July 28th, 2002

A Belated Description of Toronto (21 to 25 July)

This is the first of several different posts, bringing things up to the present date.

The flight from Moncton went quite well. Little turbulence, quiet people, wonderful view of Moncton taking off and Toronto descending. People are wrong when they say that from a plane, people and buildings look like they're toys. That is only true on takeoff or in descent; at all other times, people are ants at best, building insignificant. It's an interesting perspective, I think.

The plane arrived at Toronto ten minutes early, but it was delayed ten minutes by lightning strikes that had caused the evacuation of workers from Pearson. I got into Toronto, after waiting interminably for the luggage to arrive, at 1:30 and promptly met up with James.

Now. James is--if I do say so myself--an excellent host. He gave me comfortable lodgings, showed me superbly around the wonderful city of Toronto (attractions and restaurants alike; at the King Garden he showed me how to use chopsticks, succeeding where others had failed), and provided excellent conversation and advice aside. I mean, his guideship (what's the word?) to the Royal Ontario Museum alone would be enough to justify the visit, never mind his counsel about my sexuality. I'm very glad I've gotten the chance to meet him, and I look forward to meeting him again.

And then, there's Church Street. PEI is an exceedingly homogeneous society lacking any enclaves--ethnic, regional, religious. Church Street is such an enclave; it was quite a surprise to see such a concentration of non-heterosexuals, and non-heterosexual-oriented businesses, and such an easy and unrestrained display of same-sex attractions and love. (This is part, I suppose, of my general problem with attractions and loves irregardless of orientation.) I could see why people would want to migrate from all over Canada to the neighbourhood of Church Street, and, well, it felt good. Knowing that I'm normal, so to speak, really understanding it at an instinctual level where I guess I only understood it in a detached fashion. It was fun.

Meeting Craig at long last was also great. Craig is a wonderful guy who was a great help to me, and fun to talk to, and a very nice people to get to know. He, just as much as James, helped me to truly realize that you can be out and, well, normal. (This seems silly in retrospect, even to me, but, well, I guess I hadn't fully realized that.) And the BI-MOT meeting was wonderful--my thanks to each and every one of you, you were great to a foreign newbie.

So. When I left Toronto, I felt so much more accomplished and secure in my own skin when I arrived, and my thanks to everyone who helped me get this far.

Next post: My adventures with the Capital Region's public transportation.
  • Current Music
    R.E.M., "Everybody Hurts"

My Adventures With Public Transportation

My flight, this past Friday the 26th (two times 13--a coincidence?), from Toronto to Washington D.C. passed well, almost too well. I settled down at the baggage-check area to wait for Tommy. But then, at 7:30, my name got paged, and I went to the Traveller Assistance area, and I listened to Tommy's description of his car's death wish. Fortunately, there was a bus leaving for Richmond under Greyhound's insignia at 7:40, so I went and bought the ticket.

But. Things didn't go that simply.

Basically, I missed the first bus to Richmond--attendant had a thick accent, bus driver I asked was an idiot--so I had to take the bus to Washington D.C. at 10:15. Actually, no; it was raining, so it was 20 minutes late, and I was a bit of a bundle of nerves.

I got into Washington D.C. (incidentally seeing the Capitol and the Washington Monument on the way in, both nice edifices), barely managed to get to the bus to Richmond in time. (I saw the Pentagon on the way out.) At least the bus to Richmond was on time, and Tom was waiting there. Which was quite nice.

A very good end to the day which, um, could have been better. Ah, well. Subsequent events more than made up for that.