Saturday, August 23, 2014

Canadian Adventure - Week One Comes to an End

Yorkdale Mall, Toronto Canada

That was a fast week!  Can you believe it folks?  My first week of my Canadian adventure has come to an end?  And what a week it has been.

Yesterday Pat took me to the Yorkdale Mall.  This is thee high end mall in Toronto.  Think King of Prussia Mall with class and that's Yorkdale.

One thing that continues to amaze me is the multi-cultural diversity of folks up here in Toronto.  White, brown, yellow, black and all the colors in between.  Maybe it's me, but I detect none of the always present tension of racial animosity that I live with every day in the states.  

Toronto subway train - all races, clean cars, nice people - no tension - civilized

Toronto has a large Indian (as in Bombay India) population, which is right down the street from where I'm staying.  Also a Vietnamese, Korean, Pakistani, Chinese, and on and on.  Everybody goes about their business without those looks that mixed racial couples often receive where I live in the states.  I even see gay couples who cause zero ripples.  Even in Rehoboth Beach, two men walking together will at minimum evoke the look from some straights afraid their town will turn from family to Sodom and Gomorrah if the gays take over.  The last time Pat was down in Delaware, we were walking back from my friend's house on Laurel Street when a car load of young guys passed us and all gave us The Finger.  Somethings never change although I do have to admit they didn't holler the usual "F__king F__gs!", an epitaph that I've had hurled at me more than once in my lifetime when doing the simple act of walking with a friend down a street.  

Yours truly riding a troller through Little India. Even though I was riding with another man no one paid us a whit of attention.  Refreshing!

Pat had told me that Toronto was very diverse but I didn't expect this much freedom.  The last time I experienced this feel good emotion was the first time I visited Provincetown, Massachusetts in the Seventies.  That was the first time in my life that I felt normal.  That I didn't evoke disproving stars just because I was walking down the street with another man.  The first time in my life I felt totally free.  

Taking the trolley car back to Pat's house - a global community of travelers

So this aspect of my Canadian visit is an unexpected and pleasant surprise. Now maybe it's because I'm in a large city and maybe the hinterlands are like the hinterlands of the states where diversity is hated and discouraged.  That might be true but for now, I'm totally into this feeling of freedom.  

Pat in front of the Indian restaurant in Little India where we had lunch with Dr. Spo and Someone on Monday

Pat's out doing chores now.  I'm here catching up on my blogs, e-mails and checking out the news of the states.  I don't miss the international news at all.  What?  Another cease fire in the Middle East and Putin continues to act like a Putin.  What's new?  I don't miss it.

Something else interesting that I've discovered during my Canadian visit.  Canada, especially Toronto, appears to be very rich.  The prices of the houses and condos and products.  All expensive and the taxes are high.  Sales tax on everything expect having sex.  I was in a quandary for a while wondering "How do they do this?" then I realized they're not the World's Policemen.  Sticking their noses in places where they shouldn't be, just to show their might.  Canada doesn't have to spend a lot of money on defense because they have that big muscled neighbor to the south.  So that's how they're doing it.  By the way, Canada does't appear to have an immigration problem either even though most of the Canadians I've seen here in Toronto appear to be from another county.  But then I don't know what an average Canadian looks like.  Yesterday at the mall I actually did see a young, white, blonde couple with an adorable three year old boy.  They looked so out of place and frankly, they looked lost.  What I haven't seen AT ALL is one of those ignorant, hateful Tea Baggers. Thank God for small favors.  And to think I'm going back in that miasma in only a show week.  Oh well, I'm having a grand time now and thoroughly enjoying seeing human beings of all colors and races interact in peaceful harmony. Canada has it over on us in this aspect folks. 

There is no way this man is moving from his home in Toronto.  He's got it made.  Consider: Toronto or Rehoboth Beach, Delaware?  The answer is obvious.  


Raybeard said...

You make Toronto sound like Paradise. Perhaps it is. I can see why you're going to be reluctant to leave. I want to move there myself now. Glad that your stay has, so far, been a 100% success.

Btw: Bombay? We've been calling it Mumbai for about 20 years now - in fact since the time when the name was officially changed. (However, I know you were only using it as an illustration).
As a matter of interest do you still say '"Peking" for Beijing? - I know some parts of Europe still do, in Germany and Italy, for example - though I think in that case it was deemed that Beijing was a closer English approximation to the Chinese word for their capital.

Ron said...

Pat assures me that Toronto has its problems too, like graffiti. When I lived in Philadelphia in the Seventies we had a graffiti problem too but Philly has since moved past that. Unfortunately, Toronto is in the midst of that annoyance. There is also a lot of construction going on, almost permanent Pat says. But that is the same in Philly. I like where I live now, southern Delaware but it is very provincial and oh so sensitive to anyone who is different. It seems beneath the surface there is always that racial tension waiting to explode. Plus, there is still a lot of hatred of "the gays", even though we gays have made a lot of progress. It just seems to me in Toronto the people are not focused on their differences but instead living a good life, albeit letting their big brother neighbor to the south to assume much of their defense.

anne marie in philly said...

americans are pigs, canadians are civilized.

so is pat moving or not? and if so, when?

Amanda said...

One of my question a while back was "how do you feel now that Pat is leaving Canada to live in your area?". Maybe that was a Facebook question.
I am sure Canada has its problems too, like everywhere else, but I have heard so many time from Americans working or just visiting Canada, that is is an amazing place. A country of beauty and education for sure and so clean. But the weather, not so great, particularly winters. I guess you really cannot have it all.

the dogs' mother said...

Back in the day (68-71) during our second residence it seemed to be fashionable to
abuse the french speaking Canadians. Our town was full of immigrants who escaped WWII
and all of us kids were first generation Canadians. Our teachers were all from New Zealand,
South Africa and Australia.

Ron said...

the dog's mother,
When the see the diversity of cultures who seem to get along so well (except maybe of course the French which my host Pat has already warned me maybe aren't so homogenous with other cultures even here in Canada, I think of some of my fellow American citizens who become so fearful and jingoistic when they see someone of a different culture. Today I went by two mosques. If there was even on mosque where I live (southern Delaware which is "semi-South") there would be town halls with hateful ladies yelling "We want our country back!"

Ron said...

Anne Marie,
As usual, you succinctly summed up in a few words what I was trying to convey. Is Pat moving? He hasn't decided yet but I strongly advised him not to move to Delaware. Delaware works for this old man but seeing Pat in his environment I know now that living in Delaware would be a slow death for Pat. He's a city boy through and through. He's sweet to tolerate me but he is Toronto, and Toronto is Pat. And no, I won't be moving to Canada either. Maybe visit.


Ron said...

Maybe Pat won't admit it, but he's not moving to Delaware. I won't permit it. He loves his home in Canada and he loves Toronto. He was born and brought up here and thrives in this environment. Sure, Canada has it's problems (Pat hates the graffiti and India town is dirty) but Canada's not policing the world and their sales tax (13%) is almost obscene but this is where he belongs, not Lower Slower.

nitewrit said...


Actually we have 11 Mosques in Delaware. One is about two miles from my house. Have't heard of any of them being stormed. I see a number of Muslims when I am out and about and working in the local stores and down at my neighborhood McDonalds. There are boneheads everywhere in the world, but my neighborhood is pretty diverse and there's never been any trouble in the 32 years we've lived here of a racial nature. My neighbor on the left are African Americans, as are the family just below them and the family catty-cornered from us. On the right lives a Hispanic family.


Ron said...

I'm surprised there are that many mosques in Delaware. But perhaps not as many as the ten block area I've seen so far in Toronto, Canada. I was at an Indian festival tonight and I saw a Sikh policeman. I doubt if you'll see any of those in Delaware. Delaware and much of the United States is pretty much controlled by the Christians which, even though Christianity is supposed to be tolerant, see how tolerant they are when a mosque goes up in their neighborhood. I'm telling you Larry, I see a very noticeable difference in Toronto the way people who are different than you or I are viewed and treated. There may be folks of different ethnic backgrounds in many of the neighborhoods in the United States towns and cities but believe me, everyone in the neighborhood knows who they are. Here, it doesn't seem to make a difference. People are just concerned with living their lives. As a matter of fact, as I type this Pat's new neighbors just came in. He's of Anglo ancestry and she is Chinese.