Righto. I think that every Sunday might be blog – post day for me now. As usually Sunday involves a whole lot of lying about and recovering from the preceeding week, and lying on my bed blogging is about as much activity as I can talk myself in to.
So this week has been an easy one; Classes are only just getting into the flow of things, easy attendance marks are being handed out, and as a result.. We have been .. just hanging out and avoiding getting too far ahead on any upcoming assignments.
Me and Brittany went star stalking! As the Toronto film festival has been going on throughout theaters in the city for the last 2 weeks.
And the Toronto film fest is nothing like what we have at home!
In New Zealand a film fest is usually… A small collection of NZ made short films which you can go and watch in a cinema for the price of.. 1 can of baked beans..
Here though! The film festival is actually a huge collection of new hollywood movies which are premiering in Toronto over the course of 2 weeks. AND all of the stars who feature in these movies, attend the premiers, walk the red carpet and generally take selfies, sign autographs and mingle with the fans who show up.
So naturally… me and Brittany went to try and catch a glimpse of Josh Hutcherson (from The Hunger Games).. Which I am really disappointed to say.. we were too late for.
Unfortunately by the time we arrived his mingling was already done, and he was preoccupied taking photos, for no doubt a large collection of teenage magazine covers.
So the only claim to fame I am left with.. is this blurr of a silhouette, as he jumped out to wave a final goodbye to his fan club..
But! at least we got ourselves up on the big screen of one of Torontos main streets for our own moment of dehumanization.
I must admit that I am falling behind on the sight seeing front.. But I guess that’s because Toronto is already falling out of the holiday/tourist perspective and into the home one. Although hopefully we will make it out to see some lakes and a national park next weekend.
This weekend however was one of pure studenty goodness!
On Friday the exchange committee organized a Pub crawl for us, which obviously involved a lot of drinking. .
We started at a nice, casual pub on the other side of town which was far too small to cater for us.
However stop 2 was much better equipped.
I specifically remember walking in and heading to the bar for a drink, where one of the Australian girls turned to me to notify me that “some drunk bitch” had just fallen down the stairs on her way to the toilet and already toiled our groups reputation – as “controlled” students who should be allowed to continue their drinking.
Inevitably of course, mere minutes later I too found myself in need of the bathroom, and upon making it successfully down the (admittedly steep) stairs WITHOUT falling and further shaming our group, I found 2 of our exchange friends (1 male, 1 female) chatting at the bottom.
Of course I turned to the female straight away and asked if she was the culprit who had fallen down a flight of stairs, apparently very loudly and ungracefully… But. .. The “drunk bitch” was actually Mike…
This was a moment of pure delight for me.
And it was still early! So we moved on to the next pub..
This place. Was something other.
A huge 2 house, 4 storied bar/club/ever thing! Called The Maddison.
The place had been converted into a drinking palace, from 2 old school semi – detached houses, joined by a bridge on the second level.
The first floor was a bar with live music and and outdoor court yard.
The second floor was another 2 bars (and least) with pool tables a restaurant and an outdoor deck (a word the Australians love to hear us say). And apparently there was another floor above this one. . Which looked out over it all.
But of course (once we found it..) most of the night was spent in the basement. Which was comprised of yet another bar and a big dance floor with a DJ and crazy lighting.
It was insane.
It was fun.
We ended up staying at this place until about 2 in the morning, just dancing and drinking and meeting new people.
And I arrived home by 3, to be greeted by 2 stoners in my bedroom, so we all ended up talking into the later hours of the morning..
Needless to say, Saturday morning was slow..
So after several hours of getting out of bed, we met up with the boys for what is quickly becoming a customary brunch in the Eaton Center (Torontos atrociously large mall). And debriefed on the nights antics.
Then me and Brittany headed out to Eglington West (the suburbs) to watch movies with 2 of the Austrialian girls who are boarding out there (Bria and Lauren). Which pretty much gave us an excuse to avoid movement all day.
BUT come 4 pm. . One of the guys living in an alternative hall to us had decided he was throwing party…
And we’re students! So why the hell not go for round two!
So we very slowly got dressed and caught the subway back into the city. And started drinking all over again in our flat (with the help of some Kings Cup) before taxiing out to Stu’s house.
This house is like a mini – hall of residence. So it sleeps 14 people who live cooperatively, and complete house chores/cooking between themselves.
And the neighbour’s on either side are in the same sort of set up.
But any way! Beer pong tables were in abundance! So we immediately started challenging one another.
To explain my feelings about this game briefly.. Canadian beer pong.. has way too many rules. And is far more concerned with hygiene than we ever are in NZ..
So after 2 games (1 win, 1 loss) we demanded Stu for a tour!
Turns out the tour took us up to a roof top deck.. which you could only get to via a perilously thin and somewhat wobbly old fire escape style, outdoor stair case..
But it was a nice deck!
And later, we met a girl who must have worked at a piercing studio in town.. and of course the situation escalated to the point where Bria had her upper ear pierced on the spot.
Eventually we started walking home.. stopping on the way for THE BEST veggie dog (and hotdogs for Brittany and Ryan) I have ever had.
And we most satisfiedly fell into our beds in the early hours of the morning again, and slept away half of Sunday..
I’m proud to be able to say that I have actually achieved some university reading and note taking today (even if one chapter has taken me a day). And am about to attempt grocery shopping with Brittany so that I might actually be able to eat decently at some point today.
Foreign grocery shopping is hard to get used to. . But I think I have found the 1 place (There are a crazy number of super market chains here) that I will learn my way around and incorporate into my life (Metro).
Actually in stark contrast to the over abundance of supermarket chains… In Ontario (the territory within which Toronto lies) you can only buy liquor from 1 place here… The government? !
It’s such a strange theory.
So the only store you can go to is the LCBO (liquor control board Ontario?) Which is basically just a giant alcohol store which is constantly facing queues. ..
AND you can’t buy a box of beer or 12 RTDs or even a goon of wine..
You have to buy all of your beer/cider/mixer cans individually.. for about $CAN3.00 each.
So it’s much more expensive than NZ..
And they put what ever you buy in a brown paper bag… just to make the whole homeless bum experience really authentic.
A bonus however is that, international drivers licenses are considered valid I.D here! So we don’t have to carry our passports around.
None the less… When visiting the liquor store I feel most like a foreigner ..and most miss home.
There are so many moments here which I love.. But always in the back of my mind, I know I am comparing them to those of home.. and imaging how my NZ friends would be getting along with these new ones.
As is life I suppose..