Friday, 26 June, 2009

Canadian Costalgia....

Today I am wearing this Elizabeth Arden perfume which I had picked up long time back in Canada. Numerous shifts had religated this bottle with several others in a box which got pushed behind other boxes. Today suddenly my eyes fell on the box, curious I pulled it out, only to discover these o0ld goodies. I liberally splashed the perfume and now it is so reminding me of my Canada days.

I remember I used to wear this perfume a lot in Canada, so this smell has got entwined with a jumble of memories. I remember my friends-- Beth, Che, Jen, my apartment on College & Bathrust, U of T, the numerous libraries, hectic school days, lazy summer, walking all over Toronto, the Women's Book Shop, Kensington Market, the yummy bakery, the next door Vietnamese take away, the Orthodox Russian chruch on the other side of my house, sound of the chruch gongs,China Town, Gelato, grocery shopping, Pakistani food, my first snowfall, long never ending winters....seems like ages away, yet so fresh on the mind.

If I close my eyes I can still remember the hippi hustle and bustle of Kensington Market, the flavour of berbequed meat that we had cooked when we went to the Lake Shore for a picnic, crazy things that Beth and me did, Pauline cooking crepes, Ashley with her numerous boy friends, Lisa with her agitations, Jen coming to visit me, facinated conversations with Che regarding her experience as a film producer in the Philipines.

Some of the things that I miss most about Canada--

The University

  • Went there on a state scholarship, so was in a sense a guest of the Government of Canada-- no one had ever bestowed so much of faith on me ever before or after...just winning the scholarship made me feel very special;

  • My first international exposure all alone;

  • Money in my bank, man I was rich, in fact the richest a student can possibly get with schol and TA job-- how I miss the money :)

  • University of Toronto or as they say U of T, much to my surprise the university has some very fine old buildings more like castles than university, beautiful cultural and community places like the Hart House where on any day students could play the grand piano, work on their laptop, do yoga or aerobics or plain stretch out and sleep;

  • The lovely parks and green stretches surronding U of T;

  • Roberts Library with its mind boggling collection of books and video and audio cassettes and nice and welcoming library staff (Indian library staff should go there and learn how to behave politiely and helpfully), rows of computers for student use which were a blessing in pre laptop days;

  • The caferatia of Innis College, just opposite Roberts. It was run by this nice Hungarian/Romanian family-- father, son and daughter. They used to make amazing roast chicken, wild rice and beans salad. People were extremely polite and helpful and the food was cheap and amazing. I am not much of a lone public eater but that cafeteria was one place where I could sit for hours and eat alone and not feel odd. I hope they continue cooking their magic.

  • Piu and her gang of Chinese friends who had helped me a lot initially.

  • International Student's Centre, which I could not make use of much.

  • The huge fitness centre just behind Sidney Smith which housed the Pol Sci dept. I loved the aerobics classes there.

  • The Women's Book Shop on Chruch Street, where I had initially gone to pick up some text books for my Post Colonial Studies class, but I fell in love with this bookshop with their wide range of books on sale, their unique range of stationaries ( I had picked up this ruler which has a list of world's most famous leaders), post cards, magnets, tee shirts, jwellery, name it they had it.

  • The hotdog stalls in front of Sidney Smith-- a burger for two dollar and twenty five cents and you pile on as much pickle/mustard/hot sauce/mayo as you can possibly fit into the hot dog.
  • The Chinese mobile food stalls with immensely cheap food, the poutin they served. Poutin is this big styrofoam box of french fries topped with a cheesy sauce. Of course french fries and cheesy sauce was a great combo. Mmmmmm.....

Oh well this is getting too long, will continue some other time with the rest of Toronto!

1 comment:

  1. Suchi......makes me wish I was young again and had these tremendous possibilities before me. Would have loved to have spent time in another country as a student. Good to have a slice of it through your writings


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