I’m in Toronto to attend the Toronto International Book Fair, on foot of a train of events that led to said Book Fair’s publicity people paying for my flights and attendance. (Thanks, Book Smugglers! Wouldn’t be here with you.) It is a bizarre and unexpected occurrence, and until the fair begins I am crashing on the truckle bed of marvelous and generous friends.
I flew with Air Canada via Heathrow, in one of the more painless long flights of my existence. The aircraft was the very latest in shiny passenger-flying, with actual headroom and windows that could be tinted five different shades of green, and they fed us. Recognisable and tasty food: dinner, a snack, and then a hot wrap thing that actually tasted of its ingredients. Plenty of soft drinks: I had some Canadian ginger ale and discovered I liked it.
I landed to sunset in Toronto, and felt as though I’d stepped onto a film set.
I find the skyline, and the layout, of North American cities surreal, when I see them in person. They are so much a part of English-language television, and so different to the cities I am used to, that visiting them feels rather like stepping out of reality and into a fictional dream where people might be uncommonly handsome and even the tenor of street noise is different. The straightness of the roads and the height of buildings messes with my sense of scale. The sky seems larger.
Surreal, like I said.
I shall conclude this I am on another continent! post by saying that Toronto has some very tasty dumplings and noodles on offer among its eateries. And an impressive amount of fallen leaves.