When I’m in Mariposa, I enjoy the town, and its quiet and routine. I enjoy the countryesque lifestyle. The people here are friendly and welcoming. Everything is just, nice. That is, until I visit Toronto.
I try to visit Toronto as often as I can. I like the city. There are people everywhere, shops are open late, new restaurants open, and the clientele at pubs turns over. It’s fantastic. You can meet new people all of the time, if they’re willing to talk to you.
When I was living in Toronto, I wanted to write a post about how cold the city is. Here’s an excerpt from the draft post:
It must be that these people miss/don’t know the weight of the snow that collects on the shoulders of a heavy overcoat. Or perhaps that they have never had to seek warmth, on a cold day. Or even the silence that a fresh snowfall brings. But the people here are cold. As if they are trying to artificially create the season that is winter. Year-round, these people must be tormented by not knowing what seeking warmth is like.
Now, when I go back, I’m invigorated. It’s so enlivening to be in a place that’s bustling with people. People who are going somewhere, even if for no particular reason. It takes so much longer to get anywhere than it does in Mariposa, but it’s fine, because there is so much to see along the way.
While I was in Toronto this last time, I was overwhelmed by my surroundings. It was nuts. All of my senses were set to high-alert, and they were over-stimulated by nothing more than normalcy in Toronto. My ears were drowning in the noise. My eyes were drifting from one scene to the next. I couldn’t sit still.
When I’m in Toronto, I feel like I need to accomplish something; I need to do something that I can’t do while I’m in Mariposa. I’ve got to talk to people, ride the streetcar, parallel park, j-walk, tip well, and/or visit four different restaurants/bars in the same night. Whatever it is, I feel like I just need to do it, and hold onto to the memory of the experience.
Of course, I doubt Toronto would be the same without the company of my friends. They know me, and we talk to one another. We share stories, and laugh together. I learn a few things about them, and they teach me a few things about me. It’s just, great.
But this last time, it was really hard for me to keep my focus. I felt lethargic and aloof, I couldn’t hear most of the conversation that was taking place, I had to excuse myself a few times to use the washroom and stretch my legs. I was just, off.
It was an experience that I’ve never had in Toronto. I was, for the first time, small-town in the big-city. I even woke up early the next morning.