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I’m back and I missed you

I’m back! I spent the last few days in Toronto with almost no internet access.

I missed blogging. All of it. I missed writing blog posts, and reading your comments, and reading and commenting on other people’s blogs, and all that interconnectedness. But I’m back now and I’m exhausted so this is going to be a very teeny tiny insignificant blog post from someone who needs a quick blogging fix before crawling into bed with my big orange dogcat.

Did Toronto ever make me feel like I just fell off the turnip wagon! During my first fifteen minutes there I almost got run over while jayrunning with my little suitcase on wheels across a busy street. I suddenly realized there were rails on the street and I stopped in my tracks and had this really dumb conversation with myself that I’m almost too embarrassed to tell you about.

Me: “Yikes, rails!”
Me: “Why are we stopping?”
Me: “Because there are rails.”
Me: “They’re just rails, for the streetcars.”
Me: “Are streetcars electric?”
Me: “I think so.”
Me: “If you step on them, can you get electrocuted?”
Me: “Of course not. That’s ridiculous. If you could get electrocuted from stepping on them, they’d be scraping up bodies every day.”
Me: “Maybe they do.”
Me: “We’d have heard.”
Me: “Maybe Torontonians are so used to the rails, it’s not a problem. They don’t even have to think about it, they just automatically don’t step on them. Like the way we didn’t step on cracks in the sidewalks for most of our childhood.”

I pretty much convinced myself that I couldn’t get electrocuted by stepping on the rails, but I still didn’t want to risk it, just in case. This whole stupid conversation flashed through my head in just a couple of seconds, and then suddenly I noticed the oncoming traffic was almost on top of me and I didn’t know whether to run forward or run back or keep standing there like an idiot.

Under normal circumstances, I’m a very good pedestrian, and I’d probably rank myself among the elite of jaywalkers. But I’m an Ottawa pedestrian. I understand Ottawa drivers. I know they love me and don’t want to run me over. I don’t have that same sense about Toronto drivers. It’s not that I see them as sinister or anything, just indifferent towards me and motivated entirely by self interest. If it’s more expedient to mow me down, they’ll mow me down.

And that’s what almost happened, but didn’t. I escaped with my life!

I had my second turnip-wagon moment when I got to my hotel room a few minutes later. I had just closed the door behind me when I suddenly realized I wasn’t alone – there was someone standing right beside me! I screamed! She screamed too! She looked so embarrassed when I realized she was just my reflection in the closet-door mirror.

So that was my first 20 minutes in Toronto. More later.


16 comments to I’m back and I missed you

  • Delurking. The image of you scaring yourself with your own image made me laugh out loud. That’s totally something I would do.

  • hilarious. and my post today is about a patient who also has trouble recognising herslef in a mirror.

    you do realise it’s a classified mental disorder you’re suffering from don’t you?

  • XUP

    Welcom back to saner regions. For future reference the electricity is in the wires above the streetcar; but at least one of the rails in the subway is electrified and the white lines in the middle of the road are highly toxic.

  • Welcome back zoom
    It’s safer here

  • LOL!!! Geez mom and I didn’t even have to ENTER Toronto to feel like we’d fallen off the turnip truck. We couldn’t figure out the BEDDING at the hotel for Deb’s wedding!

    Come visit Wolfville, EVERYONE jaywalks here and the cars STOP DEAD IN THE STREET for you. In fact I had one STOP, get out of his car, and help me get my stroller across the street (2 tires were flat) – its lovely.

  • Deb

    I was the exact same when I first came to Toronto. Dave told me that I couldn’t step on the rails and I believed him for years…I am still not sure.

    The mirror story reminds me of a 60 year old agent that I work with who got glasses for the first time. She went into a house to show it and caught a glimpse of someone in a mirror and thought, “who is that old lady over there” before realizing it was herself.

  • grace

    Deb, a friend of mine worked for an eye surgeon and was distressed by the number of patients who became depressed after a cataract removal allowed them to really see themselves in the mirror. Even more horrifying was the number of (usually male) patients who were angry at seeing how their mate had changed in appearance. One gentleman refused a ride home from the clinic with his wife!

  • Deb

    Grace…that is hilarious. This agent hardly ever wears her glasses because she doesn’t like what she sees in the mirror. I now wear my glasses instead of contacts and one reason is that they cover the bags under my eyes.

  • Well my glasses MAGNIFY my eyes and I can’t get my prescription in contacts so think of how I feel!

    I’ve done the scream at the mirror thing before too…when we were selling the house we put up a mirror at the end of the hall and I freaked myself right out a number of times before I got used to it!

  • Carmen

    I’m laughing so hard I can hardly stay in my chair. You are TOO funny! Welcome back, Zoom!

  • grace

    Deb, that was MY best guarded beauty secret . . .

  • You are all too kind! I love these comments.

  • Just curious, have you been to New York? :)

  • Julia – yes, I went to NYC last May. But it seeemed a little ‘easier’ than Toronto somehow.

  • I haven’t been to Toronto since the Barnes exhibit travelled (was in the 80s?) but I was in NYC in 2000. I loved it but I can understand why some may find it intimidating. I figured Toronto would be less, seeing as it’s Canadian eh. And I wasn’t in either place by myself which is always easier. But I did spend an entire year by myself in London England and never had a problem with restaurants. But I am easily intimidated by shops.

  • Lo

    Just my opinion but I think Toronto drivers are far superior to Ottawa drivers. You just need some experience:) And as someone from Toronto who lives in Ottawa, let me know next time you go and I can suggest some dinner places:)