Sunday, February 10, 2013

anywhere but home

being back home in my toronto apartment after staying in a hotel for two weeks is familiar and happy, but also slightly weird. you mean my bed won't be magically made and my apartment cleaned while i'm away? i don't have an unlimited amount of american snacks during my work day? there won't be a concierge to greet me with "hi, miss h________" every time i come home? well, huh.

(also, i developed a deepening addiction to fage yogurt which, while widely available in the united states, is only available at one single specialty grocery store in toronto at crazy marked-up prices. bah.)

so yep, back to the usual routines in the city that i love. i mentioned it before, but it was actually funny how much i really, really missed toronto after only, like, a week and a half out of town. if anything, it just reaffirmed the fact that toronto is my spiritual center. it's a gravitational pull -- all my roads lead back to hogtown. i mean, i tried to get away when i moved to vancouver in 2007, but i ended up getting so homesick that i came back not even a year later. in the case of me and toronto, the absence really does make my heart grow fonder. my parents have never ceased to be amazed at how much i've become a toronto girl, or how still in love i am with this city over ten years after i first moved here.

(this is the view from my old cohabitational apartment, but you know, whatevs.)

i also feel like i've never quite gotten over my fomo when it comes to toronto. when i was in my early twenties, it was always such a struggle to go back to kingston even for a weekend; i was too distraught over all the awesome things i would be missing in toronto. i feel the same way now, sometimes -- like, the longer i'm away, the more possibilities i'm missing out on. hence why i tend to get homesick really fast. i guess i'm still never satisfied with what i have, where i am -- i always want the nebulous possibilities that i may be missing by not being where i belong.

though this all rings true:

or on the floor, or curled up in a chair, or... (i seem to recall falling asleep in the (empty) hotel bathtub once, but i think i was drunk)

anyway, the trip home was a bit of a trek due to the insane snowstorm that hit toronto late thursday/early friday. as my flight was due to arrive in toronto around 10 p.m. on friday, it looked like a 50-50 chance that things would be cleared out enough to let the plane land -- and sure enough, all of friday's flights to toronto island were eventually cancelled. so, one more lonely, boring night in washington (though at least i had alcohol to keep me company this time, and the hotel bartender was super great to boot) and i was finally able to board a flight home on saturday afternoon. with all the news about how chaotic pearson airport still was on saturday, it actually surprised me how quiet and effortless the process was going from dulles airport to toronto city. another point to porter! (i only ever fly porter because they give me a free glass of wine. two glasses if i cry. which i did do, once.)

oh, and i managed to get through security without having to pay duty on my, errrr, three bottles of liquor (you're only legally allowed one), thanks to a sympathetic border agent who rewarded my honesty. (i have always been too nervous to lie on my declaration card; sure enough, mr. agent told me yesterday that if they ever catch me lying, it flags in the system every time i go through. which wouldn't be good given that i mostly go to the u.s. to bring back weird booze.) the word is out on whether or not all three purchases were worth it -- the backup bottle of rumchata is great, clearly, and i definitely like the chocolate-mint liqueur (bought solely so i could make this cocktail), but i'm side-eyeing the honey-flavoured vodka. i didn't read the label so i didn't note the part about "herbal undertones", and it tastes vaguely like those honey cough lozenges (ricola?). ick.

i also brought back three jars of frontera chipotle salsa because holy shit i will eat half a jar of that stuff at a time. it is the best.

this! (eternal reminder that when it comes to mexican or indian food, i thrive on it being as hot as possible; i kept dumping fresh jalapenos and hot sauce on my chili at hard times the other week)

at the end of the day, though, it feels pretty great to have a home of your own to come back to. it did take me a bit of time, but now i absolutely love my apartment and am quite happy to have my own little space. granted, i try to stay out and about - other than working the 9 to 5, i spend most evenings in the gym and almost all my weekends walking around town running errands and just absorbing toronto - but i enjoy having a nice place to hang out late at night and get up in the morning. it's a home, and it's all mine. i definitely intend on staying put in this building for a while.

anyway, that's all for now -- just wanted to check in as part of reintegrating myself into my natural environment. back to work, crossfit, kitchen adventures, hockey nights on tv, good times with friends, and so on and so forth. allons-y!

[ music | placebo, "meds" ]