Niagara Falls

August 25, 2011

I’m pleased to announce that after imprinting our asses into most of the chairs of Toronto’s finest eateries, we finally managed ‘to do something’ and see Niagara Falls. We had heard a rumour that there was a casino bus running from Chinatown to the Niagara Falls Casino that was half the price of the regular bus and dropped you right next to the Falls. Being half Chinese and therefore half tight, I was quite excited about the prospect of both cheating the system and getting a bargain. My cousin Michelle, who we were staying with, had already sussed out the whole thing a year earlier and had got herself a casino card which meant her round trip was $5. Now that’s what happens when you’re full Chinese and that is, quite frankly the kind of shit I can only aspire to.

Now the Chinese running the operation didn’t give a rats ass about who was on the bus. They were getting $30 from the tourists who had cottoned onto the scheme opposed to the meagre $5/free ride from the addicts clutching their Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and scratch cards to get themselves through the next gamble free two hour bus ride. The casino however, gave a huge shit about the tourists, so much so, a ‘representative’ from the casino came on board when we arrived, made all the suspected tourists sit in their seats and give us a ‘I know, you know but we know too’ spiel. I’m not very good at lying under pressure, or actually, just lying in general, so when were asked our intentions, I gave my brain a message to let Luke answer, but instead, I told them in one breath that we had just moved to Toronto and were really interested in getting a card because we really wanted to gamble and yes, we would take a form to sign up. Smooth. So we signed up for a card (free lanyard!!) and then got threatened if we didn’t spend it in the casino, we’d have to pay another $30 on the way back. We both believed this threat as we are easily threatened by manly chicks in cheap blue casino suits. Michelle wouldn’t have any of it and called their bluff. I won $13 (well $3 when you add up how much we spent) on Roulette, so who’s the fool now Casino bitches.

Oh so Niagara. It was really big, watery and impressive. There was a lot of scum on the surface of the water which for some reason I found mesmerising. First I imagined laying on it, then I watched it separate and join back together and then I wished someone would hurry up and ask how much it would take for me to eat it. But no one did, and no fun was had.

So the thing about Toronto is, it’s a really cool city, but you have to find the pockets of cool. I highly recommend getting your own personal guides, especially ones that drive you around the city so you can undo your top button after eating too much or ones that get you on the Niagara Casino bus, but in case you don’t, here’s my rough dot point guide of Toronto:

* Ossington has great shops, bars and restaurants

* Queen St West as above

* Kensington Market has great empanadas and a Chinese music bric-a-brac shop that takes junk to a whole new level – it’s like they’ve been ordering new stock since 1985 without anyone actually buying anything.

* Trinity Bellwood Park and an ice cream shop called White Squirrel named after the albino squirrels in the park. Toasted marshmallow ice cream sandwiches are the way forward for 2011.

* There’s a shop in Chinatown that sells live blue crabs that you can just put in your shopping basket still nipping and fish displayed on ice that are still gasping for air. Now that’s what I call fresh.

* On the metro, listen out for the stops. It’s like someone stuck a moody teenager in a room without social media for a day and made her say all the metro stops or else she’d be grounded.

And thus ends my dot point guide to Toronto.



August 22, 2011

I’d like to say that our time in Toronto has been less revolved around food, but that would be a lie. A huge, fat, calorie fueled lie. In fact, all we’ve done since we’ve got here is ate and slept. Friday, we slept in, ate sushi, walked around a little, met our friends for a drink and snacks, then went out for dinner, then more drinks. Saturday, we went out for brunch, got ice cream, got driven around Toronto’s cool little neighborhoods, stopped for empanadas, slept, had a feast of Korean food and then sang karaoke. Today, we went out for brunch, got ice cream, shopped, swam, ate dumplings, watched bad TV, then went out for Japanese. And well, that’s literally all we’ve done so far.

We are hoping to go to Niagra Falls on Tuesday, but we’ll only make it if we make sure we bring some snacks for the two hour bus ride there. Otherwise, it’s going to be touch and go.