back in bizniz

When we left Turkey, I thought to myself “We have had so many adventures and there hasn’t been enough time to sit down in my cave/on my farm/in my log cabin to write about them all. Luckily I’ll have plenty of time in Canada to catch up and be up to date and spread the word of ‘the adventures’.”

But that didn’t really happen. Being in Toronto kinda slipped me into a bit of a city trance, and I seemed to spend my days wandering around, watching movies, and researching the next legs of ‘the adventures’. I’ve been to Toronto a coupla times – I lived there for a few months in 2007, and came back for a visit in 2009, and now again on this trip, so I feel like it’s a bit of a second home for me. In that way, ridiculously, I feel like “How can you have adventures in a place like this? A place that’s so familiar?”

Rather than having adventures in Toronto, we had moments, that were funny and silly and amazing and great. The Moments of Wembolina doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, though they are just as important as adventures.

Like the flashmob at Megan and Giancarlo’s wedding, where, midway through the speeches, someone stood up and started singing. After their line, someone else got up, and within a minute, 30 people around the room were on their feet, singing passionately, and Megan was sobbing and shaking in a state of shock and bewilderment and awe. I can’t even put it into words; it was amazing.

Meeting Lainie and Brian’s newborn twins was pretty incredible too. Lainie was induced the day after Megan’s wedding. Lainie was part of the flashmob. Lainie was dancing at the wedding at midnight. In fact, Lainie was jumping up and down and took part in a choreographed dance with the bride; at the end of the dance, it was agreed that they would both fall to the ground. Which they did. Within seconds, Lainie was surrounded by a crowd of concerned onlookers, scrambling to help her up. The twins look a while to come out – they were cosy in their tummy-home – but they’re perfect and beautiful and both destined for great things.

Last Monday we went to the Polaris Prize – Arcade Fire unsurprisingly took home the oversized cheque for $30,000 (which I was a little disappointed about – I really like that band, but I always thought that the Polaris was for more indie bands. Arcade Fire have a Grammy and a Juno and countless other awards… I was really hoping to see Austra or The Weeknd win). During the show, we were sitting next to the drummer from Austra’s mum, a beautiful Polish woman who told us all about the Iron Curtain and moving to Toronto and her relationship with her daughter. I think I enjoyed chatting to her more than I did the event.

Rich and I have seen a ton of movies while we’ve been in Toronto too (Rich more than me); ‘Beginners’ was definitely my favourite – it seems to have a heap of strange parallels with my life, which was a bit weird and creepy but amazing as well (mental note: seek out Mike Mills’ email address; send fan letter to be equally weird and creepy). We saw ‘Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark’ last week (pretty bad, but I like all the Melbourne shots) and when we left there was a throng of middle-aged women and camera crews and reporters in sequinned dresses in the Scotiabank Cinema foyer, waiting for Hugh Jackman to arrive for the ‘Real Steel’ premiere (now THAT looks like a great movie… sheesh). I saw a familiar looking blonde chattering away into a camera and realised it was Mrs Hatzilakos from Degrassi! THAT was exciting.

But most of my favourite moments in Toronto happened on walks; walking around the city with Rich; strolling to the beach with Cynthia and her dog and eating olive bread and drinking iced tea; dawdling along Queen Street East, enjoying the most delicious ice-cream I’ve had in ages, escorted by a huge Bernese Mountain dog called Dylan (many of the best moments, not just on this trip but in life – for me – involve food and animals) …

Toronto – you and I did not get off on the right foot when I first visited you a few years ago. But you’re a nice place, and I hope I’ll see you again soon.

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