Toronto has been a novel experience in more ways than I thought it would be.
To begin with the obvious: I’ve never been in a city this big before. The closest thing I’ve ever seen (sadly enough) is Nashville, the state capital of Tennessee. I’ve spoken plenty about about Nashville in the past, and I’m about to do it again: it’s a narrow, crowded, labyrinthine sham of a city. And, much like Tennessee as a whole, there’s really nothing there. At all. Murfreesboro (where I live) may be every bit as pointless as Nashville, but at least it doesn’t try to hide this fact.
Toronto felt authentic from the moment I stepped out of the Pearson airport. Why? Public transportation! A concept that, until now, has been entirely foreign to me. Nashville has a bus system that nobody uses, but aside from that, EVERYONE in Tennessee drives. Everywhere. All the time. That’s part of the reason why Nashville tends to be such a convoluted mess; if people could just leave their cars behind and walk, the city would be that much nicer as a result. However, people in Tennessee are more or less grafted to motor vehicles from birth, so that’s not something that will happen anytime soon.
That isn’t to say that people don’t drive in Toronto, but the city also features a number of entirely competent, convenient public transportation modes. Confession: until last Tuesday, I’d never ridden in a subway. Not sure how I managed to go twenty years before having that experience, but… I did. Regretful, yes, but better late than never. The Subway is most definitely an experience everyone should have at some point in their lives, for more than a few reasons.
But I’m pretty sure the concept of a large city isn’t nearly as foreign to the lot of you as it was to me, so I’ll spare you an in-depth review of something as commonplace as a subway system. I’ll venture a guess that you’re more interested in what it’s like to share a house with everyone’s favorite Ethan “Ethos” Pipher. To answer that question, it’s quite… relaxing? Relaxing, decidedly low-key, and not as creepy as you might imagine. For example, I’ve yet to be raped in my sleep. There are a lot of heterosexual men walking around in their underwear (myself included) but that’s more or less the extent of the creepiness.
Oh, wait. There was the “podcast” we recorded. That was… that was definitely… yeah. I won’t attempt to describe it here. It’ll be on the site soon enough. You can listen then, and despair.
Ahem. That aside, I’ve mostly been doing a lot of glorious nothing while I’ve been here, which is more or less what I expected. Movies, videogames, Scrubs, and more videogames have composed the majority of our daily itinerary, and it’s been great. It’s a novel experience to be around people who are actually as nerdy, messy, lazy and carefree as I tend to be. The absence of passive-aggressive judgment for said habits is nice as well.
(Not to speak ill of all the wonderful people back home, of course.)
A brief aside: Ethan, Pogo and I went to see Shutter Island last night. I won’t talk about it at length, only because to reveal anything about the movie would be a disservice to anyone reading. Suffice to say, it was fantastic – I’ve never worshiped Scorsese, and I’ve always hated DiCaprio – but if they keep making movies like this, that’s going to change. Shutter Island is a must-see. Don’t read about it, and don’t talk to anyone who’s seen it – just go see it yourself.
To use that gushy tangent as a springboard, the theater we saw it in was huge. It had an escalator in it, for Christ’s sake. I’d never seen anything like it.
Which, in a nutshell, sums up my thoughts on
Ethan’s penis Toronto – it’s huge, and I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s been less than a week, but I feel like it fits me more than anywhere else I’ve ever been. I like being able to walk practically everywhere. I like that there are more attractive Asian women here than I thought existed. I like that the tapwater doesn’t taste like sewage. I like that a ride on the subway system can be about as entertaining as your average primetime programming. I like that this city actually has a personality to it that you simply can’t find in a place like Tennessee.
Oh, and I definitely like the fact that I’m considered legal to drink up here.
Frankly, I don’t think there’s anything I don’t like about Toronto. As I sit here in this uncharacteristically large Starbucks, typing this article and basking in the atmosphere of actual “city folk,” I find myself wishing I didn’t have to fly away three days from now. In the back of my mind I’ve always known that in all likelihood, I’d be leaving Tennessee behind at some point in my life. Visiting Toronto has solidified that thought as a fact. Will I end up living happily ever after with Ethos in his magical city? Probably not, sadly, only because moving from one country to another tends to be something of a bitch. But hey, there are plenty of comparable cities in my country as well – albeit with the same ridiculous drinking age of 21.