Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A few observations

We have now come to the end of our first month in Toronto and I have noticed a few difference and similarities to both Bangalore and Minnesota.

Unlike in Minnesota, where to make conversation people talk about the weather, here people ask you how much are you paying for your house/ Do you like it? Is it new?  They are also VERY into politics, particularly American politics. I feel very under educated and need to start boning up on our nightly news!

Similar to Bangalore people do not know how to drive, really. They have a high occupancy lane here, HOV, or Sane lane as many know these lane by, however it is the right hand lane! Seriously and there are to be 3 plus people in the vehicle, not 2, and people just drive in the lane anyway " pretending" to have to make a right hand turn. Also similar to Bangalore the vehicle do not come equipped with turn signals.

Similar to Minnesota the cable/Internet/cell phone customer service is non-existent. For instance we have Rogers as our provider and when we set up the account they used Tom's Middle name as his first name so the account is listed as Francis Murphy. When we tried to get some "issues" resolved they would not help me because the name on the account did not match the name I gave them citing " It would be irresponsible for me to talk to you about an account which such a name discrepancy"?

The kids have finally started to meet some of our neighbors. Unlike both Minnesota and Bangalore it seems that once school is over ( June 29th) most Torontotonians hit the road for extended summer vacations and return home late in July, which just so happens to correspond when we are heading back home for a 10 vacation, planning! We had a couple of boys over yesterday, Marco and AJ, and Kay was so excited she decided to teach them how to make pretzels, I was unaware she even knew herself! Apparently she has been watching some show and practicing on her EZ bake ovens in her room, assuming that's not a fire hazard. Let's just say we have been here for a month and somehow have gone through 5 pounds of flour? In her spare time she has also figured out home to make homemade icecream ( see below). As Carl says "she has the strongest survival gene I've ever seen". In contrast, Jimmy asked us the otehr day where we keep the forks. Really..... how sad is that?!

Toronto is an over the top diverse city that offers an never ending list of fun and adventurous things to do. We have been enjoying the city, the differences and the similarities! The subway station is about 4 blocks from our house and for the past 2 Saturday's we have biked up to the station, got on board the subway and headed out to explore. We went to the Historic Toronto Island, which is a 15 minute Ferry Boat ride from the mainland and then swam, saw the Festival of India ( go figure) and then out to dinner. Tom was soooo looking forward to trying the house speciality, a waffle chicken sandwich, but as luck would have it they ran out! (like Bangalore:))

This past weekend we took the subway to meet some one of Tracy's co-workers who was visiting as well as Tracy's boss, his wife and their two kids. The restaurant we met them at is an incredible Japanese place and the food was crazy good. The kids had a blast as did the adults, then back on the subway home. We are going to need to get some lights for our bikes as the kids (and us) are really liking this new routine! Sunday was also great as we decided to have a lazy day and the kids stayed in their PJ's for the whole day. Then, to top it off ,we have the Friendly Greek, which is right up the street, deliver our dinner, too good!

We are getting ready for our trip back to Korean Culture Camp to get Nikki, see some family and friends and the kids are beside themselves...
More to come