city life

people proximity in the big city

Y’know, people complain so much that other people they see on the street never smile or are rushing everywhere, or always look miserable. However, I would argue that just because a person is out in public, doesn’t mean they have to be in “people person” mode. There are times, especially when I’m going home at night after all my activities, when I’m just too tired to glance your way, or smile at you, or walk slowly and enjoy the air. I just want to be alone for a while; get home. Is that so bad?

city life

how much are those kittens in the window?

For several long, dark months, the pet store by my house had no kittens in the window.

When I first moved downtown last September and was jobless, one of the few great joys in my life was to watch random numbers of kittens playing with one another in the pet store window by my abode. I had to pass it every time I went anywhere, and so it gave me a few moments of such joy whenever I stopped to watch. And it wasn’t a matter of “having time” to do so – it was like smelling roses, I just did it.

In any case, as winter approached, the amount of kittens in the window at any given time began to dwindle and then ceased altogether. Much dismayed, I waited patiently. Weeks went by… then months. Finally, as I purchased a new bag of food for my own senior cat, I inquired of the store owner as to the reason for the lack of kittens in the window.

“It’s not kitten season! I can’t find kittens anywhere to sell. When I do have them, they sell at one a day, which is great, but there’s just none to be found.”

Disappointed by the news, yet hopeful that soon “kitten season” would be here again, I thanked him and left.

I’m happy to report the kittens are back! There was a healthy load of six this past week all of which have been sold, but one. To watch their antics: the clawing of one another’s faces; their joyful pouncing upon nothing at all; their leaps from one side of the cage to the other; their bodies all piled up in peaceful slumber; is to be captivated by a chorus of angels. Everyone who stops by that window to watch the kittens leaves with a smile on their faces. Even those who usually dislike “cute” things; nobody can scowl at the blissful innocence of those sweet little creatures.

city life

my introduction to networking

I went to my first DigitalEve Toronto networking event last night. It was held at Banzai Sushi, a great Toronto Japanese restaurant with a rather innovative implementation of screens at each table that allow visitors to chat with other tables. Cute!

Having never been to a real networking event before, and being rather shy, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It turned out all right though – we were all given a moment in the spotlight to summarise our studies, work and experience.

I met quite a few people that I plan on contacting within the next few days. I’m already looking forward to the next event.

city life

toronto alive

Toronto. I’m having a love-affair with this city. It’s always alive and, while it’s a little emptier than Bangkok, it’s still invigorating to live here.

Now that I’m working, I’m always busy. I start my day with a quick breakfast, and then I hop on the subway.

During rush hour, it tends to be absolutely packed. I thought it was funny at first, how the mass of people is squashed inside and then bursts out as soon as the doors open. Then I experienced it myself more than twice, and uuuggghhh.

A switch to a streetcar along the way relieves the pressure and I have a chance to write for a few minutes until I get to my stop and go to work.

Work goes well. Currently, I’m learning a lot and it’s quite interesting. It certainly keeps my mind busy, which I’m happy about.

On my lunch, often I’ll go for a walk around the area. Queen St. is always busy and it’s just wonderful on a sunny day when everyone is shopping, eating, walking around.

When work is over, it’s the same. I take a streetcar and then a bus all the way home, work out, have dinner, and try to find time to work on a couple of projects.

Then it’s off to bed, usually past my bedtime, and sleepland takes over to prepare me for another day.

I hope to have some time one evening to actually wander along Queen St. after work and soak in the liveliness of it all.

Ah, there’s always something to do in Toronto! And I love where I’m living right now – the community is always bustling, even at three in the morning.

I think I was made for the big city life.

city life

settling in

I recently moved to Toronto, and at first I felt really disoriented. However, that’s starting to change. A couple of weekends ago, I went out of town. As I re-entered  the city on my way back, I had a sense of “returning home” – and it felt great.

It means I’m much more comfortable here now, and I really do love this place. Every day I go out and feel just like I could be in any other big city in the world: when it was still humid a few weeks ago, at certain times of the day when the sun reflected pinkish off the streets into the smoggy air, I almost felt like I was back in Bangkok; these days, as the air grows more dank and the days shorter, I feel much like I’m back in London. It’s fascinating to me, to see how much this city can morph into others that I have visited, and make me feel like I’m on some extended cultural holiday.

city life

toronto vs. thailand

I recently returned from a six-week trip to Thailand. Since then, I’ve noticed many Toronto nuances I would never have paid attention to previously.

For one, when I first drove downtown after returning home from the crazy Bangkok traffic (in which I only observed, never drove), I noticed how everybody looks surprised and offended if you drive the slightest bit aggressively. Granted, I hadn’t driven for six weeks, but honestly, what I was pulling was no different than what they do in Bangkok. In Toronto, however? How rude of me!

Last week I attended a talk on Ontario’s future possibilities for power, and I picked up one of the attending organization’s pamphlets on climate change and global warming.

The number of warnings, statistics and scare-tactics used was staggering. In Bangkok, where the pollution is so much worse, where most people still drive diesel, where it’s 100% humidity on a 30+ celsius day, the most they say is mai pen rai – “never mind”. Now I see all this information and all I can think is “propoganda”, even if it’s all true and valid and based on fact. I can barely muster up much more than a “meh” towards it all. Before the trip? I would’ve been all over it, scared and worrying myself into more health problems.

Now, however? Chalk it up to being super-relaxed after six weeks in Thailand, I guess.