Monday, March 19, 2012

Tim Hortons

Monday March 19, 8:57 p.m.

I think this week may be the one in which meteorological records will be toppling like dominoes. Toronto is not going to be celebrating the first day of Spring tomorrow, it'll be celebrating the 3rd or 4th day of Summer. Yup, it's that warm out there. The weather folks are using all sorts of superlatives to give their reports. Here in Canada's largest city, we usually have a high of a paltry 4  degrees C, but today we hit the big 2-0! Perhaps by midweek, we'll strike 26 degrees. Meanwhile, my old home of Japan is still shivering from under one of their longest Winters. I went outside for a short walk around the apartment, and there was actual haze lingering. I started sweating under a light jacket, and there were two Canada Geese squatting in an abandoned lot nearby. Great news for most people, but I think the Maple Syrup season is gonna be severely truncated this year.

I went with my parents to visit a few Canadian institutions: Canadian Tire to return a toaster-oven that was simply too complicated for them to use, then a SuperStore for groceries, before we hit the Tim Hortons for a bit of lunch. Back in Japan, I was accustomed to drinking my java and teaching my private lessons at a Starbucks. Now, I'm back having my double-double with chili and a donut. Perhaps Timmies may not have quite the trendy atmosphere of a Starbucks; it's got more of an atmosphere of the Tokyo Mister Donuts. But it's a comfy enough place and I sure can't beat the price for a Chili Combo of chili, bread, coffee and donut at about $6. Just having a latte and a dessert at Starbucks would've set me back $8.

Have been getting some contacts here and there. I'll be seeing good ol' Shard for the monthly lunch  later this week. I'm getting printer paper from him and he'll be borrowing some of those 80s CDs I got at Tower Records. I'll be seeing an old student next month for lunch...we're looking at Baton Rouge at the Eaton Centre. My other old student back in Tokyo, The Carolinan, has finally gotten underway with my replacement.

Canada Geese squatters

An atypical last day of Winter

A hearty lunch

A Canadian legend
Toronto has become the City of Strikes, something that I would never have encountered in Tokyo. Over in Japan, they have something called the Shunto (the Spring Struggle) which is basically a mechanical exercise between employees and employers over issues that had already been resolved beforehand. It's rather like having a war with computers (see Star Trek Classic's  "A Taste of Armageddon"to understand what I mean). In any case, all 98 libraries in the city are now closed because the librarians and the City couldn't come to terms. A bit of a disappointment for me since I've been in the custom of visiting the local branch for a few hours on a Monday to peruse some magazines. Air Canada pilots have been playing games with management, and we avoided a major one earlier this year with Mayor Ford outfoxing one of the biggest unions.