Although I may proclaim to be quite skilled in the art of commuting, I do tend to get lost more often than I should but I promise that it is often not my fault. I take all the necessary precautions whenever I decide to travel from the far corners of Richmond Hill. I consult Google Maps to tell me when I should leave and what buses to take, I make sure I have my handy dandy Presto card and TTC tokens on deck, I make sure my phone is charged (as garbage as the battery is), and I make sure to give myself plenty of time to spare. How do I still manage to get lost? I talk.
No matter who I am with, or where I am going I always end up engaging in a conversation with someone I don’t know. Just last week I was taking my girlfriend out to a French restaurant called ‘Batifole’ on Gerrard, when we sat across from an elderly man on the 506 streetcar. Within a minute of sitting down, we were in a conversation about the Toronto mayoral election and how the planned construction to extend the TTC was never going to happen. It may have been due to this man’s negative opinion on the TTC expansion which breaks my little York Region heart, or I might have not heard the automated TTC voice announce the stop for Degrassi, but either way we ended up missing our stop and being late for our reservation.
We ended up getting off 7 stops further than we planned, but quickly hopped on the next streetcar headed the other way to get to the restaurant and try to get a table. After a quick and light hearted scolding by the maître d we were able to sit at a table in the corner of the restaurant. Better than nothing, right? I mean, we were going to have delicious French food, share a nice bottle of wine and enjoy the ambiance of the restaurant with its intimate setting, candlelit tables and… fishnet leg lamp from A Christmas Story? What.
It turns out that this restaurant, before it started serving delicious French food, was a Chinese Restaurant used as the setting of the famous duck scene from the movie. If it hadn’t been for the man on the TTC, we would not have been sat at this table and probably wouldn’t have noticed the lamp in the corner, but now we learned a little bit of Toronto film history. More importantly we now have a fun fact to bore our friends to death with. Double win.
Even though I may preach about finding ways to make time pass by quicker on my commute, sometimes getting lost along the way makes you arrive at a greater destination. Or you could just be lost on a cold night with no more buses for another hour. It’s something like 50/50.