Not so in Toronto, my friends. Not so. They don't call it 'The Big City' for nothing.
I had a dentist appointment in Toronto (please, don't even get me started about the state of medical treatment in Peterborough) on Friday and caught the bus down in the morning. As we were driving along the 401, there was a car completely engulfed in flames on the other side of the road. When I say engulfed, I really mean it. I was in a permanent state of 'flinch' as the bus lumbered by the flaming inferno as I completely expected the car to explode as we passed. Upon further retrospection, I've realised I did absolutely nothing about the flaming car, save talk about how unbelievable it was with some fellow passengers. Picking up my cellphone and calling '911' didn't even occur to me. Not only is this a testament to the 'mob' theory or whatever it is called (you know the one...they say that the bigger the city, the more people around, the less likely an individual is to respond to a call for help or a crisis because they believe that there is someone else who will do it?), but it is also a further illustration of my lack of crisis-response skills. Please see this previous blog, also involving fire, but much more funny:
Restaurant and food mix-ups aside, OUTside the restaurant there was a sword and fire eater performing for our amusement. I have been out for dinner a lot in Peterborough. I have never seen a fire or sword eater! One time I saw an 'hot dog eater' but that is not really in the same vein. Plus, he had mustard on his coat and hadn't even had the decency to enhance his act by dressing in costume. I mean, anyone can walk and eat a hot dog at the same time. Pfft.
On the walk home I ran into my old piano teacher! I haven't seen her since I stopped taking piano lessons around grade 11 or 12 (I think I'd reached grade 8 piano by then...minus the official exams). It was so good to see Jennifer! She look just the same as I remembered her, even though she is at least a decade older. That must be one of the additional bonuses to not having children of your own. We talked for ages about what we, and all the other students she had taught who were also my friends, were up to. This conversation was made much easier through the advent of Facebook, I might add. Then, out of the blue, the parents of one of the girls we had been discussing passed by, and all the catching up and story telling had to happen all over again. Thank goodness Toronto is protected by that 'urban heat island' effect (this I learned about when I taught grade 8 geography last year. At least someone learned something), or our half-hour chit-chat on Bloor Street could have left me with hypothermia. Instead, it left me with Jennifer's new business card and a promise to keep in touch.
I followed Warren through a 'short-cut' (folly on my end, since I have a more naturally occurring sense of direction) that led us out onto the right street, but through a snowbank and then across what I think were quite possibly, the five Great Lakes. I was a little irritated to be walking in snow and greyish slush up to my ankles, and was bending down to tuck my dress pants into my boots when, lo and behold, a van sped by me, splattering slushy water all over me, and drenching my black coat and hair. I stood, bent over, my leather purse straps well placed in my mouth for biting, as the rage and frustration washed over me (not unlike the wave of water that just soaked me). After a minute, I was able to stand upright, but I'm afraid that's when the obscenities began. Luckily I had a chance to wipe off my coat (with my pyjamas) and change my shoes (but not my socks because I didn't have any other black ones) before meeting nearly all of Warren's extended family...oh, and posing for professional family portraits.
This is not one of the portraits. I like to call this photo 'naturally photogenic couple.' Yes, I'm being sarcastic.
The surprise party for Warren's dad was very fun; the people were friendly, the food was delicious, and I enjoyed myself. I was happy to get home to my little attic though...which has now been described as 'hippy-ish.'
You bet. Always.
You bet. Always.