In case you are interested please see the city map below, where I marked some significant places and areas (e.g. my house, universities at which I work, city centre etc.)This link
will take you to the Google maps and show where Toronto is situated on the globe.
I guess there is nothing special about getting lost in a new place shortly after arrival, because everyone expects it. The difference is that I didn't expect it:) After being lucky and not getting lost in many cities (not only) in western Europe during last summer, and after "exploring" the neighbourhood of the MC house in Toronto during my first day when going shopping with my hosts, I didn't expect any difficulties as all streets seemed to be so right-angled, squared and anyhow else regular. I even made comments on that:)
Moreover, I've noticed extremely specific building to be situated near our house - as I've got informed, it is the Mental institute (see the picture). And, of course, there is the 553 m high CN tower in the city, isn't it? (see the previous post
Despite all these significant landmarks, I got lost so many times! Let me pick some interesting walks:Mental institute
Instructions are clear: get off the university campus, turn right and go until I see the Mental institute. Then I know the way. It should take about 5 minutes. Because of drizzly weather, I was looking to the ground and missed the institute (as I found out later, it is not just by the sidewalk, but a little bit sunken, which I didn't expect). After 20 minutes, still walking on the same street, I realized something went wrong. Shit! I didn't have any map, forgot my cell phone in the house and it was getting darker:) Naturally, the only option I had was to locate the Mental institute... I enjoyed some fun with that:)
"Excuse me Sir, do you happen to know where the Mental institute is?"
"What?... Mental institute? No, I'm sorry."
"Excuse me [to a young lady], is there any mental institute nearby?"
"Hmm... I have no clue."
"Excuse me, how can I get to the Mental Institute of Toronto?"
"Ah, the Mental institute you say... follow this street [and so on]"
It took me another more than half an hour to actually find it.What is AIESEC?
That time, I thought it taught me a lesson and I'd always be extremely careful about directions and Mental institute, of course. Two days after I was supposed to have a meeting at Ryerson university in the very centre of Toronto. 30 minutes should be fain. Well, I have no map (but at least I know names of streets), so let's take 1 hour just in case... No way! I was 1 hour late, out of which 45 minutes were spent in the university building while searching for the AIESEC office. There is about 100 students clubs and no one could tell me the door number.
I went to the main reception desk:
"AIESEC? How do you spell that?"
"Is it a major?"
"No, it is a student organization"
"Hmm... OK, let me check... [working on computer]... [browsing some folders]... [calling few people]...there is no AIESEC, I'm sorry."
"Actually I've been here yesterday with my friend from AIESEC and I recognize the building, but today I go alone and am not sure where exactly it is."
"Aha... OK... hmm... [staring at me]... [me staring at her]... I may try calling someone else."
"Yes, please, they may know. ... It is the biggest student organization in the world."
"Oh! It's international! [with relief in her eyes] You must go to the department of International Affairs then!"
... they didn't know anything over there either, but after few phone calls they at least figured out I need to go to the 9th floor of Business faculty. Great!:)
And it happened many times again and again in various situations. Simply getting lost in Toronto during my first days here brought so many different (often frustrating, but also ridiculous) moments I may hardly forget:)
After just few days my orientation skills got considerably better and even before my first sightseeing weekend I knew the centre pretty much well!Czech corner
Jak jsem naznacil, tento post jiz vlastne dnes neni aktualni, protoze s orientaci uz zadne problemy nejsou:), nicmene musel jsem ho zaradit na zacatek, abych dal celemu sightseeingu nejaky patricny uvod, ktery skutecne stal za to... koneckoncu nasly by se i dalsi prihody:)
No a abych teda nepsal o necem co bylo pred tydnem, zaradim do ceskeho okenka prurez dnesnim dnem (utery druheho tydne pobytu), ktery byl skutecne mezinarodni:
Rano jsem si prispal skoro do deviti a jinak bylo ryze pracovni, tak trochu ceske
. Dokonce jsem si udelal i tu samou snidani co obvykle v Praze (pecivo s jemne slehanym tvarohem a platkovym syrem). No a pak to zacalo. Ve 14h jsem mel mitink s mistni VPOGX, coz je Cinanka
narozena ve Vancouvru. Pak se k nam pripojil Rusky
mladik, ktery v Torontu studuje a chysta se podat prihlasku na univerzitu v Londyne. Tak jsme trochu podrbali (v neutralnim duchu) uroven britskeho
a kanadskeho skolstvi a relevanci AIESEC praxi pro svetovy mir.
Pak jsem sel nakupovat. Zasel jsem tedy do oblibeneho cinskeho
obchodu,kde si vzdy kupuju jen 4 pomerance za ferovou cenu 1 dolar. Prestoze je obchod velky asi jako Albert na Spojovaci, vzhledem ke znacnemu zapachu si troufam jen na ty pomerance, ktere jsou pekne venku (na mraze:)) Potreboval jsem ale i rajcata a ty zde meli pouze svetle ruzove a o velikosti grepu, a byl jsem proto nucen vyhledat provozovnu evropskeho stylu. Tam na me cekaly rajcata ze Spanelska
a k nakupu jsem se nechal presvedcit i dobre vypadajici exportni blumou z Italie
Nejak jsem se po ceste ochomytl okolo turecke
pekarny a neslo neodolat vyborne vonici baklavou, kterou jsem si tolik oblibil v Jordansku. Bohuzel jsem jednal rychleji nez bylo zahodno a az u pokladny zjistil, ze nenakupuji za jordanske
ceny:) Na lehkou veceri jsem zasel na japonske
sushi, ktere bylo zrovna ve sleve.
A jedeme dal. Vecer bylo male organizovane posezeni, na ktere dorazila i skupinka 4 studentu: norsky
dvojcata (mimo AIESEC) a polo-AIESECarka z Ekvadoru
. Jak se pozdeji ukazalo, vsichni spolu chodili na stredni skolu v Ghane
a nyni nekteri z nich jen tak cestuji, jini se chystaji na konferenci v Mexiku
a Torontem jen "projizdeji". Ano, priznejme si, toto byla hodne random skupinka:) Ale velmi prijemne straveny vecer, resp. cely den .. inu jako na Global Village:)