Well, I made it to Toronto, despite the fact that the Megabus was over an hour late and took 2 hours longer than scheduled to get here from Rochester. Me and another girl stood there in the cold, wind and rain from 3 to 4:15am waiting for the bus, while the occasional person would come over and ask us for money or cigarettes. This is basically the Megabus stop in Rochester…it’s not even covered for bad weather:
I found the Airbnb location with ease, although the host fell asleep and I had to kill 2 hours until she messaged me and called me on Whatsapp extremely apologetic. I wasn’t upset or anything as it gave me the chance to familiarize myself with the area and get comfortable with using the bus and subway system, which I did with relative ease.
I’m usually scared of buses, but having been on a ton of buses today, Toronto buses seem so un-intimidating, even when they’re busy. They’re also very convenient, frequent, the network is extensive and they have covered bus shelters for bad weather, which in this region is a necessity (hint Rochester Transit Service). The subway is good too, although some stations don’t have elevators or escalators, so lugging a large suitcase around was quite challenging at times, although like London, some people will offer to help.
I walked for maybe 3 miles in the rain earlier to find the nearest Starbucks as I have been feeling so drained from not sleeping or eating properly since I left Rochester. The first Starbucks my GPS directed me to was inside a supermarket and there was no seating, so I walked another mile to the next nearest one, in the rain and with sore feet (my feet always hurt):
Aesthetically, this part of Toronto reminds me parts of North London a lot. Some parts of it look very gritty, but I never felt threatened in any way. I even talked to a couple of random people and walked around freely with less of a need to keep my headphones and music on at all times. On the way back from getting my Starbucks fix, I stopped off at a supermarket chain called ‘Metro’. I was very impressed with it, both the layout and the quality of produce. The prices seemed about the same as New York, adjusted from Canadian to US dollars. I bought a Greek salad for tomorrow and a bag of Terra chips and Mile & Ike candy, which I’ve eaten. I was tempted to stop off at one of the 2 fish and chip shops that I passed, but I couldn’t quite summons the courage to do it (I guess fish and chips are a thing here, as they are in the UK).
The Airbnb home is really nice, as is the host who I chatted to for a while when I first arrived. They are an Indian family and the house smelled of delicious Indian food when I got back, which has now given me a craving for it. At least there are tons of Indian restaurants in this area, given the high population of South Asian people here (another aspect of Toronto that reminds me of the UK). I like the fact that this city is very diverse and not at all segregated. During my 12 hours here, I think I’ve seen more interracial couples and groups of people than I’ve ever seen in Rochester.
Speaking of Rochester, I got this rather nasty response to my Craigslist ad seeking accommodation:
As much as such abuse disturbs me and brought me down after a good day in another city, I would love to do as he asks and leave, so I replied and told him to “make me”.
As for Rochester, I cleared all of my stuff out of the house and put it in storage, except for the bed frame that I had to leave. I did all of it while K was out at work and I just left, so she probably has no idea that I’ve gone for good. I did more than my fair share of cleaning yet again, including cleaning the kitchen floor and counter tops, vacuuming the cat hair caked to the carpet on the stairs, and cleaning the cats food bowls and putting all of their toys in one place. I didn’t get or expect any thanks for that and I’m honestly glad to see the back of both L and K. K told me she was having a party on Friday night, so I’m glad that I’m far away from that place. To cover my ass, I took lots of photographs of the inside of the house to show how clean I left it and how there’s no damage. If K makes a mess, it’ll be on her to sort it out and they won’t be able to blame it on me.
I suppose I’ve written enough for now. I’m really exhausted and I plan on being out most of the day tomorrow, although I don’t have a specific itinerary, but I’d imagine I’ll do lots of walking again, despite the fact that my feet hurt.
I miss Priscilla so much. I don’t miss Rochester though.