A goods nights sleep proved to be little more than a pause in Dawn’s and my conversation as we picked up where we left off over a delicious breakfast of fresh fruit, yoghurt and granola. Granola! I love that word! I also loved that granola!
I realise also that I haven’t properly introduced Dawn to those who won’t know the connection. In 2000, Matthew and I lived in Vancouver for a year on a working holiday visa. I was extraordinarily lucky to land a job with Tourism British Columbia doing admin for the marketing department. Dawn was my manager. You’ll meet the rest of the gang later in the trip.
Dawn had the day off work so we took our time getting ready and just hanging out before heading into Toronto where I have rented a place for the next 4 nights. The drive took about about an hour and a half from their beautiful, comfortable, luxurious apartment to my dump. It’s not really a dump, it’s just not as aesthetically pleasing as the places to which I had the good fortune to become accustomed to on this trip. It is big though so that’s a whole lot of ugly just for me but with a very nice view over the water from the back deck.
I found the place through http://www.airbnb.com (as I had my NYC accommodation) and chose it for it’s price and location on West Kings West being just a block over from the ‘place to be’ – West Queens West. Dawn and I went for a walk to explore the area and concluded that one ‘West’ would probably have been enough given that I’m about 10 blocks west of the action or perhaps just 10 months judging by the unmistakable signs of hipster sprawl. At any rate, the location is fine – the area feels safe and is perhaps a little more representative of broader Toronto. Aside from that, there’s a streetcar (tram) stop right outside my door.
We went for a beer where we talked some more and then dinner at a Tibetan restaurant where we talked more still. We had to eventually press pause again so Dawn could go home and I could settle in to my new digs.
It was still light outside so I decided to go for a wander up to the supermarket to look around at the weird and wonderful products as is my wont upon arrival in any new city. Of course, I’d seen them all before yet I was surprised by the force of the memories a packet of bagels can bring back and that was just the first aisle! I snaked my way up and down the aisles with product after product taking up its place as minutiae in the memories a former domestic reality. I don’t think there were too many other people there tonight crying gently over square glass bottles of milk that wasn’t even spilt!
I moped back to my place with some ice cream for medicinal purposes and sat on the lounge to catch up on my emails and fall further behind in this blog. As I tapped away, I saw a movement in the corner of my eye – something scurried across the kitchen floor and behind the stove! I tried to tell myself it was just a big cricket or as my sister once tried to convince herself, just a shadow on my brain but in both instances, we knew we weren’t that lucky, we knew that no amount of denial was going to morph a mouse into anything other than what it was.
I wish no harm to animals, I used to have pet mice but I only want to see wild mice in their natural habitat, not mine! I freaked out a bit and sat banging my foot on the floor intermittently for the next hour while I contemplated my options and sent an email to the owner. Rationality won out eventually, I had a relaxing bath, another dose of medicinal ice cream and then tucked myself in bed – really well, leaving no mouse size gaps! Just when I was on top of it though, the mouse had also regained it courage and went running down the hall way! I am not going to sleep well tonight!