I have left Trishs sofa and the safety blanket the Hockley Valley and farm provided. Yesterday Trish dropped me into Toronto. Right up until the leaving the farm, they all looked after me, helping with ridiculous amounts of luggage and tying my leg warmers on to my crutches for me to try and make them more cushioned. My last activity on the farm was pistol shooting which was good fun. Lucas who owns the guns put a chair outside for me and I stood and leaned on Freddie (the pale blue vintage tractor) to shoot some targets.
On the way to Toronto like a big kid, I sat forward the whole time spotting place names I recognised from my Canada studies and marvelling at the size of the roads. There is one road we drove along called the Highway of Heroes. Trish said that when people killed abroad in the forces are brought back to Canada, the funeral cars travel along the highway and everyone comes and stands along the road. I also caught my first glimpse of the CN Tower.
I had a room booked at the University of Toronto and the campus looks just like the ones on TV where they have ‘frat parties’. Nice though. Checked in and Trish brought my bags up for me. The fifth floor seemed a sensible place to reside with crutches. Room is basic, but clean. To my horror, on reading the in room leaflet, I discovered that I am expected to clean the room and launder the bedding before check out. It did not say this on the Expedia booking details! I spent my first night here on top of the bed using my Air Transat blanket and intend to do the same again tonight. I have to say, I cant wait to check out of here tomorrow morning. It is always a concern when you are staying somewhere that needs a sign telling people not to put urine in the garbage cans. In addition to this, the communal bathroom is completely tiled and showers are up tiled steps which is not ideal when on your own with crutches. Ill just say, face wipes are not an adequate substitute for actually washing and I cannot wait to soak in the jacuzzi bath (more later).
Trish left and the full situation hit me. I sat and felt very sorry for myself for an hour not really sure what to do or how to go anywhere. Eventually put some dark glasses on and booked an Uber taxi to the Eaton Centre. I hope to go back and explore properly, so dont count this as a visit yet! Got myself a sim card, so I now have a ‘cell’ number with Fido. Got some food (including a Nanaimo bar from my to do list) and a drink and hit the Shoppers Drug Mart. This seems to be a shop that just sells random stuff, maybe like a Boots. I didnt get past food. A shop assistant found me looking confused with a box of Rice Krispie cereal bars (like ours but with rainbow chocolate drops on top) and followed me around carrying a basket so I could get some chocolate and junk food for dinner. Unable to locate the kitchen in the accomodation, I had no choice.
I asked some random teenage boys if they could get me a taxi and they flagged one down and helped me and my crutches in to the taxi. Off to the Alumnae Theatre for the Candian Aerial Championships. Up the stairs into the show on my bum and found some friendly folk to chat to. Great performances. I really enjoyed a performance by Polina Vinogradova and have been watching her other performances here on youtube this evening.
This morning was busy and I booked a taxi to take me around the three viewings on rooms that I had lined up. The first one wasnt there – incredibly rude when I took a 40 minute taxi ride to get there! Second one was the one I had highest hopes for – the girl has a picture of her on a horse for her facebook profile picture. The third was just no good at all.
The second flat – a nice sized double room, five minutes from the beach, a garden that needs a bit of TLC, nice kitchen/ dining/ living room and a bath with a jacuzzi bath. It is on a fairly main road with shops, cafes and other businesses all easily accesible. Nathalie is the manager of the belgian chocolate shop below as well as living in the flat. A little more than I wanted to spend, but I got a really good feel for the place and am moving in tomorrow morning for a minimum of three months! The practical things like a phone, room and bank account have been surprisingly easy. I feel that convincing someone to employ me on crutches may be more of a challenge.
This afternoon, I asked the reception at the uni where I can get some more supplies, lunch and csh machine. They advised me it is only a block and I can get there on crutches. A block is a long way on crutches. 250m to the cash machine and a Yeh Yogurt (no ‘H’ in Canada) cafe for a toasted sandwich. Two lanes of traffic stopped when the lights were green for me to cross the road! Another 250m to the convenience store. Back to the cafe for a peanut butter milkshake and a rest. It is now that I got a message from Lauren who I have been chatting to online asking if I was about. She came and met me. I have a friend!! This perked me up a lot. I am going to the fireworks with her tomorrow night on the beach. She carried my supplies back to the room for me and now here I am. Subway that I bought on my epic journey earlier for dinner and Creme Egg in rather biazare packing. Remembering Creme Egg Fridays….
The foot – the foot is now blowing up, the toes look like little cocktail sausages and there is some extensive bruising coming out. I purchased some Advil as on films and TV, they all seem to talk about it. Hoping this will also help with the fact that my arms hurt so much I could barely lift my creme egg to my mouth and my arm pits are so bruised, the thought of getting on the crtuches makes me want to cry. I am going to watch Bad Teacher and then try to sleep. Almost out of Diet Coke anyway.