Thursday, June 29, 2017

Two homes

Returning to Toronto what feels like months ago, but what was really just Monday afternoon, I wasn't sure what to expect. I only vaguely remembered what the apartment I'd been very enthusiastic about renting would be like. And the city itself had felt, while I was in New York, like a past life. One I was feeling sort of nostalgic for, so it's good to be back. New York and Toronto are both home. Temporarily in the literal sense of the two rents (not indefinitely, but for the moment, yes), but both also feel like home. I don't know if anywhere else I've lived ever did. Princeton, maybe, but only after I learned to drive. Maybe.

A diary of my re-emigration follows:

I couldn't sleep Sunday night because omg moving, so Monday's a blur. I remember purchasing and consuming some English muffins. That's very nearly it, which leaves several hours unaccounted for. Unpacking? But without a dresser to unpack into? Who knows.

Tuesday had more of an agenda, anchored by a much-anticipated IKEA delivery. We also went to Service Canada, which is like the DMV, except there's a screen playing that tells you, in English and French, that if you travel with your exotic parrot, this may pose bureaucratic obstacles. I had not anticipated a wait, nor brought reading material, nor set up internet on my phone, because who knows, so I'm now deeply acquainted with French instructions for not falling victim to phishing, or in Canadian French, hameçonnage. I think Tuesday was also the schleptastic visit to Bed Bath and Beyond, for, among other (unwieldy) things, a coffee maker still very much in the box. My arms are still recovering.

Yesterday, meanwhile, brought the not dissimilar experience of Service Ontario, which was so efficient that I was able to make it to a morning haircut appointment on time, which addressed a very fried ombré situation. While it was not the first priority, the haircut was about as urgent as anything of that nature ever can be. That plus painted nails and I feel fabulous. While I don't doubt that I'd benefit as much as the next person from the remarkable array of cosmetic enhancements on offer in downtown Toronto, I have the tremendous ~privilege~ of such a disheveled starting point that I can undergo beauty treatments so tame that an 8-year-old could undergo them without the NYT Style section writing about it, and still appear to have had A Makeover.

And boy did the makeover continue! Today I was interviewed about The Perils of "Privilege" for Canadian television, which was a lot of fun. While the morning began with a not especially glamorous bus ride, I was soon in a makeup artist's chair, for what I think was my first time ever. I think I now know how I should have been doing my makeup all along? (I should be wearing taupe eyeliner, not jet-black, I'm learning, some 15 years later than I should have.) More on the interview itself once it airs later this summer!

Oh, and somewhere in that mix, we set up a bunch of IKEA furniture. We must have done this, given that I'm typing from the small part of this enormous Ektorp that a miniature poodle has decided I should be allowed access to.

It feels good, so good, to be back. I'm not sure how much of the tremendous sense of relief I feel at this precise moment - and have, since arriving - has to do with knowing that I'm now a permanent resident of a country with universal health care and Trudeau rather than Trump, and how much is that I'm pleased to be, at last, staying put for the foreseeable future. I am preferring Toronto to New York more dramatically than I'd have guessed, but this may have less to do with one city versus the other than with my if I may say so myself brilliant idea to choose an apartment building largely on the basis of proximity to a supermarket. I may never get off this couch, now that the poodle has migrated back to her own bed, but if I do, it will almost certainly be grocery- or taupe-eyeliner-related.

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