I’ve been back in Vancouver since last night, but wanted to catch you up on my last couple days in Toronto . . .
We decided to continue to play ‘Tourist in our Town’ and on Sunday drove through over an hour of CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) and Air Show traffic to visit Historic Fork York, right smack dab in the middle of downtown TO. At $7.62 it was our cheapest touristy option, but the last day of summer made it FREE! Add in free parking, and you have a pretty great afternoon. The Fort is relatively small, and really only takes about an hour to look around.
We had a bit of time to kill before picking up Kara for my party that night, so it was off to Chinatown to get coconut buns. We drove through and managed to find parking on a side street, then booked it back to the ‘Chinese Bakery’ we had seen a few blocks back. The pork buns and (mystery) meat dumplings we got in addition to the coconut buns made a fantastic afternoon snack. One of the benefits of walking up one side of a street like West Dundas and back along the other side are innumerable, but one delicious benefit will be described here: Meat on a Stick.
Perhaps more commonly known as a kebab, shish kebab, souvlaki, skewer, brochette, satay . . . meat on a stick is a delicacy that is found all over this wide world, and is most often delicious, cheap, and prepared by hand right in front of your very eyes. I spied this particular meat on a stick in the hands of some patrons of Chinatown, and immediately decided that I wanted, no, needed to have one. I told Jaclyn we would not stop looking, nor would we go pick up Kara, until I did. Luckily, the kebab shop, run by an ageing Asian man, was a mere 40 feet from where I first laid eyes on this delicacy. Two small lamb kebabs for $1 = yes please! There was a couple ahead of us who had already ordered theirs, so we got to see the process twice:
Step 1: Place meat on a stick on the grill.
Step 2: Carefully check and turn meat on a stick until nicely seared and golden.
Step 3: Spray meat on a stick with some unnamed and unidentifiable liquid (though I’m thinking it was lime juice).
Step 4: Sprinkle meat on a stick with loads of ground cumin.
Step 5: Ask incredibly un-Asian customers: “Spicy?” Answer: “Yes, please!”
Step 6: Sprinkle meat on a stick with loads of slightly unidentifiable red spice, perhaps paprika, or a mix of paprika and red chili or red pepper.
Step 7: Replace meat on a stick on grill.
Step 8: Sprinkle meat on a stick with salt, on both sides.
Step 9: After again carefully checking and turning meat to ensure the proper doneness, hand to extremely grateful and eager customers.
Step 10: EAT!!!!
The meat on a stick was tender, juicy, spicy, melt in your mouth goodness. Scrumptious. I would like 10 more, everyday, until I die. Unfortunately, this was not to be, so it was onward to get Kara, and back to Brampton to the ‘Meet my Sister!’ party that Jaclyn was throwing for me. Her friends met me, I met her friends, and now that we all know each other, future stories will be much easier to understand.
Yesterday morning we relaxed and I packed and repacked all my stuff into every nook and cranny of my backpack. Buying a new small laptop on vacation means that you still need to lug back your old big laptop. Everything fit, though, and we headed into Toronto one last time to see the Blue Jays face the Texas Rangers at the Rogers Centre.
I love baseball. I just love everything about it. It is hands down my favourite sport, possibly because I know and understand all the rules and have played a version of it for over 20 years. Nevertheless, any chance I get to watch a game, I’m in. The Jays beat the Rangers and helped themselves to a few home runs, which seemed to fly right as us before landing a section or two over from our left field seats.
After the game we headed back to Jaclyn’s to finish packing and eat dinner. Cue the cry fest. Since I was born, I haven’t spent more than about 3 1/2 months apart from my sister. As of yesterday, I won’t see her in person for at least a year and a half. I’ve spent that much time away from friends, even other family members, but never her. Right now I’m not too sad, still overly excited at the prospect of finally being able to accomplish a dream I’ve been working on for the last 4 years. However, I’m sure at some point that will change; not necessarily next week or next month, or even for good, but there are some things that you can only tell a sister, that only a sister would understand, that only a sister could possibly finish the sentence of. As the sales associate at a store we recently went to put it: “You’re having two completely different conversations at the same time, but you’re still finishing each other’s sentences and neither of you is confused!”
So, until we are reunited, we will have to either find someone else to finish our sentences (not likely), or finish them for each other over Skype (more likely), or just text message each other until our thumbs fall off (most likely). Whatever the mode, our connection “like gold to airy thinness beat” will remain across space and time zones, until it’s time, once again, to help my sister move.