The sky was dark when the Greyhound bus pulled into Toronto at around 6 a.m. But with lights peeping out of the windows of tall buildings, there was something comforting about finally arriving.
I was instantly reminded of New York and Downtown Los Angeles.
Well, a bigger Downtown Los Angeles. I was definitely in a more familiar setting than I was in Winnipeg.
I waited several minutes for the sun to rise before walking out of the station. In killing time, I also watched some belongings for people, who brought me a cup of Tim Hortons coffee in return.
I bought a day pass and walked a couple of blocks to take a bus to my next hostel, the Canadiana.
After having stayed in such a communal setting for a little more than a week in Winnipeg, I was surprisingly more sensitive to how isolated everyone was around me. On my way to the hostel, the way so many people walked around with earbuds plugged in, the way they kept to themselves, and the way so many people’s eyes were glued to their phone screens stood out to me. It was almost as if it were the first time I’d been in such surroundings.
Check in wasn’t until 2 p.m. Or maybe it was 3 p.m. So the girl at the front desk let me store my belongings in the luggage room downstairs. She said I didn’t have to leave just yet: I could eat breakfast or even take a shower.
Take a shower.
Yes. That’s something I hadn’t done in the last 30+ hours.
Wait. Was it that obvious that I hadn’t showered? Did I look haggard and smell funky? Is that why she said I could take a shower?
Oh well. Whatever her reason was, those possibilities making me self conscious disappeared in a jiffy. I desperately needed to freshen up.
I wonder how many people have sat on those bus seats and not showered…
After cleaning up, I was ready to explore the city!
My first stop was Tim Horton’s, since it seems to be ubiquitous in Canada, as Starbucks is in America.
Then I went to The Beaches and did some walking around: