Monday, 24 January 2011

Rough Take off, smoothish landing.

Well last night bid farewell to my beloved Manchester. I only really decided that actually loved the place last week and it had nothing to do with a certain t-shirt.Whenever anyone says that it's what's on the inside that counts, I will think of Manchester. I didn't like her when I first arrived, because quite frankly, she was a bit rough around the edges, had a terrible hairstyle and spoke horribly. However, once you peel away the rough exterior and separate the chavs, scallies and  united fans from the real residents of Manchester (locals and exiles) you'll find that they are some of the most warm hearted and inviting people going around. OK, even some united fans are alright. What I'm getting at is that I won't forget good old Manchester and I'll certainly be back. Perhaps sooner than later.

Anyway, enough sappy stuff. Last night was send off episode III. Actually, I'm gonna say it was episode V, because we all know that was the best star wars. There's certainly nothing better than supporting your mate's championship footy team, eating a pizza which should be too spicy to digest and then topping it off with drinking and some impromptu karaoke. After it was all done I did have to say goodbye, which was still very difficult despite the alcohol consumed. It also made my journey to the airport in the morning a tedious one after only 3 hours sleep, but no regrets though eh? Not even for the sneaky vomit in the toilet before I checked in. I could blame Manchester, but that'd be like blaming beer for getting you drunk. You know what to expect.

So after a two hour delay and a sleepless flight, I finally arrived in Toronto. I often hear about people complaining about how tight the Australian border guards are, but Canada takes the cake if you ask me. They have two checkpoints where they drill you with questions which almost suggest that they'd prefer if you'd just kept on flying through into Alaska. There's even a line-backer type guard that mans a potential escape point (which seems to be disguised as the exit to luggage pickup after the first check point) who seems to take great pleasure in letting you almost walk past him clueless, before screaming at you to go into another room (check-point two) with a line of people longer than centrelink's queue on dole day.  Alas, I managed to give the correct answers and was granted entry. The first non-border guard Canadian I met was the most horrible bus driver I have ever met in my life. In Canada they don't give change on the bus. You must give correct change for every journey. I ended up paying $5 for a £3 dollar ride as I didn't have the change. The guy was running the bus like the soup nazi. He even charged a 1 year old child to ride the bus! Obviously, this committed gentleman is not representative of all Canadians.

Canadian immigration don't mess about

Well everything you've heard about Canada is true in regards to the weather. Having said this, I did suspect -15 and lower temperatures to feel a lot worse than they actually did. I still want to try and throw a bucket of water and see if it freezes before it hits the ground. My first impressions of Toronto itself as a city is that it is enormous. Stepping out of the subway and into the centre of Toronto, being surrounded by huge buildings with biting cold numbing my ears was certainly an experience I won't forget. I was surprised to see that Toronto has trams. Not those silly things that get around Manchester on about 3 lines that probably run over more people than those who actually ride them, but real street trams! Brilliant.

England's deadliest predator

I'm looking forward to tomorrow as I'll be seeing a good friend of mine who is a local here. I guess we'll get to work out what our plans are for the next two weeks.

I'll keep you posted.