sábado, 20 de outubro de 2012

Journey to Utopia: Day Two

My first night in Toronto was very peaceful. The bed was very comfortable and the neighborhood was calm. We had breakfast, and to Dale's amazement, I had a sandwich with cheese and all. I need to have something other than only a bowl of cereal. Ham, salami or cheese are must-haves back home. So our plan  for Monday was not to go very far. We woke up early and went to the hospital as my host would have his Physiotherapist appointment. For me, it would be interesting to see a Canadian hospital from the inside.
We walked through a park and it was there I saw my first interesting sign. I have seen many animals in those crossing signs, never a turtle. Should we stop and be very patient? I pictured a herd of turtles trying to cross the pathway and people and bikes waiting for what? Half an hour?

There was a lake there and some trails. The day was very sunny and beautiful but not warm enough for us to do well without sweaters. We kept talking and going to the hospital. All the things were calling my attention. Again, I was in a new country, a new region, on the north of North America. (However, East Finland still stands as my Northernmost point visited). 

As we left the hospital, not more than 20 minutes after we had arrived, we walked around the center of Newmarket. Everything was calm because most of the stores were not open, we could see some cars but few people walked by us. I saw some historical buildings like the old firehouse and the churches. Some new houses, some old ones. 

Here is a typical street we went by. Some flags, the clock tower. Some history of Newmarket. Dale was a very good guide. (and I think it was 15ºC, not 5!)

 (where do you think this trail would be taking you?)

On the way back, through the park again, going by other trails I was happy because I could observe everywhere the three colors of the trees. There was the green, the yellow and the red. So many leaves on the ground. All you had to do was look around and there it was, the fall foliage, or as Wikipedia taught me: abscission.

Here we can see the parking lot of the City Hall. We followed a trail in the middle of the woods and got there without really knowing where we would be getting at. (this strategy did not turn out this well in Montréal, as you'll come to know later).

The last part of our walk was to see some statues. They were built by or in homage to some natives. The one you can see on the left is shown in the next picture in more details. We started wondering what it meant. Maybe a mother kissing her baby? A man feeding? Taking some bread into his mouth? A comet? Yeah, we didn't come to any conclusion, it is almost abstract art. Impressive though.

This one is also a special statue. It's called Inukshuk. You can find many of them in places where there are Native or First People, but this one had some stones welded together with cement. This was cheating, according to my friend, they stones are normally piled one on the others. It's part of the artistry of it. Ok, it lacks emotional expressions, but he was being hugged by such a nice guy, Mr Inuk was so vey happy.

After all this walking it was time for Dale to rest a bit (and me too) and for us to plan the rest of the day. We decided we were not commuting to Toronto, it would be too late, so we went to a convenience store to get some snacks (and some chocolate eggs, the ones you buy out of Easter season), then headed home where Dale prepared me a delicious egg and bacon sandwich. After lunch he went upstairs for his traditional nap and I "plugged in" because I had to work on the changes I needed to do for my paper. The other days would be busy so it had to be Monday. I spent the afternoon writing (and facebooking, I admit) and Dale helped me rehearse. It was so funny the way I pronounced some words and he would be like, wtf? I did okay overall. We started talking about what I study and his impression on the book I study. He had read it before I got there and his opinion was not as positive as I expected. We talked about utopia and I considered the paper done. Not perfect, but as perfect as I could get it under the circumstances. The only problem was we did not control the time, with all the interruptions to talk and to explain. I would have to imagine (and pray) it would take the 20 minutes I had to make it have.
In the late afternoon we were visited by something even the local said he hadn't seen in a decade or more:

We didn't get any ice-cream though. It was for the happy experience.of the funny music and the colorful decoration. I never saw one of those in Gainesville, so I imagine they are a rarity.
Afterdinner, we sat closer to the TV and it was time to watch Dancing with the Stars, Dale's favorite program. And up to bed because the day after would be a busy one.

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