Tuesday August 14, 11:00 p.m.
Went down to The Beaches this afternoon to meet with The Translator. I hadn't been to that area of Toronto in several years for obvious reasons (look at the blog title). I had been wondering how I would get there since according to the TTC map, there was nothing on Vic Park south that would go that far down. However, there was the 64 bus from Main Street.
The Beaches has been a popular spot for the young and those folks who like gentrified neighbourhoods for several years. Walking east on Queen East, I saw a number of individual shops and cafes with just a few chain stores peppering the street. Plenty of trees....quite a nice place to be although a few months before, there was that neighbourhood-wide lockdown by Metro Police when a gangbanger was on the run. Hopefully, that was just a horrible aberration more than a sign of things to come.
I got there a full hour early and because the rain was starting to pelt down, I decided to take refuge in a coffee shop on the corner of Queen East and Beech. It was pretty empty since it was a Tuesday, but there were a few customers, most of whom were obviously regulars there. The kindly Korean proprietor couldn't speak much English but she was able to mix up a nice Iced Caffe Latte, and I could relax for about 30 minutes reading newspapers by the window. At one point, a couple of ladies came in searching for Wineva Street. They asked me but they garbled the initial pronunciation so I couldn't identify the street so I guided them to the proprietor who led them to the two regulars. Luckily, one of them had a husband who was a taxi dispatcher who just happened to have been having his massage at a small clinic a couple of doors down. All this was done with genuine help....that's a neighbourhood I would love to live in someday.
Met up with The Translator who introduced me to this new translation system. Within about 30 minutes, I ended up looking pretty darn foolish. He gave me this rapid-fire talk on the system, and then told me to give it a shot...just cold. I may look like a geek but the truth is, technology and I don't mix too well. And frankly, I didn't expect him to give me a lesson so I looked like I wasn't paying attention. He was patient enough but I didn't feel too happy afterwards. Still, it looks like I may have some work coming my way within a few days. I may also be trying to get that bigger laptop just because of my emerging status as a translator.
August has been interesting meterologically. The weather folk have been reporting that we're in the midst of a cool wave (as opposed to a heat wave). The high temps haven't exceeded 26 degrees for the past few days. Believe me, I'm not complaining. Today, Tokyo had a low of 27!