Well. It’s great to be underway. I’d like to point out from the start that I’m writing this on an Archos 605 Wifi. It’s a great device and I’d heartily recommend it to anyone, but it’s not quite the same as having a real keyboard, despite the touchscreen being (iPhone-beating) excellent.
I’m writing this from the bar of Global Village Backpackers hostel, a funky little hostel in downtown Toronto. I got here late last night after my uber-cheap Globespan flight to Hamilton. Good job I had.booked the cheap-as-chips shuttle, considering it’s some 50 miles out of Toronto. I’d also.forgotten how much fun it is.to be.on a.flight with Americans - that cheering when the computer lands the plane still makes me laugh.
The.hostel is like any other - cheap, basic and full of people with nothing better to do with their time. Like me. The bar is a boon though and is clean and friendly, despite the Facebook-esque pirate party that’s on tonight. And despite my 6 bed mixed dorm actually being a 10 bed male dorm (thank God for ear plugs and open windows), it’s good enough to keep the rain off.
Toronto is a pleasant city. It feels like a mishmash of a few I’ve seen - Melbourne, probably because of the trams and also.San Francisco, possibly because of the homeless people. It’s obvious why Canadians are proud of the CN Tower - despite no longer being the World’s tallest structure, it still dominates Toronto’s skyline and is nonetheless an impressive sight. Toronto is full of “Tim Horton’s” - a kind of Canadian Wimpy - that must outnumber Starbuck’s 3:1. Needless to say, I have been in neither*.
If you’re looking for a Tuesday night out that isn’t a pirate party, then head for Jeff Healey’s Roadhouse on Blue Jays Way. Although not very busy that particular night, the quality of the Open Mic’rs was excellent, supported by an awesome house band. The music was mainly old-skool rock, like Led Zep and Billy Idol. Michael White did a great job as compere, regaling us with tales of jamming with Van Halen. Look the guy up, he’s a bona fide legend, and he and his band are living the life depicted by most of Jack Black’s rock star characters. And kudos to the 14 year old on electric guitar - he could really wail.
The hostel is comprised mainly of NZ, Aus and West Europeans, many of whom have been travelling in North America and Canada for years. If the beer was a bit cheaper, I might easily be persuaded to change my plans and stay here longer.
- Edit: Dammit. It was late and I was hungry, and TH’s chicken salad wrap was surprisingly good. Might as well go to SB’s tomorrow and get it over with.