Toronto 2010 Night 2

I check Google Maps, and it tells me the best way to get back to my hotel from Lovegety is to take the Viva Pink to “Unionville station” and then take something it calls the “Stouffville Bus-train service”. This is totally different from the way I took getting here, but I figure Google knows Toronto better than I do, so I follow it’s directions.

Getting to Unionville station isn’t a problem (except when I got on the bus, there was some retarded guy in the front, and he tried to stop me from getting on the bus and get punching me in the shoulder as I tried to walk past him). Once I got there, I was stumped.

I saw some train tracks, it was devoid of human and machine, so I wasn’t sure just standing there and waiting for the train to come was such a good idea. I found some “GO” employee, and given how helpful they were last time, I decided to ask them for directions. I showed them the map, and she said “Oh, you want to go to Stouffville? Just buy a ticket from the machine in front, select Stouffville as your destination, and wait for the train. When it arrives, the train will be going that way.”

So I buy a ticket, and sit on the bench and wait for a bit. GMaps said the train would arrive around 7:40, and it was 7:33. So I listen to a couple of songs. I checlk the time, and it’s 7:45 now, and no train. So I check GMaps again, and now it says the next train will be at 8:45. What the fuck. I get pretty pissed and I tweet about it, but figure there’s not much I can do, so I wait some more, listening to some more music.

Around 8:40, I start to get nervous, because I don’t hear or see any activity on the train tracks, and no one else is coming to wait for the train. Plus that “Oh, you want to go to Stouffville?” comment the Go employee mentioned didn’t sound quite right. So I’m reading the various signs. There’s a “schedule” posted up, but I couldn’t make heads or tails of it. I see that there’s two tables, one for weekdays and one for weekends, but columns are labelled by location names (and none of them seem to say “Unionville”, which is what I believe my current location is called) and the rows are labelled with 5 digit numbers (perhaps IDs of trains?) but when I look at my ticket, I can’t find any 5 digit numbers on it.

I go back to the ticket machine and I’m comparing it’s highly schematic map with my own. I can’t find “Stouffville” on my map, nor any of the other locations, so I can’t even tell if “Stouffville” is heading in the right direction, or if I’m going to end up further away from my hotel. Just then, a girl walks up to me and asks me if I’m using the machine.

I tell her to go ahead, and then I realize I could ask her for help. I do, and she tells me to buy the ticket to “Union” (which distinct from “Unionville”, apparently), so I do. I start heading back to the train tracks, but then turn back to her and ask “Do you know where I have to wait for the train?” She tells me it’s actually a bus, and that she’s going to same way. “Oh, I guess I’ll just follow you then,” I say, but I get the impression she got creeped out when I said that.

Regardless, I follow her to the bus stop, during which she gets a call on her cell, and so I try to keep my distance so as not to appear like I’m eavesdropping. The bus arrives shortly afterwards, and we both get on, but I don’t sit next to her. Merely near to her.

I’m rehearsing in my mind the perfect thing to say to her. Something along the lines of “You really saved me back there. This other girl told me to buy a ticket to Stouffvile. I’m from Montreal. I want to thank you. Can I buy you dinner? No, I insist.” or something along those lines, but the perfect time never comes up, and before I realize it, I’m off the bus, and so is she, and she’s quickly walking away from me.

Tonight was supposed to be some sort of “open jam” night. I’m going through my itinerary and I see “Reservoir Lounge” which sounds familiar, so I look up its address and head there. When I get there, it’s kind of deserted, so I ask the waitress if they’re closing, and she says no, they’re just opening. I ask about the open jam night, and she says there isn’t one. I ask her if it’s sometime this week, and she says no. I told her I saw a flyer about something like this, so she goes to check with her boss and tells me no. There’s a band, though, and they start playing around 9:45, so I decide to take a seat anyway, and order the 4 cheese pizza.

While at my seat, I’m searching around on my iPhone for where I saw the mention of the open jam, when my batteries die. All I get is that the place I was thinking of is “Great Hall” not “Reservoir Lounge”, but I don’t manager to get an address in time.

The band is very skilled, and I recorded it, but again when I review the recording, they sound like shit. There’s nothing out of tune (they’re professionals this time), but I guess the bass really makes a huge difference. I guess my camera is just not suited for recording musical performances.

I didn’t like the pizza. When the waitress asks me about it, I tell her “The blue cheese is too strong for me… but it’s my fault, right? ‘Cause I mean it said ‘blue cheese’ on the menu…”

After their third song, I head out. They’re good, but it’s not quite the genre of jazz that I like. I head back to the hotel, keeping an eye out for a building with the words “Great Hall” plastered on it somewhere, but to no avail.

Along the way, I’m accosted by a couple of bums, one of which whom I witness literally run up to a stranger, grab him into a bear hug and lift him and twirl him. I can’t imagine how terrorized that guy must have been. That same bum then ran up to me and got into a fighting stance, doing some playful jabs. As I tried to walk pass, he grabbed my ass.

The other bum was bugging me for food, so I gave her the 4 cheese pizza I was planning on throwing away when I got to my hotel room.

When I get to my hotel, I see these 2 teenage thugs sitting just outside the hotel. I walk in and hit the elevator button. It’s a glass elevator, visible from outside, and just when the elevator arrives, the two thugs come into the hotel with me and step into the elevator.

I was originally intending to swipe my security card and get directly to the 4th floor to my room, but because of these guys, I put my wallet back in my pocket and hit the 3rd floor where the lobby is. I get out here, and so do they, and I head to the front desk, and I made some idle request, asking for a plastic fork. They give me one, and then I ask them where the stairs are to the 4th floor. They do a security check on me (my name and roomnumber) and tell me I can go through the stairs. I head there, nothing that the thugs are just idling around in the lobby now. Crisis averted?

When I get to my room, I quickly look up where the “Great Hall” is and I find out it’s on the opposite side of my hotel from where Reservoir Lounge is. I send the Great Hall an e-mail saying I missed their open jam and was wondering when the next one would be, but I’m not too optimistic about getting another chance at this, as I suspect it’s not more often than once a week, and I’m leaving before next Monday.

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