Canadia Part 2

It’s been said that 73% of people like Canada.  It’s also been said that Toronto is one of the Worlds top 20 cities to live in.  Furthermore, its been said that 12% of people live their lives upside-down and 16 people explode when they blink.

In reference to Saul John Stanley Abbott, the jury is out on the first one.  The other three I don’t care for.  One statistic that is 111% true is that if Toronto is anything like the rest of Canada, I’ll be moving to Albert Square and opening up a mini cabs office to rival the late, great OzCabs.

The one thing I did like about Toronto was this:

especially when I did this:

That was one of the more madcap things i participated in during our time in Toronto.

As many of you know, I like very tall buildings.  And every time I looked out over Toronto, I would see the CN Tower, stood erect, like some huge Robot God’s manpiece telecommunications tower.  It was like a paradox of the times in the movie French Kiss, when Meg Ryan keeps looking for the Eiffel Tower and every time there is an exquisite view of it, the moment she turns her curly blond bob and gaze in awe and wonder, her view is curtailed by some ugly tramps Mooney!  So there it is, I like the CN Tower.  What I don’t really like is people who live in Toronto.  Although, like everything you don’t like, there are usually exceptions and they are the following:

Beth and Marcus: Along with the aforementioned Mary and David Brown Brown, my two best friends in Toronto.  Beth made me work like a dog everyday by taking me to lunch and making me grass on old people who knocked over motorbikes.  Marcus just smiled a lot, due to chronic flatulence and my comical beard, and drank lots of magical formula which one day will give him the supernatural powers needed to laugh at his Dads jokes.  Beth and Marcus took us to an amazing butterfly house in Niagara, within which big and small butterflies of many varying colours and sizes (see previous line) flew around, above, underneath and on us (yes, you can be flown on by a butterfly).  The butterfly house itself was of a considerable size, very much mirroring a rainforest habitat and the butterflies were very happy about this as you could hear them giggling as they flew by in various sized troupes.  It was a very beautiful experience, made all the more special by seeing them emerge from their chrysalises (or is it Chrysali, as in Lexus’/Lexi?  Who knows, ask Partridge?), knowing that their future lives would be spent as the human equivalent of me being born into an environment where candy floss was the healthiest breakfast cereal and every morning was Saturday morning, after a Friday night spent gorging on apple crumble and custard curry, meatball cake and real live chocolate ladies and having some sing-a-long fun in a bar where Chas ‘n Dave are the main event.  Daydreams aside, they also took us to Niagara Falls.  Now, i don’t know about you but I always seem to be a tad disappointed when i come face-to-face with the Wonders of the World.  True, I’ve only seen one and this was it but hey, one’s better than none.  And I know every other number above one is better than one but you gotta start somewhere.  Well, actually, it depends how you look at it.  You could start nowhere if a nowhere doesn’t have the credentials that it has to have to be a somewhere, no?  Anyway, as madness ensues, I digress.  It’s not that it isn’t a big waterfall cos it is.  And it’s not that you can’t go on a boat and go right up to it and get a bit wet cos you can.  And it’s not like you don’t feel like just another tourist idiot taking pictures so that you can show people who really don’t give a shit what you did, cos you do. It’s just… I didn’t see Superman save a young boy from certain death, ok?  And you know, if I go to the Grand Canyon and don’t see a bloke have to saw his own arm off with a penknife cos its been trapped between a rock and a hard place for 127 hours, I just know it’s not gonna be the same.  Call me a perfectionist but no Superhero, no life changing experience…  They also gave me my first opportunity to carve pumpkins

and invited me to my first ever Jewish brunch, complete with Klesmer band.  Aside from this, we did many other fun things together, too numerous to mention here, but nonetheless, unforgettable.

Danielle ‘Maceo Parker’ Mace: Although already mentioned in a previous blog, Ms Mace’s charity will never be forgotten.  Letting us stay in her apartment for 3 weeks when couch surfing was starting to take its toll and have us come and go as we pleased was the answer to our prayers and will never be forgotten.

Kerri O: One evening, a pretty leggy blonde, with piercing blue eyes, a body as lithe as a rubber contortionists cat and a big bouncy ball asked me to come over to her apartment to check her out.  We’d been introduced via the medium of social networking (obviously in the form of a website, I mean, who PHYSICALLY networks these days) by one Nicky Bruun-Meyer, another leggy blonde I’d been sniffing around for some years, who thought that, seeing as we both loved a good time, would hit it off famously and so should make an evening of it.  Married or not, I thought, this is one of those offers a man only dreams about.  So, at 6.30 sharp (a little early for such a soiree I mused, but hey, she’s right bendy) I sauntered over there and low and behold, there was she, waiting, prepared, in her skin-tight leggings, for me, a man, ravenous and eager, in my skin-tight…… socks.  She showed me in the door, swapped the briefest of salutations and then we embraced.   Then, without hesitation, she embraced my wife too and proceeded to show us around her apartment that she was giving us for 3 WHOLE WEEKS while she travelled through Europe!!!  3 weeks of not having to sleep on a sofa, 3 of not having to make conversation when all you wanna do is have a lay down, 3 weeks of self-gratification without the threat of a hidden camera in an airing cupboard!!  It’s not often someone you have never met gives you their private abode in your fave part of town and swans off on her own expedition, leaving you with a full underwear draw and some ‘toys’ to play with.  I’m not saying that’s what happened in this scenario, but you know, im just saying it’s not, alright?  An act of extreme kindness and trust which one day I hope can be returned in kind.

Bear and Crystal: On our last few days in Toronto, Bear and Crystal were just the most consummate hosts who opened up their 444 foot long motor home to us on nights when the scratching of mice overhead meant sleep was kept to a minimum and warmth even less so.  The devouring of the now infamous Bear Burgers will forever live in the memory, 3 whole pounds of ground meat topped with a beef tomato and a whole raw onion, un-incumbered by the cooks knife, served between two whole plain naan breads x2, as will the guitar strumming and mouth harp parping of an off-the-cuff concert at 3.30 a.m from folks most unheralded and underrated star, Bear Parrott, the man with the most creatures to his name since Kangaroo Otter Bird and his wailing Siamese twin, Barold amazed Australia in the 1930’s with their wildlife call mimicry.  Bear and Crystal are about the hardest working people I have ever come across, working 12 hours a day, come rain or shine, building, lifting, pouring and well, building again.  They can make anything and build anything and if they don’t know how to do it, then, quite frankly, it can’t be done.  And being as giving and caring as they are too makes them just short of superhero status in my book.  The Great Bear and Crystal Clear, the Worlds newest buildyhero’s!

Marcello: At a time when we were struggling to find more couch surf hosts, Marcello came through in Grand style.  Initially we were supposed to stay for 3 days but that ended up being 3 weeks and not only that, but we had a room and a big ass bed all to ourselves.  That is, until he decided to rip the whole room apart.  Or rather, until WE ripped the whole room apart.  Floors came up, walls came down and heating was turned off as we froze to the spot many times in this World Record holder’s house.  Marcello you see, holds the World Record for the furthest distance travelled by solar power, over 23,000 miles as well as being the only person to drive a solar-powered car on the ice road from Alaska to the Arctic circle.  To check out this man’s incredible journey, go to www.Xof1.com.  Not only did he put us up for ages, he also lived in India Town and so we had the best South Indian cuisine we’ve ever had and the burniest bot bots the next morning to boot.

There were many others who became brief friends and/or acquaintances on our trip but i cant think of anything interesting to say about them so I’m just gonna say MASSIVE thank you’s to: Gary, Daniel, Jason, Alex, Curtis, Allan, April and the guy who owned the Waffle place whose name escapes me but was instrumental in me eating waffles with everything, sometimes for free.

Apart from the peeps, there were a few Momentous occurrences during our Canadian stay.

We went to see a band called Arcade Fire (hmm).  However, fortune once again smiled on us that very evening.  As we were strolling to yet another outdoor weekend festival (Toronto summers are full of them, there must be 64 every weekend for a few months, albeit some very sparsely populated, i mean, a Hare Krishna festival isn’t really gonna bring throngs of idiot English couples looking to get some free Indian grub, a bang on some drums and spiritual enlightenment to its shores on a sunny Sunday afternoon, is it…….?!!), a young lady on a bike wheeled over to us, saw how devilishly good-looking we were and had to give us her free VIP tickets to a huge concert.  The fact that I said ‘Nah, its alright thanks, they’re shit’ and nearly got a blood clot in my brain from a sharp left hook from my lady didn’t hinder our VIP enjoyment, if you can call 6 bucks fora crap beer and an earful of noise from a bunch of melancholic suicidal teens singing about wetting the bed and not having a snog yet, enjoyment.  Which i don’t.  But hey, we got to go on a boat and thats always a jolly nice time isn’t it?!

We went to The CASBYS.  It’s an awards show, like the Brit Awards but for Canadian bands.  Imagine hating the Brit Awards and then going to the Canadian version.  Exactly!  But it wasnt an entirely crap night cos after the show a man told me to kick the shit out of his car cos it was made from un-dentable material so i kicked it in as hard as I could and guess what happened?!!!  I laughed so hard i gave myself a bunch of hemorrhoids.  Then I ran away very quickly…

I did my first ever Yoga class.  Vinyassa.  I’m a beginner.  I shouldn’t have been…

I saw a few films worth a mention, one a Hugh Hefner documentary:  Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist, Rebel which shows just how spiffing Hugh Hefner has been throughout his life, being the first person to have multi-racial musicians performing on his show Playboys Penthouse during oppression and also campaigning for women’s and gay rights (a big player in the legalising of abortion and a gay rights pioneer).  It really changed my perception of him from a bit of a sleazy geezer to a right on sweet cheeks.  Another film i saw was Expendables!  The most bang, smash, kaboom, smash, whack, snog, huh-hu-huh-huh-huh-huh guns, tatts, tougho’s, smash MASSIVE BANG film i have seen for years!!  The Other Guys was one of the funniest films I’ve seen, EVER, Inception, was a load of up its own arseness and this girl I’m with made me watch Grown Ups which is in my top 3 worst ever films I’ve paid to see on the big screen.  And if anyone I know says they thought it was alright, please never EVER contact me again.  I mean it, i will hire someone to shoot you.

We went to Montreal, which is about 47 babillion times cooler than Toronto, ate the best ribs EVER, went to a chocolate restaurant, TWICE, and stayed in a lovely apartment with a lovely double bed for me and ‘er and a man sleeping 6 foot away behind a paper curtain that didn’t even cover the gap it was supposed to cover.  Dirty weekend?  Not with a travelling carpenter sleeping in a sombrero eyeing us through his lithe.  But as a break from Toronto, it did its job.  And all weekend i just couldn’t get used to the fact that it was like being in France, which isn’t that strange considering it pretty much IS France but it really was just like being plonked in a French town.  And seeing as France is one of my favourite countries to be in, i was pretty happy.  Hell, you even have to speak French when you’re there.  Check out these piccies…

And so, that’s it for Toronto and Canadia, at least until March 17th next year when we come back into it, albeit from the West side.  It’s not a bad city, it has an all night art fair that sweeps through the city called Nuit Blanche which is where stuff like this happens…

it has some nice architecture such as…

as well as some other cool things, like…

and my personal favourite and an example of the cities tough stance on cleanliness…

Would i go back?  Probably not.  But just like any other city, there’s a million things to do and see.  Just don’t try talking to anyone…

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