Glasgow! I'm back. Back from a wonderful, snow-filled, cold (and then unseasonably warm), Tim Hortons coffee-drinkin', catchin' up with pals, seein' family, eatin' crap, and bike-ridin' holiday back to Canada (Toronto and Kingston, respectively). Although it is nice to be back in my own flat and bed, I have to admit that I am suffering from a bout of homesickness at the moment; I am missing my Mom; my oldest and bestest friend, Bombo/ Coco
; and of course, the quality food and coffee that Toronto has to offer. One of the things that I LOVE about Toronto and Torontonians is that they are SERIOUS about their coffee: from Thor Espresso Bar
(evidently right below Bombo's condo - which is where I stayed whilst in Toronto) and Jimmy's Coffee
(again, about a five minute walk from Bombo's condo).
This time while back home in Toronto, however, I felt I was experiencing reverse culture shock: decent and cheap coffee; friendly and polite servers; attractive and healthy residents - it was all so foreign to me! I love Glasgow and it's my adopted home, but after drinking an amazing Americano for about $2.00, I couldn't help but feel a little jealous....
After landing in Toronto, I was met at the airport - as usual - by Bombo. When my plane landed, Toronto was in the midst of a mild blizzard. Windy, snowy and freezing. I loved it. Most weegies looked out the window at the PROPER winter and said, "ohmiegot".
Bombo and his bulldog, Seymour.
Did you know they film a lot of American film and TV shows in Toronto? Winners such as these. God...
And because we're fabulous (nah, we just know people), Bob and I went to the opening party of CB2
and drank free wine.
Bob enjoying his curly wurly.
Vintage clothes shopping in Kensington Market.
Just some of the North American garbage I yearn to eat while in Scotland.
Oh my heaven - Miss Cora's Kitchen
in Kensington Market. A place worth just buying a ticket to Toronto for.
Another thing I yearn for while in Scotland: CREAM FOR MY DAMN COFFEE. People of the UK! I know you love dairy products; where my 10% cream at?!
Is pot decriminalised/ legal in Ontario now
? I can't keep up with the court rulings. Anyway, if you're into that sort of thing, you can smoke weed in Kensington 'cause it's all counterculture, like. And people totally smash the machine in Kensington. And rage against the state. Or something. Plus, you can probably see Sook-Yin Lee hangin' about wearing a cardigan inside out
BECAUSE SHE IS SO AVANT-GARDE AND KOOKY, EVERYONE, OK??
But seriously. I still hate Stephen Harper. Fuck him and his anti-drug strategy. I really really really hate him.
Also, I do really dig Kensington. Honest.
My parents' kitty, Poppy.
Lake Ontario - as seen from the train en route to Kingston.
My Mom on her iPad
More North American garbage I like to consume.
Not only does Toronto have amazing coffee but amazingly good (and cheap) sushi! Not this kid-on Marks & Spencers crap that isn't even raw.
TIM HORTONS DOUGHNUTS.
GET IT DOWN YA
While I was in Toronto, I used Bixi
to get around and although it is a great way to see the city and get around, it is quite limited in stations. At the moment, there are only Bixi bikes as far west as Bathurst Street; as far North as Bloor; and East until Parliament. Unfortunately Toronto suffers from huge urban sprawl and as such, limited stations about the city makes it quite frustrating. I had to coordinate plans and travels around bixi locking stations - which sort of defeats the purpose of a community bike share scheme. Also, the website is crap; there's no official Bixi Toronto smart phone app; and I had SO MANY PROBLEMS trying to get them to mail me the subscription key (evidently if your billing address is different from your home address, Bixi will send the Bixi key to the billing address - even if that's in an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT CITY THAN TORONTO. I mean, when signing up for a subscription to a scheme based in Toronto, it makes sense to mail that key to a completely different city, right?!?!?!) Oh my god, I almost lost my mind on the Quebecois people that run it.
Also. One more thing. Why is there a TEN DAY $250 dollar holding fee on a credit card, if you're just wanting to use the bikes for a 72 hour period?!? Sorry but I am on holiday and probably using my limited credit card as is; last thing I need is a $250 TEN DAY holding fee. I can't think of any other community bike sharing scheme (London, Paris, Barcelona) that requires such a hefty deposit to use something that should encourage tourists and residents alike to use.
BIXI Toronto ruling? TOTALLY UNUSER FRIENDLY (but I still loved using it - mainly 'cause I'm mad about pedalling).
My holiday back home ended with an amazing meal at an authentic Italian restaurant (Tommaso's
) with Bob, my brother and Cameron. What handsome boys, eh?
Miss you guys, already.