Little Boy in the Big City – Toronto, ON
So this is where I went yesterday evening. My journey starts off with a peaceful day in my quaint little city. The prior week, my ex and I had made plans to have dinner together, after not having seen each other for a year or two. She lives quite a busy lifestyle, so it’s hard for us to get together. Also, there have been many barriers in the past and it has always been tough for us to communicate after we had broken up. Undoubtedly, both of us has had to put an amazing amount of effort in to solidify our footing. I have of course mentioned casually to her to meet up and maybe do something small, have a lunch or a dinner – but to no avail. Finally as time progressed, she took the initiative to ask me to meet up for dinner. I was ecstatic as I haven’t seen her for quite a while.
For those who follow my blog, you’ll know that we got into a minor “argument” with trying to get things going for us, more importantly, I’m one of the type who don’t like to explore outside of my comfort zone. With that being said, I’ve relied on my vehicle to transport me everywhere, and taking public transport has been long ago. I had wanted to meet her half way, in Mississauga, although she would not be able to make it with time to spare for dinner. So, I sucked it up and went out to Toronto. Suffice to say, it was a great experience. I told her how prestigious it was for me to visit her there, because I don’t even go out to Toronto for my dear cousin (whops, I’ll have to do that, LOL), let alone an ex-girlfriend.
I was supposed to take the 4:42PM train towards Toronto and really, I’d a complete newb-cake when it comes to this stuff. I left my house early because I didn’t know whether the parking lot there would be full. I left my house at 3:30 – which was beyond early (but was pressured by my mom who fretted – duh!) and arrived at 3:50 and even had parked by then. I bought my ticket and I wanted to die having to wait another 50 minutes before I could get on the train. The particular station I started at – let’s just say, is not exactly “big” and except for a newsstand, there was nothing more to peruse. I had overheard another individual talking to his friend about catching the “4:10 train” and my ears perked up immediately. Yes yes, eavesdropping is bad, but the station is not exactly big and you can crisply hear every conversation.
I had checked my ticket and rather than having a definitive time on it, it said it could “be used within 4 hours of issuance” which I understood as that I could take any train within 4 hours of the timestamp on my ticket which was heading to the allotted location I paid for – so there we go, I found an earlier train! The ride is 1 hour and so I proceeded to hop on the earlier train designated to arrive at 5:10PM. My friend (henceforth known as “L”) agreed to meet up at 5:50-6PM at Union Station in Downtown Toronto, therefore, I’d be arriving at least 40 minutes earlier – however, I knew that being a bigger station, there was bound to be more things to look at than the small station where I departed from.
One thing I’ll tell you that I learned, is try to find a seat facing the direction of travel! It sucks when the train is moving one way and you’re facing backwards because it makes you sick. I’m not particular to motion sickness, but it wasn’t as “comfortable”. The train seating was relaxed, after all, people live in small cities and work in big cities, so traveling towards the big city at the end of the day is irregular. I noticed keenly that random people would strike conversations on the train, probably to kill time. Some where “regulars” and some weren’t, but were comfortably engaged in conversations ranging from kids, family life to their work. Not being someone accustomed to riding on a train, I would only say a few words and smile/facial reaction to things said.
Part way through the train ride as we approached a more Asian-influenced area, several Asian girls boarded the cart. I avoided looking at them, only because I find it to be a rude gesture to stare someone down. Also, the last thing I want to look like is one of those train-perverts. Everyone took their seats and the two Asian girls sat in the seat opposite of me. I looked up and smiled, just to acknowledge their presence, but not offend them. Part way to the next station, they struck up a conversation with me. I must say, at first, it was weird to talk to someone just because you happened to be sitting across from them – but it’s quite a good time-killer. They were your typical modern, fashionable Asian girls. They seem to have an understanding of Cantonese, but still spoke in non-accented English. It’s rather weird how comfortable you can become talking to random people on the train. Soon enough, I arrived at the station. I thanked them for the conversation and said my goodbyes. They asked me if I ride the train regularly (probably since they’ve never seen me or I looked less-than-knowledgeable about the train-system) and which I responded that this was, “my second time ever.”
As I got off the train and checked my clock, it was right-on-schedule, with at least 40 minutes to spare. I messaged L to let her know I arrived and that I’d be wandering around Union station. The last time I went there on the train was also to meet up with her, after we broke up. I never got time to “explore” the area, so decided this was a great opportunity. The place was bustling – people booting it for their trains, trying to connect their transfer, business people trying to talk on the phone over seas of loud voices and people pushing/shoving their way through. I got shoved a few times and responded with less-than-admirable force back, lol. I’m one of those people who do not like bumping into people or at least will apologize when it happens. Most of these rushing people didn’t… and trust me, when they pushed, I pushed even harder. I know you should never “fight fire with fire” – but I dislike being treated rudely and if some people feel that is ok, then I shall return the favour.
The funniest thing that happened in the station, was that it was almost a scene from a cliché Hong Kong TVB drama, where two people “don’t have fate” – lol. We waited for each other, only to realize we had both been sitting there the whole time.
I was worried that she was not going to come (although I could not imagine that would be the case – but the thought passed my mind), so I got up off my seat to see her impatiently sitting there too and checking her phone, lol. Oh god, she was gorgeous, my eyes wanted to explode – haha… she’s just as beautiful, if not more, than the last time I’ve seen her!
The conversation started immediately and as we walked our way out of Union, it was pretty non-stop, lol. We really did take full advantage of the night, we enjoyed (err… well I did, dunno about her, LOL) the evening and it was spectactular. We talked about so many things and I really can’t even recall some of it due to (she likes to call me ‘old’ all the time) my poor short-term memory… ask me 2 years from now and I’ll remember every word 😀 We ate at Hot House Cafe on Church St. and for those who know Toronto, Church street is well-known for being the larger community of gays and lesbians. Maybe it was where we were, but I sure as hell didn’t identify most of the people passing by as falling into these orientations explicitly. They did not have your stereotypical “sissy boy attitude” or “butch girl” demeanor one would imagine to expect in on Church St. I had told L I wanted to go to Canyon Creek but I decided against it only because I really want to take my girlfriend there when we visit Niagara Falls or something – and she was fully understanding of that!
The weather was amazing so we took a patio seat. The area was away from the more “hustle-and-bustle” area of the city so it was quieter (although you could hear the sirens, large trucks and stuff coming through) and we could easily carry out a private conversation (private, as in not that we had anything to hide, but more that it didn’t feel like people could hear everything within earshot) without screaming over the noise. This has been by far, the most engaging time we’ve had good quality conversations since our breakup. To be honest, there were a lot of obstacles for us as I really didn’t have the heart at that time to listen to her talk about her relationship life with “her new boyfriend.” I hated the guy and moreover, I was jealous that he had what I didn’t had to keep her. Let it be known, that L is one hell of an amazing girl, even though we’re not together anymore. We used to tip-toe around each other, topics that I couldn’t touch on, and topics she wouldn’t touch on, because we did not want to anger each other. This time, we actively shared discussions on our relationships comfortably. She helped me understand things too from a female perspective, especially because I’m encountered with so much resistance from my girlfriend at the moment. Having L being there to reassure me and our relationship as a whole, really adds value, especially because she is an ex-girlfriend – making those words just that much more special.
One of the funny things she commented on the fact she noticed I seem to keep close contacts with my ex’s and she wondered whether my girlfriend had problems with that. I’m a logical person, so I approached this question with logic. I said essentially, we date people because they’re good people, so even though they might not work out as a couple, beneath it all, they’re still good individuals – therefore, there’s nothing awkward about wanting to carry-forth a friendship with them. Maybe it makes sense to me but not to other people, but really, think about it! Suffice to say, this doesn’t work for situations where it involves a case of bad breakup like infidelity or something like that. I said that if my girlfriend did have a problem with it, I’d certainly want her to tell me in which I’d for sure keep more distant between my ex’s and I. Nevertheless, there is usually no threat about ex’s – after all, they’re a “past” and “before” so there really isn’t much of a concern. Had we been a good couple, we would’ve stayed together!
No doubt if my girlfriend did have a problem with this, I would respect her opinion. In fact, L and I can comfortable “talk about our past” in good-nature now and oddly enough, she seems more open, receptive and comfortable with me now since she knows I’m committed to another girl. It’s funny isn’t it, how girls are less defensive when they know the guy who previously liked them is already with someone? LOL. I told her the night before as a joke that I’d meet her with “candy and flowers” and she said that since I’m with someone now, she would’ve just seen that as a sign of friendship and good graces – not that I did bring that anyways, but it was a good laugh for the both of us just to see each others reaction 😛
We talked for 4 hours, gosh that was long, but felt only like moments. I had a total of 6 cups of coffee, it was nuts, lol. We were totally going to be wired for the rest of the night and luckily for her, she had projects to complete anyways so being alert for the rest of the night would’ve worked out great for her. I don’t believe she tried to pay… she does this every time, lol. Worse off, she insisted to pay for her portion in which I rolled my eyes and held firmly to the bill, haha. I wouldn’t even let her see it until I paid for it. What kind of self-respecting guy would expect/let a lady pay? MY GOD – haha! It’s nice that waiters/waitresses know to give the guy the bill, so he did get extra tip (and for friendly service of course). She walked me back to Union station, which was quite awkward only because I’m usually the one accompanying girls home – LOL – it was weird for me to be the one “being walked back” haha. I really didn’t want the evening to end, but of course it had to. We could truly be ourselves and be genuine with each other – which we haven’t been for a long time.
Being foreign to taking the train, I was obsessed with finding out which platform I’m supposed to and make sure I don’t miss it (since the trains were 1 hour apart, ouch!) or take the wrong one. Well, as you can see now, I’m home, alive LOL, so I must’ve taken the right one, haha. But as the platform number showed up on the digital board, she escorted me all the way before the “paid area” (where only those who have paid for fare may enter) before we departed.
Last time, she freely hugged, but this time, she froze for a moment. It was a really cute moment (it’d make you go “awwww” for sure, haha), but she quietly asked, “Do you think it would be ok to hug you? I’m not sure if your girlfriend would mind.” — it was very thoughtful of her to consider something like that. Not knowing how long it would be before I’d see her again, I opened my arms to give her a hug. It was nice, although I could tell she definitely left reservation in it, probably as not to ‘cross the line’ in worry that if my girlfriend found out, she’d be angry. I don’t hide things like this from bebe anyways and it’s not unusual for a male and female friend to embrace each other in an expression of friendship. There’s a distinct difference between a “I’m glad we’re friends“-hug and a “I want you forever“-hug, lol. I will really miss the special bond that L and I once had, but we have created a new bond, one where although we will not live our life together, we will definitely cherish what we’ve been through and future opportunities to chat over a hot coffee and a slice of cake. We can share with each other, sometimes burdens of our mind and exchange ideas on things in life.
As I got on the train, I recollect my composure and thoughts to think – what blessings I have been graced with to have at one point, dated such a wonderful girl. No doubt, we both believe we will make amazing girlfriends/boyfriends, wife/husband – maybe not for each other, but for the two special someone in our life. We have both found who we believe to be someone who is worth our love, commitment, efforts and faithfulness. I believe we both, wish the best for each other, whether in health, finances or relationship. We smiled, when I said, that I hope our kids will one day together, play with each other – while the parents smile upon them knowing that we have both walked the same path at one point, went our separate ways, but reunite through the powers of friendship and compassion.
Posted on June 16, 2010, in Personal, Thumbs Up Reads and tagged Asian, Blog, Canada, Church St., Friends, Friendship, Girlfriend, Girls, GO Train, Hot House Cafe, Life, Musings, My Life, Ontario, Personal, Relationship, Thoughts, Toronto, Train, Union Station. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.