Monthly Archives: August 2015

My Kingston Cana-diary. Big City Nights.

We paid a visit to Toronto this weekend. The capital city of Canada. (Only joking). It’s a three hour journey by coach from Kingston. We took the Megabus as it’s a cheap and convenient option. Every time I hear mention of this bus service though I think of those terrible Z movies such as ‘Sharknado’ etc. ‘Megabus vs. Giant Octobus might actually draw them in to the movie theatres. Point of note here though, In Ireland people don’t call movies ‘movies’, they’re called films [pron. Fillums]. We also call the previews, ‘trailers’. Go figure.

Mega Shark VS Giant Octopus

Toronto is such a lively city. There’s so much diversity of life, it pulsates. It feels and looks like New York to me. We stayed within Chinatown which is close to Koreatown. I often wondered why there’s no Irishtowns in major cities, and yet there is a place named as such in Dublin city. Incidentally, the region where the Irish first settled in Toronto is called ‘Cabbagetown’. I presume they called it Cabbagetown because Irish people have cabbage sized and shaped heads. (Again only joking).

We drank at a number of bars around Queen Street, the best of which was The Cameron House. It was a venue hard to describe, it’s a dive bar/country/Mexican/live music venue. I loved it.

Cameron House

Two days in Toronto and I must have eaten four hot dogs. The first I tried had 2 fried eggs thrown into the bun for good measure. Chest felt a little tight after that one.

We met so many Irish it was ridiculous. We met them in the bars, restaurants and in the shops. They’re everywhere, like after you spill from a box of Rice Krispies. It was nice to hear those many, and familiar accents again though.

There’s a lot of Crazies on the streets of Toronto. I suppose you would expect this of very large cities. I had to tell one fella to ‘Get Lost’ when we were enjoying some pints al fresco outside the Cameron, but he was too messed up to understand what I meant. We also saw a twenty stone plus man emerge from the underground near Kensington (which is a great area by the way) with his trousers ripped up to his belly exposing his saggy gut and meat and two veg. This nearly put me off my third hotdog.

The Canadian Exhibition was fantastic. In the food halls you could purchase burgers held between two donuts, and fried minced beef in ice cream cones. Less said about that the better. It was great to see the Blue Jays play as well. The atmosphere within the stadium is just a helluva lot of fun. By the way I have caught Canadians finish their sentences with funny little exclamations several times now. I’ve caught the classic ‘eh’ and a few ‘oh boys’, and on an occasion I’ve heard ‘right on’ too.

The End. Eh!

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My Kingston Cana-Diary. Backhoes, Bangs and Loony Toons!

Pepe Le Pew
Well, my seamless transition from Irish society to Canadian continues apace. Ordering a Double-Double from Tim Hortons (or Graham Norton’s as I’ve mistakenly referred to it), and flicking them a few Loonies and Toonies as payment now comes perfectly natural. I’m fully decked out in Roots clothing. If you saw me on the street I doubt you’d even know I was a foreigner.

Tim Hortons is a strange creature. It’s kind of a mix between McDonalds and Starbucks, but with tastier food and drink. Prices are cheaper too. They’re everywhere, and each branch, depending on its location, retains individual character. Furthermore, dependent on the location, you might mix shoulders with some very colourful, very individual, characters.

With French and English written side-by-side on everything from road signs to government documentation, all the way down to ingredient listings on chewing gum packets – I’m now fully bi-lingual. Actually that’s a big lie. I’m more determined than ever not to learn any French, and I think my mastery of the English language has got worserer.

People over here display the Canadian flag everywhere. So proud are Canadians of their country they prop the flag on their porches, on the back of their ubiquitous 4X4s and pick-ups. People also have the maple leaf emblazoned on their clothing. Which is great, but strange to a visitor from Ireland. If I were to hang the Irish flag outside my house, people would either assume there’s an international football/soccer match featuring Ireland taking place that day. Or worse, they might think I was ultra-Nationalist or anti-British. It’s complicated.

Still a bit disappointed I’ve not seen a porcupine or skunk yet. When I think of a skunk I still picture the Warner Brother’s sex pest Pepé Le Pew. Not sure if he was French-Canadian or not. I’ve heard racoons using their freakishly human shaped hands attempt to open a cooler/ice-box, but didn’t get to see one in the flesh. Yet.
By the way the earwigs over here are three times the size of our native ones we have back home in Ireland. They live amongst the basket of pegs we keep out the back garden [yard]. They’re disgusting.

I still chuckle when I hear people call hair fringes ‘Bangs’, and refer to JCBs as backhoes.

The Premiership is back. I like watching football, and torture myself every year by watching my beloved Liverpool FC consistently flatter to deceive. The matches kick off early over here due to the time difference. We’re five hours behind Ireland and the UK. Watching misplaced passes, terrible corner kicks and feigned injuries that early in the morning engenders a greater than usual anger within me. Hard to imagine.

True Detective

I must mention that I’ve been watching True Detective Season 2 over here. It’s s**t. Talk about style over substance. There, I’ve said it. Super stars don’t necessarily make super stories.

Easy out.

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