Friday, August 24, 2007
The Burbs Are The Turds (Or Something Like That)

My distaste for the suburbs grows with every time I come home and am, inevitably, stuck at home. With no car, the only hope anyone has of getting around is using either public transit (which I did depend on and love during my years of high school, but now that I've been exposed to the likes of the underground systems of London, Madrid, etc., I've realized that the YRT here is crap), or their own two feet. And seeing as how my own two feet just got eaten alive two days ago by my shoes (oh, you precious little flats from Tunisia, you are exactly that: LITTLE) I've little chance of going very far.

The problem with the burbs is that you need to go quite a distance in order to do anything remotely close to fun. The most exciting thing I get to do when I'm at home in M-Town is go to the mall, or to the movie theater. I should report though that I pumped gas by myself for the first time a few nights ago, and that was pretty cool (thanks for being there and providing moral support, Alex!). It's no wonder suburbian kids get drunk and do drugs all the time, they're bored out of their minds! At least there's a gas station down the street from my house. If anyone catches me at the pumps sniffing the hoses, give me a cold, hard slap in the face and put me on the subway to Toronto, post-haste.

Living vaguely close to the city has been my saving grace. It takes about an hour and a half to get downtown via public transit and the three hour roundtrip journey has always been worth it. Annia and I went down the first weekend I got home from Africa and I didn't expect to do too much, except to hang around, eat Indian food and enjoy her company. I left my camera at home thinking, "Oh, it's just another weekend in Toronto, what am I possibly going to see that I haven't seen before?"

That weekend ended up being the Just For Laughs comedy festival (in addition to the South Asian festival we went to), which had streets closed off and filled with people dressed as mushrooms that sounded like trains, giant red fluffy things on stilts and vermin-like creatures with leaf blowers attached to their backs that shot streamers everywhere: up into the air, down the street, at people; they wrapped bikes in streamers, tried to cover buildings with them and shot them into stores. I don't regret things often, but I seriously wished that I had taken a chance and brought my camera along anyway that morning. It was the weekend of the Jazz Festival too. We walked the streets grooving to funky tunes, sucking on free sno-cones (I got blue flavour!) and eating one dollar snacks until public transit nearly stopped running.

As much as I hate traffic (being in it and the sound of it), I love all the things a big city has to offer to move too far away from it. Being the foodie-wannabe I am, I need a plethora of selection when it comes to where to dine and what kind of food to eat. I need bars and comedy clubs and theaters where I can see shows that aren't on a screen. I need galleries and museums with Free Fridays and an endless supply of festivals to feed my various interests, want for culture and my desire for some good, clean and edumacated fun. I am therefore happy to report that A is back from her trip up to our nation's capital (which is lovely, but not nearly as exciting at T.O.) and we will be heading into the city armed with the knowledge that it's my second-last weekend in Toronto and I plan to make the most of it with summer coming to an end.

On the list of things to do and see: Buskerfest, the Fashion & Design Festival and Nepal Mela, a Himalayan festival celebrating Nepalese culture! I'll probably have to skip the Chinese Lantern Festival and the Pirate Festival too, but I'll see if we can stop by the Iha Formosa Festival that celebrates Taiwanese culture at the Harbourfront. Goodbye to the burbs and woohoo to fun, here I come!