Thursday, May 22, 2014

My Toronto Diary

I have been in Toronto for precisely 53 days and have loved every moment. Almost every moment. I know it's only 4 hours away from Ottawa so this might sound over exaggerated but it has been the most heart melting, jaw-dropping and eye-widening experience ever.  

A part of me wants to bang my head over and over again against a wall for not moving here sooner, but the other half is super content with the timing. I think if I moved here any younger, I would have turned all sorts of crazy. 

Things I love about Toronto (as ridiculous as some of them may sound):

1. I live in Asia. Central North York is literately Asia. There are way more sushi restaurants than burger joints and way more places serving bubble tea than of coffee. Everytime I go grocery shopping, the cashier greets me not with a "hi" but with some Korean pleasantries that I don't understand. At least I think it's pleasantries.  I don't think I can put up with the extreme "Asian-ness" forever, but it's good for now. 

2. There is a subway and I get to ride it. Many people probably wouldn't understand this, but I have a huge fascination with them. I'll be content riding them everyday to work if I had to. (Side note: I only love the fact that there is a subway. Not so pleased with the microscopic area of the GTA that it serves. So this is more like a love/hate relationship). 

3. The endless supply of food. Toronto is like the city that never stops eating. I have had some of the best dim sum, lobster, Korean fried chicken, izakaya and sushi that I've ever had in my life in these past 53 days. 

4. I feel much younger here. Between the vibrant nightlife, way out of your league real estate prices, abundance of things to do and people to meet in Toronto, I've noticed that people settle down way later than Ottawa. They are essentially 5-10 years behind which puts me in the 20-25 age bracket :) 

Things I dislike about Toronto: 

1. This is partially my fault as I text and walk. But everyday, I experience multiple close encounters with death as I text and walk while crossing streets and basically almost get run over. Drivers here are ferocious. 

2. The F-ing Toronto transit (more specifically, buses). I don't want to elaborate other than to say that it's the most inefficient transit system I've ever experienced. This factor alone makes me cringe and want to move back to Ottawa every time I have to take it. 

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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Magic Kingdom to Fulfill My Princess Dream

Like so many other things, Cinderella's castle was much smaller in real life than I had imagined. Florida was way hotter, Orlando and Miami were both much smaller and much more run down, and the park was way more crowded than anticipated. Nonetheless, I didn't have any less fun. It was absolutely amazing to have been able to cross off Disney on my little bucket list of things to do. 

XOXO  Monica

Saturday, April 26, 2014

A Great Pair of Shoes & An Extraordinary Journey

I read a quote years and years ago that said "Put on a great pair of shoes and it will take you on amazing journeys to spectacular places." My collection of shoes has been ready for quite some time, and now, my journey has begun. It has been almost a month since I have lived in this fabulous city that I can proudly call home. And although most parts of it is no different than Ottawa, I am completely fascinated by every neighbourhood, every street, every building and every corner-store that I discover. This past week, I experienced my first real proud Torononian moment when the Raptors won. I love love love this city. I am grateful for having met so many new amazing friends. Most importantly, I just appreciate having this chance to experience my everyday. My ordinary, extraordinary life.

XOXO  Monica

Thursday, April 17, 2014

With All The Time I Have

Apart from maybe 22 years ago when I was still living in Beijing, I have not lived in such close proximity to school or work. It used to take me hours commuting to work, but now, minutes. I barely know what to do with myself given all the extra time... I have been practicing my cooking skills. It's kind of ironic that I have definitely been much more Martha Stewart-ish since being here. By the way things are going, I will be taking up knitting soon... Oh and maybe quilting! :P

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Kensington Kensington

One of the biggest differences between Toronto and Ottawa is the different variety of people leading a variety of lifestyles. Ottawa is very cookie cutter. Everyone knows exactly what they have to achieve by ages 25, 30, 35..... a government job, a car, a townhouse, a marriage, a child, then a single house in the suburbs, another child and a minivan.

In this city, you can be anyone that you want to be and pursue any type of lifestyle. It's too early to decide. I've been here for 2 whole weeks.... And still taking it in day by day and enjoying every moment!