So, today I had a bit of a chilled out day – I’ve been doing an awful lot of walking – not being very sure of Subway and Streetcar routes, and the small nature of the centre of Toronto, and an absence of me needing to be anywhere, mean that quite often I’ve just walked it…
…Today I used the Subway more; I mooched around cafes, book shops, china town, and uh, yeah, spent some money I shouldn’t have. See, I’ve wanted a copy of infiltration magazine’s Access All Areas. And I noticed that they said it’s for sale at ‘This Ain’t The Rosedale Library’. Of course, if I’d’ve noticed that it was for sale *before* I found it the first time, that’d’ve helped.
So, I headed over there today – and while I was there took the time to check out Church street. I’m impressively bad at the whole gay thing – I found a mostly-inhabited-by-gay-men cafe; a mostly-inhabited-by-gay-men coffee shop, and a shop selling clothes… for… you guessed it, gay men. I need someone to lead me round and go *there*, ‘cos I don’t look at things before I walk in, at least, not that carefully. I need to actually look *before* I walk in the door and go… oops. That’s not to say I didn’t find some cool places, but yeah, felt a bit of a pilchard wandering into definately bloke-filled places.
Anyway, I’ve started to reliably be able to find places. Only big places, I know, but places. I can kinda find myself a street and turn around and get from where I am to where I want to be; which is quite nice. It is – to be fair – rather simpler than navigating London with it’s mishmash of random streets…
But it’s still quite nice to go ‘oh, I need to go to X’ and be able to get there without fishing out a map. Which is odd, because what I bought today was a map – but that’s ‘cos I’m heading to Niagara tomorrow. In a rented Ford Focus (or similar). In a country where they use a different unit of measurement for speed and distance and DRIVE ON THE OTHER FRACKING SIDE OF THE ROAD. Heh.
It’ll be fine.
I’m not nervous.
Okay, I am nervous, but it’ll still be fine. Yeah.
Somehow, today I’ve been a lot more thoughtful about the whole moving here thing – partly I guess ‘cos I took a wander through the Hospital District (although unlike Chinatown, Church and Wellesley, and the Entertainment District, it’s street signs don’t get a dinky ‘Sick District’ or ‘Lurgee District’ or even plain old ‘Hospital District’… I wonder why? ) – and started to wonder about working here. Living here. The bigger bits and the smaller bits.
Long streams of disjointed thoughts – leaving the UK – moving to a place where I barely understand how to buy stamps, let alone how to pay taxes. How do you get a licence plate for your car? How do you register with a doctor? How does recycling work for people at home? How do you find a decent auto shop? What are your rights as a consumer. Do I go with plan A and get a permi resident’s visa, or come over on a working visa and then apply? Can I really deal with throwing away or selling ‘most everything I own that isn’t a book, dvd or CD? Will I be able to leave my mum behind?
The why, the why, because now I know I love the country, and I can feel comfortable here, and I remain unhappy about what’s happening in the UK socially and politically. The Why now needs more flesh on it’s bones, needs to grow into a fully functioning reason. Because the bigness of it all hasn’t escaped me, and looking around today the bigness of it all settled around me and pooled like tar; sticking to every surface and grounding me. The bigness and darkness of it all filled the spaces around me and demanded of me the whys, the hows, the questions that I’ve answered lightheartedly to everyone else, but which have occupied my thoughts at a deeper level internally. Well, now I want those answers to be fully formed, a shield of shining clarity; I want to know not only why, but how – how am I going to achieve what I want to achieve?