5 things I thought would be different when I left home

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It has been almost 10 years since I left home and went out into the wild, scary, unknown world of adulthood living. I feel like I was truly and utterly underprepared for what was out there, and had I known, I’d have pulled a jew-dude (TM) and stayed at home until I was thirty.

But just like with black, there’s really no going back once you have fled the familial nest.

I just had so many misconceptions on what I thought living away from my parents would look like.

skeptical-baby

  1. “I can eat whatever I want!”
    Oh, oh…ohhh how I dream of the lovingly prepared home cooked meals of yesteryear. So angry and angsty was I, when a meal was NOT EXACTLY what I felt like eating, but instead an equal measure of vegetables, meat and grains. MEAT! Do you know how expensive that shit is?! What I would give, to have two middle aged people cooking for me three times a day…
  2. “I can stay up SO late”
    Want to know what I did Friday, Saturday and Sunday night this past weekend? Binge watched The Wire (because I’m about 15 years behind in my television programming at this point). I am a morning person, so around 10/10.30pm I start to fade fast. I used to think living away from my parents would be sooooooo wicked because I could just drink and party and watch movies all night long…Turns out my favourite thing these days is sleep. Yeah. I’m pretty cool actually.

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  3. “I do what I want!”
    So long as it doesn’t cost money. Seriously. Sometimes over the last few years I have had all of the freedom and none of the money (funemployed/between contracts) and other times I have had some of the money and none of the time (J.O.B). When can I have all of the money and all of the freedom? (right…right…when I rob a bank Oceans Eleven style…got it…have you guys SEEN that movie? It just came out recently in 2001)
  4. “I can date whoever I choose!”
    Remember when your parents hated that guy you were dating in High School and you were like IHATEYOUWEAREINLOVEyoudon’tunderstandmeGETOUTOFMYROOM! Yeah well. Turns out they were right. Man when I was single, I would have given my left ovary (she’s the gimpy one I suspect) for my parents to be hovering over my shoulder as I swiped like: “No. No. No. Yes Paris. No he will have a weird thing for feet. No. No. What about that nice boy from the coffee shop?” It turns out I just wanna date guys that my parents will like and not weirdo’s with spider-man face tattoo’s. Go figure.
  5. “I’m going to get a creative job and YOU CAN’T STOP ME!”
    In grade 12 when picking degree time came, my mother said to me: “Do a degree with the name of a job in it” and I laughed in her face as I applied for my Bachelor of Arts. I guess, if you were to squint your eyes, choke yourself a bit until no oxygen went to your brain and then smoked some meth – you could really consider my whole life one elaborate “Art”. “So what do you do Paris?” oh me? I’m Art. Yeah I studied it at University. In reality, life has been interesting in the working world (#noregrets) but I definitely find myself veering more towards the corporate world as I see all my fellow creatives struggling and think fucccckthatshit. Oh you live in a basement apartment with your sibling, sister and co-business partners and you work in a deli 3 days a week but your new album just dropped on myspace? Cool dude, Imma go over here and work on my excel skills though….

So many people I know have babies now. Literally holding an infant a week ago and thinking: “this adorable squishy baby girl is going to slam a door in your face some day.”

I wish I could go back ten years and slap some sense into my 17 year old self. Eat my free meals, get my free laundry, and remind myself that unfortunately…your parents were right. Uh! Gross.

The Salt and Vinegar Goldfish Plea

Anger

I have an extremely addictive personality. If I like something, I have to have/do/watch it every day until I hate it and I can’t stand the taste/sight/smell of it.

Addictive personalities run in my family. It’s why I tend to stay away from drugs (and pokemon).

I can have nothing or I have to have it all.

There is no in between for me.

The thing is, I know this about myself. I love a thing too hard, until I kill it, like a toddler and a kitten (gentle pats Paris…NO!)

There are two ways an addiction can go with me, I’ll either come to the end of it and accept it (like TV show series) and the addiction will die down (until I attempt a re-watch-athon) or I will get over it (hence the can’t stand it thing as mentioned above.)

There is a third element to my addictions, it is something that rarely happens but it does from time to time.

I will become insanely addicted to a food product, and then because of my geographical nomadicness, that item will not be available to me.

This has happened with many Australian products (which I must say are slowly infiltrating the North American market – like Tim Tams) and quite a few Hong Kong products (although nothing can ever quite compete with fresh Hong Kong street food).

The craving for products from overseas is too much to handle at times, but somewhere in the addiction center of my mind I realize that it was my choice to move away from such deliciousness the knowledge that the lack of a product it is self inflicted, diminishes the stranglehold somewhat.

But what if something I was addicted to suddenly became unavailable? What of the terror then?

It is that which led me to reach out to Pepperidge Farms this week and compose the following letter:

To Whom it May Concern
I’m an Australian who has been living in Toronto, Canada for almost three years. I originally came to work in a summer camp up in a small town in Ontario called Haliburton. There wasn’t much going on in Haliburton. There was a bar (where we would spend our one free evening a week getting hammered and awkwardly making out with other Councillors) an ice cream place, and a supermarket.

It was at this supermarket that I discovered your Salt and Vinegar goldfish. I would buy three packs on a day off, hoping they would last me until the next free day, but sadly admitting to myself that they would probably only last until the next morning (If I hid them well enough from the other Councillors/campers/myself).

The following summer a similar pattern ensued, although I got wise, I bulk bought them before camp so there was a seemingly never ending supply.

That was almost 2 summers ago. Now that I am in the city full time, I have been to numerous supermarkets, convenience stores…anywhere that might sell your delicious product.

And I can’t find it…anywhere!

Salt and Vinegar Goldfish were the first thing I truly loved in North America, that was better than what we had back in the land down under (very superior candy/chip selection I’m sorry to say…except for this!) The Canadians can keep their poutine and their aisles and aisles of BBQ sauce, I just need to know that there are still Salt and Vinegar Goldfish out there.

Tell me they still live, and then tell me where that magical place is so I can consume them all!

This is word for word the letter I wrote to the manufacturers of those sweetly addictive fish-shaped crackers (i’ll admit I took out the word “crappy” before poutine… Pepperidge farms is an American company and in many ways…I wanted to suck up to them… don’t tell poutine… I still need that shit).

I’m not sure if my email will reach a real live human, or if someone in customer service will think that I am in fact a lunatic, and swiftly delete my email.

But the addiction demanded that I at least ask….

USFlavorBlastedSaltVinegar

I’ll keep you posted.

 

A very real and guilty pleasure

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About a month ago I was whinging to my guy friend Conor about how fatty and gross I felt. Because I plan to spend a significant portion of the finer weather in Toronto toasting my skin to golden perfection and using my body shamelessly to score free drinks, being flabby, pale and disgusting, just isn’t going to cut it for me.

It’s great to have guy friends to complain to. So practical.

I love my female friends from around the world. I have amassed an international crew of wonder women, all of whom are brimming with support, love and flattery when you need it most (like the day before your period).

But here’s how the conversation would go with a female friend about feeling obese and shitty:

Me: Uhhhh I am so yuck. Look at that cellulite! I feel so fat!
Female Friend: What are you talking about?! You are gorgeous. That’s not fat that’s just yo’currrrvvves gurrrrl. (Just to clarify…none of my girlfriends talk like that unless washhhted)

Here’s how the convo went down with my dude-friend:

Me: Uhhhh I am so yuck. I feel so fat! (you don’t tell your dude-friends about the cellulite….some things must be kept an illusion…you see nothing…nothing…*whispers* nothing)…
Dude-Friend: Yeah? You should go on a diet, hit the gym. Download this myfitnesspal app – tracks your calories.
Me:……………………………………….

Well considering said dude-friend has dropped a shit tonne of weight and looks like he could rip apart a mountain goat in half with his arms, I’m going to go with: Yeah sure.

So I downloaded the app and realized how much shit I was eating. The app basically guilted me out of all the delicious things I love because I realized how many hours of exercise I would have to do to work off one handful of Salt and Vinegar chips. I can’t say if I’ve seen any drastic changes in weight in under a month (what the actual fuck?! I’ve been to the gym like 7 times this month and haven’t eaten a wheel of Brie everyday – why am I not a size 4!?) but it’s definitely made me make more informed choices about what I’m eating. It also stops me from randomly snacking or mindlessly eating. The app holds you accountable for every thing that goes in the front end, so you can look back at the day and ask yourself what the hell you were thinking (550 calories for a bagel with extra cream cheese?! Waaa-what? But I had like… 5 of those…)

So you’re probably wondering how this tale of calories relates to the title of this post (because you are a smart and thoughtful reader who is always asking the tough, hard hitting questions).

No I am not addicted to exercise (ahaha I WISH) and no I am not addicted to calorie counting (it’s more of an annoying part of my day, like teeth brushing or makeup-taking-off…ness).

Around the time of the App download I stumbled upon a sub-reddit (if you don’t know what reddit is then you don’t work a job where you stare mindlessly at a computer screen for much of the day) called “Fat people stories” and from there I found “Fat Logic”.

I had no idea that such a thing as “fat logic” and “thin privilege” even existed. There were all these killer new buzzwords that I wasn’t a part of. And by god if I was going to let the internet exclude me.

From what I understand, fatlogic is a mindset where people who are big justify their weight by saying things like “I have conditions that don’t allow me to lose weight” or “This is my genetics” or even things like “Men don’t like skinny bitches, they like gurrrrllllls with cuuuuurves” (oh hey its my friends again!)

Even though I would not consider myself a Thin person, I have “thin priviledge” because I can fit into movie seats, plane seats, and can usually shop at “normal” stores (although you’ll find my size way at the back of the rack because of my rack! badoomdoomtsh). There are obviously lots of tumblrs to check out that delve into these issues and this is where the fun part comes in.

Oh how catty and bitchy the internet can be! (Paris claps her hands in glee and secretly scoffs another handful of mini-eggs while side-eyeing her smart phone…does she log them or does she just pretend they never happened?!)

Because I’ve cut down significantly on the junk food I feed my gullet, I have significantly upped the junk food I feed my mind. Fuck books and learning stuff, Fat People Stories is where it’s at. For me it is a fascinating place because I’ve never lived anywhere with a high density of obese people (there’s just no room in Hong Kong!). I’ve seen people who are pretty big, but never seen anyone in real life who’s weight has severely negatively impacted their life, nor have I ever met anyone who is big who has tried to tell me that they are powerless when it comes to how they look. The bigger girls like me are like “so great that you eat salad every day…i’m personally not going to do that because I’d rather be fatter than you and eat this cheesecake and ice cream at every meal” and all the skinny girls are like “cool that you just buried your face in that pizza, I’m going to shop at Brandy Melville where one size fits most (bahahahaha) and look adorable in this shirt that says “cute” thats says “cuuuuuuulrghghgysgsbeurgh” stretched across your chest.”

I personally don’t care if you’re fat or thin. If there was a subreddit about “ThinLogic” where people told stories about people who were too thin trying to do sweet canon balls into the pool, or wear cleavagey tops – I would read those too and be totally engrossed as the writer wrote about the insanity of modern life.

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If everybody can’t love everybody because we all piss each other off… at least post it on the internet. Because I’m into it.

 

 

 

5 Things Drunk you thought were amazing ideas AKA Your Sunday Full of Remorse

5. I am totally going to do my makeup AFTER I’ve started drinking 

tumblr_m8dep1uFPM1ruvkovRemember that time you were five years old and you went into Mum’s room when she wasn’t watching you and you went to her special bag and pulled out that magical stuff she put on her lips which was in the cool thin tube? You put it all-over your face and thought: “dayuuuum I look good. Hey everyone! Come and see how good I look!”

That is you- drunkenly trying to apply make up to your face AFTER the 3 glasses of wine. Sure maybe your inhibitions were down and you got a bit creative and that is OKAY so long as you pass out before actually making it to the bar. Just remember that you like to mupload whilst you are drinking, so you’ve no one to blame for the 12 or so pictures on your facebook in the morning, except yourself.

Tell me I'm pretty?

Tell me I’m pretty?

4. I can totally drink beer after my wine and those tequila shots!

drunk-girl

 

Yeayahhhhh!! I can drink what I want and not get sick. And if I do throw up a little, that’s cool. Shake it off, rinse that mouth out and get back into it. You’re fine. Until the next day where you roll over and you can hear your brain scraping along the inside of your skull and if you smell any kind of food at all…you might quit living.

3. Drunken cooking

web video - My Drunk Kitchen

 

When you’re too poor/lazy for late night Chinese and the stomach is c-ah-raving something delicious, be sure to give in to that. You can be as messy as you want because drunk you ain’t got time for dishes and stuff! That’s a job for sober you and that girl is a cranky bi-yatch anyway. Be inventive. Never thought cereal and mashed potato was good combo? WRONG, because you just ate crushed up cornflakes and cheese sprinkled on top of that sweet sweet mash, and guess what losers? It was delicious.

2. Dealing with Clothing

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If you like to put on your makeup drunk, try choosing an outfit! Those pesky clothes hangers are getting in the way of your outfit and killing your vibe. Better to hold things up to your body and then just toss them on the bed or floor! Who can be bothered to put things away when Beyonce is blaring in the background??! Girls gotta look fabulous. There’s nothing better than waking up to a totally trashed room. Amiright?

1. Drunk Texting

Debatably less dangerous than Drink Driving, Drink texting leads to all kinds of sober-morning-after remorse, and/or pregnancy. Why don’t our smart phones come equipped with the iCondom, to protect you and potential partners from the spread of unwanted drunken text messages? Somebody call Apple!

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Wouldn’t it be cool if you could lose weight by doing the opposite of things that make you lose weight??

Don't you think I'm sexy?

So recently I went to Asia for two months, and due to a combination of stress-not-eating because of a job that really took it out of me, and the fact that I walk every where in Hong Kong, I lost a bit of weight.

How much, I couldn’t tell you. But enough that people I know and haven’t seen in a while run up to me and say “OH MY GOD YOU’VE LOST SO MUCH WEIGHT!” before they say “Hi.”

It’s not like I lost a limb. It’s not like I went from being obese to being a size zero (unless I did…and I have awful dysmorphia).

But it’s cool. It’s better than the other way around, and it’s made me appreciate my body more.

I’ve even started jogging on occasion (which I hate) and now I play a sport (beach volleyball counts okay).

But don’t get me wrong. Binge eating is my thing. The fattier the food the more delicious. Wouldn’t it be cool if the things that were fun but not good for you made you thinner?

Like:

-What if the Calorie count on the food was actually the negative calories you worked off by eating the food. Like celery but with delicious things, like Double Quarter Pounder with cheeses?

-What if lying on the couch watching movies burned heaps of calories?

-What if drinking and late night chinese-ing was actually an Olympic sport and you had to really work out to get there and it was super good for you?

-What if chocolate was like as good for you as something shitty…like bean sprouts?

-What if those TV work out products actually worked? So I could just put that thing on my stomach which sends electric pulses into my abs and makes me have a six pac?

-What if Sugar was like medicine for your body to make it super healthy and like…strong?

That’s a world I want to live in man.

As it is, I’ll eat this freaking grilled fish and steamed veggies.

fuck.

The great Cereal Dilemma

Being in my Mid-Twenties is something that just seemed to happen to me (no seriously).

Five minutes ago I was starting my first year of University and then WHAM, nope. I’m almost 25.

Where does the time go? College was over in an instant and whoops, it’s actually been two and a half years since I graduated. I’ve lived out of home for 7 years and our 10 year High School reunion is in 3….What is this madness?

Sometimes I wake up and feel like I’ve been in a coma. I look around and I’m surprised by where I am in my life and how old I actually am versus how old I actually feel.

But aren’t I a fully functioning member of society?

I do my taxes (late) and manage to dress myself daily (sometimes) and supposedly I’ve mastered enough cooking techniques to keep myself alive up until this point.

So why do I still want to play on the swings every time I walk past the park? Why am I still sniggering at the same old dumb jokes. Why don’t I care about Politics or Savings accounts or depreciating housing loanes?

Today I went to the supermarket for the first time since I got back to Canada about 5 days ago. I’ve been battling Jet-Lag and the desire to only eat pizza every single day at weird times like 1am.

I wrote a list (which I didn’t stick to) and headed into the first aisle where I was confronted by yet another challenge of Adulthood.

Shredded Wheat vs Krave Double Chocolate

Shredded Wheat & Bran vs Krave Double Chocolate (with extra chocolate inside)

The great cereal dilemma.

Now. What is girl to do?

On the one hand, Shredded Wheat & Bran is probably totally BLAND and totally healthy (I don’t know if that is a fact… it’s not like I actually checked the box) but then look at Krave! It’s got curved font and the milk is sparkling in between the delicious bites of chocolatey goodness! And it’s DOUBLE the chocolate.

Decisions, decisions. A or B?

Well… I had to go with…

Option C

The compromise

The compromise

This cereal could literally be worse for me than KRAVE. But I don’t care. It has both wheat coloured and chocolate coloured/flavoured things.

So it must be good.

For more insight into how I feel: Check out Jenna Marbles Video ‘I hate being a grownup’.

 

Things that I hate that are actually really good for me

Celery

Celery

Celery is one of those ingredients that is in everything. Oh you wanted to make a stock? Celery. Oh you’re making a delicious soup? Celery. Cooking something that doesn’t seem like it would contain Celery? Celery. When it’s hidden in things like soups and stock, fine, but don’t go putting Celery in my Chicken Cashew nut. I can see it! It’s sitting right there! And I am not a fan. My dad used to cut up celery and put peanut butter on it. I feel like he called them Peanut butter floats or something like that. And even with a cute nickname I still wasn’t buying it (but then, I’m pretty sure my favourite word was just NO as a child, straight off the bat.) It’s a shame I haven’t made friends with this vegetable that tastes and feels like eating crunchy green snails because Celery is rich in Vitamin C and contains Potassium and Folic acid. It’s also rumoured to burn more calories eating celery than the beast vegetable actually contains itself.

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile Tea

I associate the taste of Chamomile Tea with throwing up, thanks to a nasty experience in High School when I had a 24 hour puking virus and I slept at my friend Annies place and her mum offered me Chamomile tea in the morning to settle my stomach and I threw it up five minutes after I ingested it. It is a shame that I hate this because Chamomile tea seems to have antibacterial properties (probably why people think to drink it when they are sick) and also seems to help with menstrual cramps. One study found that drinking chamomile tea raised urine levels of glycine, a compound that calms muscle spasms. Researchers believe this is why chamomile tea helps menstrual cramps.

Milk

Milk

I’ll drink Chocolate milk by the gallon but I am SO not drinking plain milk. Plain milk on some kind of sugary cereal, fine. Milk in Earl Gray Tea, duh, what am I? A barbarian? Milk in recipes, yes yes of course. But not by itself. Yuck yuck yuckity yick. NOthankyouverymuch. Saying Milk is good for you is a bit like saying that cigarettes are bad for you. Everybody knows that Milk and dairy products are providers of calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and protein which are all essential for healthy bone growth and development. But what you maybe didn’t know is that studies have linked milk and dairy consumption with a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease, and other studies (who are these people studying Milk, don’t they have lives to get on with? Perfect Milk free lives?!?) suggest that regular consumption of low fat dairy products can help to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Onion

Onion

I hate this vegetable. When I was in year 12 and it was the night before my first HSC exam, my Mum took me to a steak restaurant and I ordered a steak which sounded delicious. It came topped with a huge pile of onions. I merely put my head down on the table and started to sob. I thought it was a sign my life was over and I would fail my exams. Thats how much I hate these. Which is a shame because Onions have many healthy properties. Raw onion encourages the production of good cholestoral which helps your heart and A powerful compound called quercetin in onions is known to play a significant role in preventing cancer.

Lamb

Lamb

This is pretty blasphemous to admit as an Australian, but I don’t like lamb (to be fair, growing up in Asia, I didn’t have so much access to this meat, we mostly had pork and chicken). Some people slobber over the idea of Lamb Shank or cutlets, but I’d rather not. I wouldn’t order it for myself and it’s very rare that I eat it now in my grown up life. That is not to say that I’ve had all bad experiences, but for the most part Meh. Apparently Lamb is good for health conscious people, as it is a source of ‘good fat’ in the body and has less saturated fat than other meat products. Nah. I’ll just take my fatty fat thanks.

The Schmoliday Season

I like everything about the end of the year. There are the pretty things like lights and Christmas trees, and cute presents to buy with shiny wrapping paper to conceal their goodness. There are gingerbread houses to decorate and ice rinks to skate on, there are fat red-faced men in Red-fur trimmed suits to sit on. And there are thousands upon thousands of calories to consume. Eggnog, Fruitcake, Christmas themed Macaroons and cakes and cookies (go on…its the holiday season!) anything that is delicious and fattening is in bountiful supply. And everyone is encouraging you to gorge yourself.

Eggs Memphis, Insomnia (Toronto), Eggs, Hollandaise sauce, Chipotle Home fries, pulled pork, Peameal Bacon

Eggs Memphis, Insomnia (Toronto), Eggs, Hollandaise sauce, Chipotle Home fries, pulled pork, Peameal Bacon

I have no problem with this at all.

Hey, I have stretchy pants usually reserved for that fun week also known as Shark Week, or when the painters and decorators are in, also known as “the week my girlfriend turned into a crazy person” or “HELP! HELP ME GOD!”, and I have no problem wearing them every day as my gut seems to grow and grow and I can’t see my feet any more. And i’m not really all that bothered by the fact that I can’t remember the last time I ate a vegetable (although I can guestimate- it’s recently been one tooth falling out every week or so.)

No no no. The holidays are a spend-a-rama time and I am buying into it whole heartedly despite the apparent lack of money and the fact that I’m still working retail and getting paid Canadian minimum wage.

I have a problem with the fact that Holiday season feeling doesn’t happen all year.

Okay, yes, obesity is on the rise, and I am single-handedly drawing up the curve. BUT, maybe if we had this joyous celebration of family and love and life all year, I would take my gut-stuffing in moderation and would spread it out a bit. (Not spread myself out a bit, that is already happening horizontally).

I have purchased so many delicious Canadian treats to take home to my family in Hong Kong (and to send to Australia). I could have purchased these treats at any time, but the magic of christmas imbues them with extra deliciousness.

I’m not making this up!

Even our pet hedgehog is eating his food with more gusto.

I plan to eat as much as I can and get as gross and disgusting as I can before December 31st when i’ll weep into my pillowy arms and make New Years resolutions to lose so much weight and get a paid job in an industry that doesn’t make me want to buy a nail gun and shoot it into my brain.

 

 

Bloor West Gems, Toronto

 

Sometimes when I’m not interning at Rogers TV (love it) or working a retail job to support my fat ass while I’m interning at Rogers TV (hate it) or thinking of deep and meaningful, slightly angsty blog posts to write, I actually go about my days and enjoy the cool things that Toronto has to offer.

My Toronto neighbourhood is Bloor West (specifically Bloor and Ossington) which is a pretty cool little area that has quiet suburban streets (like the one I live on) surrounded by hipstery hang-outs, random restaurants and some pretty awesome little Gems.

Here is a list of the Bloor West Toronto Gems as per my perspective.

Nazareths Ethiopian Restaurant.

At one point or another, Canuck boyfriend and I decided to try some of the local eateries in my area. After jumping on Urban Spoon, we discovered that the poky little dark restaurant/bar that always has a line out the front of it, is in fact Toronto’s best Ethiopian Restaurant. We made the usual jokes at first, like, what will they serve? Air and bark? (Awful, ignorant, etc etc I know) But turns out Ethiopian food is delicious and full of flavour. You eat with your hands and use the Injera – floppy citrusy type crepe bread – to scoop the goopy looking food into your mouth. I am struggling to compare what the food is like because it really is some of the most unique food I have ever tasted. If you go to Nazareth’s and there is at least two of you, I would recommend getting the Beef Tibs and the Vegetarian (the vegetarian is pictured on the right hand side of the green veggie divider line). If you are heading to this restaurant for dinner, GET THERE EARLY! The line up starts at 6/630 and sometimes the service is a little slow (the only drawback) so the wait can be loooooong especially if you are hungry! Oh and did I mention how cheap this place is?! The meal pictured here probably cost $22 including tax and that is PLENTY of food for two people. You could even share that between four (I have).

Bakerbots Bakery

Two Silly Aussies enjoying Ice-Cream Sammy’s, (L) Rosie (R) Me!

Possibly my favourite place in Toronto, this little Gem is one of the first places I take people who are visiting from out-of-town, or who are just unfamiliar with the area. I discovered this place when I kept seeing tonnes of smiling people exiting this little glass fronted cafe. Right beside the Ossington train station and run by the indie music loving Rosanne and with a host of characters who work in the place, including ones we have dubbed Smiley Stoner-Mcgee and Kiddie Kiddieson (a young enthusiastic kid that works there), this place has the best ice cream sandwiches in the ENTIRE world (or the bits I’ve seen of it anyway). They make the cookies and ice cream there and if you go there, you NEED to try the Burnt Toffee or Burnt Marshmallow with the Everything Cookie OR the Lemon Meringue Ice Cream with the Birthday Cookie. They have other delicious treats too like pies, macaroons and cupcakes, and they are ALL delicious, but seriously, go for the ice cream sandwiches, a half will set you back about $4 but it will be the best $4 you ever spent. I may have to go there myself this afternoon just because I made myself hungry by writing about this.

Saving Gigi

Today was actually my first experience at Saving Gigi and I am ashamed of that fact. Whenever I would tell people the area I lived in, their first response was always “Do you go to Saving Gigi ALL the time?!” and alas…my answer was no! But today I changed that! My delightful friend Kate and I went there for brunch and OH MAN! It was cool. It was cute. We felt like hipsters. It was a great brunch. I had the Brie and Pear Baguette with Toasted Walnuts and Honey, and Kate had the Big Brunch with eggs, tomatoes, potatoes (which were SO garlicky and yummy). It’s small place with LOTS of hipsters (seriously glad I wore my slouchy beanie (Canadians would call that a tuke) today, phewph, gotta fit in!) Saving Gigi also has lunch and dinnery type items and also serves booze (WIN!) and there is live music there. They have a huge record collection which they play and its just a really cool vibe. Lots of beautiful artsy type people sitting and staring out the windows typing nonchalantly on their MacBooks (note to self, take Macbook to Saving Gigi, write stuff, be cool, be beautiful, have mysterious air). But seriously, just such a cute place, and my brunch + hot chocolate was about $11.

Honest Ed’s

Okay this is straying a bit into Annex Territory, but I have to mention it in this blog post because I went there today and had my mind BLOWN. I have walked past Honest Ed’s a hundred times. It’s a bit hard to miss and I guess technically isn’t really a Gem either. But wow! That place is something else. If you need anything under the sun, chances are Honest Ed’s has it and for CHEAP! Going in there is actually a bit overwhelming, and I had only planned to stick my head in with my friend Kate, but we both ended up buying some candles, some food items, and some other random things! We also spent about half an hour in this maze of good deals and bargains.

According to my hastily done internet research, “Honest Ed’s was the first true bargain store” opened in 1948. Low prices appears to be their thing and it’s kind of tacky, game-showy “EVERYTHING MUST GO” feel is part of its charm.

Too much stuff to behold! Now I know how Aladdin felt in the cave of wonders!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kate modelling the 25cent blazer she bought.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And those are pretty much my Gems for this Sunday. Toronto is the kind of place where every corner you turn, every street you go down, there is something cute and unique to discover. I definitely have my days where I wonder what the fuck I’m doing with my life, but really and truly, I’d probably be asking myself that question whether I was in Hong Kong, Sydney, Johannesburg, London, New York, Milan, Hamburg, Jamaica….(I’m just listing random places now)… so why not do it in the quirky and fun North American city of Toronto?

I’ll end this blog post with a picture I took in one of the fruit shops we stopped at today on our walk, to buy Bananas…

 Isn’t she cute? She was “helping” all the customers.

 

Happy Sunday/Monday everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paris

 

 

 

 

People are weird

I’m no normal Norma over here what with my tendency to say F*CKTHISSH*T and randomly move countries, colorful family and neurotic tendencies, but by god there are people out there doing their best to make me look boring.

I am currently reading the second book of the Game of Thrones series and because the book weighs about eight kilos and has something like 700 pages, I have been leaving it at home rather than the hunchback inducing task of lugging it on the train with me. AND as I have no Ipod due to leaving it behind in one of my various other countries of residence, there is not much for me to do in my 20 minute journey to and from work, except stare at people.

Usually in the morning there is the usual assortment of school kids, other 9-5 types and tourists who are boringish. Most people are plugged into devices listening to music or playing angry birds, or reading their less hectically heavy books. Sometimes you’ll see people eating on the train (a novelty for me as this is expressly forbidden in Hong Kong and Sydney). Today I watched two women eating their breakfasts snacks and I was enthralled.

They sat back to back in the seats opposite me, one of them was a Caucasian Brunette woman eating a banana, behind her, a Petite Asian lady eating a tiny packet of cheese. Okay yes, it does sound less than interesting, but I had taken a lot of cold and flu medication in the night and I don’t think the effects had worn off.

Also, it wasn’t so much that they were eating on the train and therefore it was a novelty, it is the fact that these women ate their food SO WEIRDLY. The Petite Asian girl took 20 mins to eat a tiny block of packaged cheese, a block that any normal person could have finished in two bites. She contemplated the cheese from all angles, she nibbled the corner, she peeled back the plastic a little more, she nibbled a different corner.

Meanwhile, behind her, the Brunette slowly unpeeled her banana and proceeded to eat her fruit one tiny nibble at a time, sometimes staring at it chewing her tiny mouthful for a good minute. She unpeeled it a little more, pinched a bit off with her fingers, put it in her mouth, closed the banana, re-opened it, nibbled some more…

I felt like I was watching some kind of weird food-eaten-on-train performance art (that was the cold and flu meds fucking with me).

I must have looked like a slack-jawed goon staring at these women eating their food. Was it erotic? Was it a weight watching thing?

All I could think was, DO I EAT LIKE THAT??!!

The answer is no obviously because I look more like this:

Now, I’ll be honest, I haven’t spent much time thinking about the eating habits of the people I know, I know that some of my friends eat way faster than me, some eat way slower.

But I’ve never seen two people, unaware of eat other, eating so strangely on the train.

But then people are weird.

As you can see from the blog of Japanese women licking door nobs here.

It’s a strange and beautiful world we live in.

Paris