5 story mall (I dont know yet for sure, because walking through it truley intimidates me) with something like 250 shops and… thousands of shoppers.
So many places I would like to spend my money.. But I have been doing well to avoid the consumerist temptation that lies constantly in my mind (and no doubt in yours).
My single purchase has been a new cellphone! Which I justified through the SIGNIFICANTLY better picture quality it gives me when sharing this experience with you all .. eventually… when I fuigure out how to do that..
On a rather distracted side note… I find it very hard to cross the streets here. For several reasons, which I will share..
1. The traffic is coming from the oposite direction to that of home (it took me all to ling to realise this was what was causing the greatest proportion of my confusion).
2. The ‘Walking Man’ lights that control human traffic at intersections… Are SILENT?! How to blind people cross the road here? And is everyone really paying that much attention to the lights? Because I never realised untill now, that I generally dont even bother looking up for that blinking ‘Walking Man’.. I just wait for the annoying siren instead..
3. The streets seem wider than back home.. (this could be my imagination and inability to actually compare, or the general cleanliness of the streets creating an illusion).
4. OH! This is a big one! Sometimes… There is no ‘Walking Man’ light… and there are no ‘Zebra Stripes’ on the road (which in New Zealand would allow me to walk freely onto the road and enjoy the right to stop any on-coming traffic).. There are just 2 white lines (one on my left and one on my right) running from the kerb on which I am currently located, to that of the parallel kerb that I wich to cross to…. I dont know what this means… BUT cars seem to stop for me when I stand at these spots.
5. There are trams in Toronto. This means that I have to cross over tram-tracks that I am constantly afraid I will roll my ankle in, or worse! .. Stubb my toe on.
OK, but seriously! How has Toronto been over my first 2 days?
I get along particularly well with one Brazillian girl who is sharing my dorm room at the hostel in which I currently reside (and will reside in for a full week). The locals seem friendly. The hostel staff are excellent in telling me how to get about. Im right in the city center so everything is only a short walk away. AND there is so much greenery in this city! (that makes me happy).
Speaking of greenery… Walking through the Busking Festival over the past 2 days I have definately smelt ‘weed’ on 3 seperate occasions.
Its a family orientated festival.
I make no judgements.
Righto! its getting late for me.. I can see myself following through with this though.. So, stay tuned 😉