Today I love Toronto’s pulse, the beat that moves traffic to and fro, the surges of people on the sidewalk that are checked by the lights and then let go in swells and throngs to shuttle down the street, passing the oncoming bulge of humanity, each on their way to the next light. I love the random free flow of people on the PATH and in squares. I love the colors and the noises of China Town and Kensington. I love the random snippets of conversation, some in English, and some in other languages and many with exotic accents that take a few seconds to sink in before you realize what you heard was English but with some subtle or extravagant or spicy seasoning that made the music of the words even more beautiful. I love that I had the hugest piece of Baklava at a little Greek bakery glassed in on the corner of a construction anomaly of a huge tower, where the counter staff spoke English with a Greek accent and Christian music played in the background. I love that as I ate way too much of the “way to rich for me” baklava, I actually laughed out loud a little, as I realized that not one thing about that experience was of my current culture. I love this city where I was born, yet was moved from when I was so very young. I love that I belong here as much as the next person on the street and yet I am a stranger, I love that I am in my own way, just a little bit exotic.
Today I love that last night we went for hot pot in China Town and we were in the possibly enviable position of knowing more of what we were doing than the real tourists, but were unfamiliar enough with the concept as a restaurant culture that it was fun and exhilarating and a bit of a learning experience. I love that there are several more things I can cross off my list of food curiosities that I’ve wanted to try. I love that there were a couple of things that I didn’t even know were foods that I get to add to my list and cross off, like beef tendon … what even is that? I love the way that Chinese food is almost always either wildly flavorful or an interesting texture, and I never know which thing will be in which category when I try it first.
Today I love that I have walked more miles in the last two days than I would in an average week. I love that I am not done with this city yet, though we will be heading home this evening. I love the thought of sleeping in my own bed tonight. I love that I am going to miss this place and am already making plans to return. I love that it is Sunday morning and I hear bells from different directions as different churches call the faithful to worship. I love that if I lived here I would leave the radio off on Sundays and those bells would be my music.
Today I love coffee while looking out over the city for the last time from this vantage point, and listing possible reasons and options for my return.