unexpected toronto day

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unexpected toronto day

This morning I woke up around 8AM, finished packing, and checked out of the hostel at 9AM.  I ate a bowl of cereal while I waited for my taxi at 9:15 and talked to a Russian guy and a Colombian girl for a little while before they both started to say super not chill and completely racist things about Asian tourists.  I excused myself and waited by the front desk because I wasn’t awake enough to call out these assholes and educate their backwards selves on how to not be complete and utter racists.

9:25 came around and I asked one of the receptionists if my taxi had come yet, and apparently he had but nobody had told me.  She gave me the license plate number of the car and I went down with my bags and waited by the car for a solid 5 minutes before I figured out who the taxi driver was.  Apparently he was waiting for a boy, since the hostel told him that he was supposed to pick up an Alex and he had never met a female Alex before.

The ride to the airport was pretty uneventful.  The taxi driver was very fond of Red Bull and liked to text while driving but he seemed relatively safe about it.  I don’t think his English was good enough to understand if I had asked him to stop texting.  He got me to the airport about 20 minutes after I had planned to be there, but it was ok since my flight was apparently delayed by 2 hours at that point.

I got breakfast at a coffee place and tried to catch up on some journalling for a while before buying a few little souvenirs with my remaining Hungarian Forints.  I lined up at the gate about 15 minutes before we were supposed to start boarding, but we didn’t actually start boarding until a good 30 minutes later.  I got an aisle seat towards the back of the plane and wasn’t supposed to have anybody next to me, but two old Canadian women decided to upgrade themselves from the very last row and sat next to me.  They seemed nice enough at first but then one of them started to express great concern about the inherent violent threat that black and brown men people to society.  The other one talked about how even though she loves traveling in Europe, she could never travel in Asia or Africa because “the people are just not good, you know?”.  I could’ve started a constructive dialogue with these old ladies, but I feel like it would’ve been a wasted effort and it would’ve made the 9.5 hour flight just a little more awkward than it needed to be.

On the plus side, I was able to watch a good amount of the new season of Sense8.  One of my hostelmates in Amsterdam told me that you could download Netflix shows to your phone through the Netflix app and it just about blew my mind.  I think tomorrow I’ll finish the season, maybe start House of Cards or Master of None.

I landed in Toronto just 5 minutes after my flight to San Francisco was taking off.  The original booking had left a healthy 2.5 hour gap between arriving and leaving in Toronto (from the same terminal!), but the mechanical issues in Budapest made that impossible.  I thought about the time that my mom and I had to spend the night at a hotel in Phoenix because we missed our connecting flight coming back from Jamaica and how that experience prepared me for “the worst” that could happen while traveling by plane.  That experience taught me to always pack an extra pair of socks and underwear, and thankfully, I remembered to do just that in addition to my carryon toiletries.

The airline gave me a voucher for a hotel, dinner, and breakfast and a ticket for a flight to SFO at 8AM tomorrow.  I will need to wake up at 4:30, take the shuttle at 5, and arrive at the airport at 5:20.  Tomorrow will be a long day.

a twenty-something photographer & solo traveler based in the San Francisco Bay Area

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