Friday, October 19, 2007

Travel Journal: 1 - 3 October 2007

So what did I do since NYC trip was cancelled? Decided to play tourist in Toronto area and meet up with other friends too.

1 October (Monday)
- went to CN Tower after brekkie. Finally I get to see the city in daylight. The last time I went up was in 1994 at night so I was not really aware of things. We did everything - went to the top (Sky Pod) which is 447m above ground. Also watched a mini clip on how the CN Tower was built. Did you know that the CN Tower was built as a communications tower? It is a large TV and radio communication platform to serve the Toronto area residents. There was a glass floor where you can look down all the way to the ground. Bad for people suffering from vertigo.
- it was a nice clear day with blue sky and few clouds. It was so windy outside up there. I had fun there.

- also went to the Hockey Hall of Fame at Bay Street (similar to NYC Wall Street or SG Shenton Way). I like the building, pretty neat to see extremely old buildings being built into the new building. I didn't expect the Hockey Hall of Fame to be so big.

- it was cool, looking at the hockey stuff and Stanley Cup of course. There was an interactive area where you can be a goalie or do a shootout or be a sports commentator, etc. I enjoyed playing the table hockey game. I almost won the first round, that was a good fight. Insisted on a 2nd game, and I was losing but PY slid in the puck on purpose making it a tie, so that the minutes will be extended. And I won in the end :p Otherwise, he would have won both games.

- we had dinner at the marketplace similar to marche. huge selection of food. In the end, I only had a bowl of broccoli soup and bread and butter pudding. I only had 2-3 bites of the pudding as it was so sweet. I had a small bit of meat from PY to try.

- we watched Borat when we got back. That was really funny.

2 October (Tuesday)
- PY dropped me off at Markville Shopping Center after lunch. I made mee siam for him to try.

- Markville is pretty big, and this was the only time I really "shopped". I got to browse most of the stores. I bought a phone charm in support of BCA. Just in time since the "shoe charm" broke. Also bought a skirt from H&M and 2 bras from La Senza. That was cheap. Only C$17 for both during sale.

- Met F for coffee and dinner. Just chatted and it was around 10pm when we finished. Too late to join PY and his friends for drinks. Instead we played scrabble online when he got back.

3 October (Wednesday)
- PY dropped me off at the Mount Joy GO bus/train station in the morning so that I can take the GO Bus into downtown Toronto. Good thing we were in that area on Monday so I fairly knew the area. Took the subway from Union station to Dundas where Eaton Centre is. I was to meet KN there.

- it was great to see KN again as the last time we saw each other was in 1998 when I graduated. We had fun talking, catching up. Went to Eggspectations for brunch. Then we went back to Eaton Centre. Sephora was heaven! We spent close to 2 hours there, just trying the stuff. Didn't really go to other shops at all and there are over 285 stores.

- we took the tram bus to somewhere near U of T campus and walked towards Kensington Market. Kensington Market was interesting, full of eclectic shops of vintage stuff and also like a mini-Hispanic place as there were so many stores selling Mexican foodstuff.

- Headed to Chinatown area which was nearby and it was definitely cleaner than 10 years ago. In fact the whole of Toronto feels cleaner now. It used to be quite filthy. We had pho again as I just loved Vietnamese beef noodles. This was pretty ok, not fantastic but alright.

- Arranged to meet PY and WC for drinks after dinner at Yonge and Finch. So once again, took the subway there. As we were not familiar with the area, we just popped into Smiling Jack's, a family restaurant and bar. It seemed like we were so out of place. 2 Asian girls walking in, obviously out of our elements, into a male-dominated place (not that it was crowded). NHL was playing (Toronto vs Ottawa) and so that was nice. I watched a little. And we got carded! The waitress said she felt we looked below 25 so she asked to see our IDs. But legal drinking age is 19 there. Anyway, my lime margarita was so watered down I sincerely doubt there was any tequila in there at all.

- PY and WC came by about an hour later and we just shoot the breeze. Got into a debate on transportation system in Toronto, Vancouver and Singapore cos Toronto is going to increase the fare soon. Seriously, if we see how much they increase the fare in Canada, the 2-3cents increase in Singapore is really nothing much. Here they increase by 25 cents or more. Already it cost me C$2.75 just to take the subway in Toronto. They do not count by number of stops at all. It is a flat rate within 90mins of travel.

- PY got a ticket as he didn't put enough at the parking lot, and the others were so amazed as it was a C$3+ ticket? They have never seen such a "cheap" fine. He sent KN back to her residence, and then I realized he used to study there. I know he told me before, but I guessed I never really registered or paid attention to it.

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