Sunday, June 28, 2009

And French

It is now only 20 minutes until boarding starts. my headache has pretty much abated as has my tiredness. I'm starting to like it here, the sun is low in the sky and is casting big shadows through the floor to ceiling windows, I have a nice cool hand rail to rest my head against and the relaxing cacophony of rowing Indian Children as a backdrop to my thoughts.
Now back to important issues: Canadian Small Change:
Canadian Small Change (as used in Toronto International at least) seems like a good metaphor for everything in Canada.
Canada feels to me as a mid-point between the tastes and attitudes of The US, The UK with a good whack of their own home-grown identy mixed in.
In my wallet of Canadian cash I have a few US quarters, a US nickel, a couple of Canadian Dollar and two Dollar coins, I have notes with pictures of the queen.
The convenience-kiosk provided a similar mix: You see beef jerky and think, this Canada thing is bs, I'm in the 51st state. But then you realise that the package describes it in English And French.

The Sacred Cow

I'm now waiting at the gate for my flight to LAX. It should start boarding in 40 minutes, and take off in 70. The airport staff are using the doors here as a shortcut into the arrivals system. They seem to be feeding people who somehow accidentally escaped the customs and passports control back in.
I bought a bag of beef jerky in an attempt to lighten my load of Canadian pocket-change left over from buying a meal and a drink.
I think I've been coping surprisingly well for a half-drunk, sleep-deprived tourist who has never seen this weird little currency before.
I'm sitting in a little enclove with an Indian-looking Mother and her Sons, I can't help but feel a little guilty as I rip chunks of the sacred cow apart in front of them.
But never mind, if we start worrying about other people's belief's in this time of modern multi-cultural society, we soon won't allow ourselves do anything. Which would be bad... but at least my jaw would stop hurting.


I'm sitting in the Molson-Pub Bar & Grill in Toronto International Airport, I'm sucking an ice-water through a lemony straw. I've probably got another half an hour or so of good faith with the staff before they encourage me to order or leave.
The good faith I have is based on the Double Morgan and Coke I had when I came in.
It had seemed like a good idea at the time, but instead of making me pleasantly drunk it gave me a wet-slap of a headache which nearly knocked me unconscious.
It suddenly occurred to my body-clock that I had been awake for 18 straight hours (ironic because it is 6 o'clock pm here in Toronto) and it responded my making me so incapable of focus that I had a tricky time making eye contact with the staff to ask for water.
My wonderful master-plan for my trip through Toronto has completely fallen through.
The aformentioned plan went something like this: go to Toronto. leave the airport, and get a train into a nice downtown area. Eat a meal and wonder around. Return to the Airport and Fly to LAX.
Naturally enough my plane to Canada was hideously delayed and I spent time that was meant to be spent investigating Toronto, sitting on a floor in Dublin.
When I arrived at YYZ I discovered that US Immigration had created a marvellous, inescapable red-tape maze, which chewed me up and spat me into the US departures end of YYZ.
Time to move on.