Category Archives: Living in Canada

Church

I finished the blog, but I felt I had to post about this experience.

On Sunday, I somehow agreed to going to church with my landlord. I got in the car and we drove out to Scarboro.
It was a modern building and as we arrived the service had already started. We walked down a corridor and the distance I could hear a band playing.
We rounded the corner and were greeted by a large auditorium with a stage at one end, two big TV screens on the walls and various people with video cameras filming the service for the big screens.
The band were pretty good. I could get used to coming to church, it’s like going to a gig.

That, unfortunately was where the fun ended.
The pastor then starting rambling for a bit, before they brought out 5 people on stage dressed in white gowns. They were sinners and were about to get baptised.
The TV screens cut to a video of the first person. He told the congregation about how he had been lost, he didn’t know where his life was headed… but then he found Jesus blah blah blah.
pretty standard stuff, but this was when I realised that in fact the stage wasn’t just for the band, it also had a batising tank sunken into it!! The bloke walked down the steps into the water where he was greeted by two other people in gowns. They blessed him and then attempted to drown him. The band then started playing presumably to mask his cries for help.
He climbed out. Not dead and then the next victim had their video played. I was stunned. It was like nothing I had seen before. They had sound engineers, video mixers and everything.

the band then played a pretty boring song and the pastor started rambling again. He went on for over an hour. In this time he told us all that Jesus is the reason we have socks and fridges and that the whole reason cancer exists is because of Adam (of Adam and Eve fame) being a naughty boy.
What a load of bollocks.

But now it was time for communion. Yes, I thought, now it gets exciting. Bread and wine!!
Well I’ve been to church before so I expected the bread to be a crappy white tablet. It was smaller than I remember though, and square.
Then the wine came round. YUM YUM!!! The best bit of the service! It was a tiny serving in a small plastic beaker, but better than nothing.

The pastor said some prayers and then told everyone to hold their bread in the air.
I’d already eaten it…

He then said a toast and we drank the wine. Not only was it not wine, but it was very cheap fruit juice.
It was rank!!!!

What a waste of 2 hours!!

That’s all folks!!

Today marks the anniversary of me arriving in Canada. I’d like to say it was a good day, but it was thoroughly terrible.

I can’t remember a lot of what happened this day as it’s no Saturday when I writing this. But basically everything went wrong.

At night I went down to Cherry Beach to take some photos of the skyline. Unfortunately the wind was really strong so most of my photos ended up blurred.
Also, the water was choppy so I didn’t get too much reflection of the coloured lights on the lake.

So that’s it. I move to Pickering next week to start my new job, Toronto was fun so we’ll just have to see how things go out in the middle of nowhere.
I’ll possibly write posts from time to time, but I won’t be blogging every day anymore.

Welcome to Pickering:

Thanks for reading! (all 3 of you)

Here’s my favourite from the set.

To the border!

I got up fairly early and took the bus down to Niagara Falls. The bus was fairly empty and the journey wasn’t too bad at 90 minutes.

I walked from the terminal down to the Rainbow bridge. Today was the day I needed to renew my work permit. This required you to leave the country and come back in and couldn’t be done at airport for some reason.
I walked up to entrance to the bridge. You had to pay 50cents and the change machines only took $5 notes!! I looked at my loony and at the various change machines in despair.

I got change from the local duty free. I then crossed the bridge. The weather was perfect for the occasion.

Pissing it down.

I got to US customs who grilled me for a bit before letting me into America. I decided to walk along to the end of the falls and eat some sandwiches.
I hate to say it but Canada got screwed once again. The American side is much better than the Canadian side of the falls.
It was raining like a bastard!

I walked all the way to the end and ate my butties in the rain. It reminded me of when I was a child and my parents would drag me around a castle in the pouring rain.

After crossing the bridge once more I entered immigration where I had to endure a child screaming for 20minutes. I was served by a Scottish lady and then I got my papers.
I returned to the bus station and took the bus back to Toronto.

I went to Sam’s parents house to pick up my new computer and we all had chicken sandwiches and watched Jeopardy!

The glow finally fades.

I did a spot of shopping this morning for clothes. Can’t find anything to fit me though. I think everyone is small or 30inch waist because there is such small quantities on the racks. I also get confused by designer brands who are known for their women’s line of clothes producing stuff for men. I feel scared to buy it.

Around 5 I went to Tapiwas and we shot some hoops. I seem to get worse at basketball every time I go. I was fecking awful.

6pm I moved on to Jonny’s. Tonight was the last show at Glow restaurant for me. Pickering is far to far to be commuting 90mins to play a gig.
Amazingly enough they had lamb chops on the specials list. I didn’t even need to see the rest of the menu! I was on it!!

We played a pretty good gig, but the video camera ran out 4 songs from the end and missed my drum solo. 😦
The night was also marred by Sean confronting Jonny about the fact that he pockets $40 more than the rest of us each week for doing the same amount of work and that Sean should get a tenner more for his gas.
He has a fair point, but Jonny was pissed. Probably because it’s less money for him to buy weed.

Last day!

Today was my last day at work. If you hadn’t guessed already, it was of course a major electronics manufacturer named after a fruit.
I hated every minute of it and I’m so glad to be out. It’s true, they hire the coolest people, but the job really sucks.

On to bigger and better things.

I got photos with several staff members. After work I headed down to Foxly Street. They were having a party in the street.
There was around 100 people there and a band playing. People danced on the roof. I began to wonder just how many gypsy bands existed in Toronto.

Lemon Bucket (who seem to get everywhere) were headlining. However, just before they were due to start, the police showed up and forced them to turn off the amplification because they’d had a noise complaint!

They managed to convince the cops to let the play as long as they played quietly. Everyone was instructed to be quiet. After every song, the place exploded with rapturous applause, followed by a sudden hush and everyone saying, shhh, shhhh. There was a part in their set where they have a sousaphone solo followed by forcing the audience to sit on the floor. it was at this point, whilst everyone was sat down, that a car turned up wanting to get through the crowded alley.
Everyone had to squash against the fences and garages to let the vehicle through and then the police swarmed in trying to shut the event down 10 minutes before the 10pm scheduled end.
They managed to convince the police to let them carry on and they finished the set by making everyone put their arms on each others shoulders and sing a lullaby to the neighbourhood whilst swaying.
It was fecking weird. It was like I’d left one cult (work) and accidentally joined another!

Cycle power!

Been to the bank again today, they charged me sixteen friggin fifty just for a letter to say what my current balance is!!!!
Robbing bastards!!!

I’ve just written them a letter of complaint.

I’m so tired today I’m finding it difficult to function. I had about 5 ours sleep because I couldn’t stay asleep this morning.

I went to the local leather place to see what they had for maintaining leather shoes. They showed me some mink oil. $25 plus tax!!
I came home and went on the manufacturers website, it’s $10 including postage on there and no tax because it’s from Oregon!!
Bollocks to supporting local businesses!

I did a bit of packing as I’m moving out on Monday, then I went downtown to the Toronto Bicycle Music Festival.
They had 3 bicycles hooked up to a generator and people from the audience had to pedal in order for power to be supplied to the amplifiers.
A transgender person from Montreal sang some songs which occasionally cut out as the cyclists slacked off.

Afterwards a kids entertainer sang some songs whilst they packed it all up onto trailers. They then road to Liberty Village to carry on the music festival.
On the way, a bloke stood on top of one of the trailers and played music as they road along. He called it ‘surfing.’

I left the chase at the Exhibition gates and walked East to Sean’s place. He was having a barbecue.
The entire downtown area by now was gridlocked. They’d shut part of the Gardiner for roadworks.
It’s good to know that best road maintenance practises aren’t confined to England, over here it also takes 4 people to dig a hole, 1 to dig and 3 to watch…

I stumbled upon ‘canoe landing.’ How someone marooned a canoe up here so far from the lake, I will never know. Apparently it’s a place for drunks to have a piss at night and currently two people were sitting on it, so I couldn’t get a decent photo.

I took this photo though, whatever it is…

We then had a barbecue, which was yummy and Sean made 12 muffins, of which he ate 6 in the space of an hour.

He’s a photo from his apartment:

Leg it!

Brigi took me to work with her so I could take the subway home. Unfortunately there was no subway due to a service train hitting and killing a guy over night.
I took the Dufferin bus instead.

I did a few errands, opened a savings account, had a hair cut and showed my room to a few people. Think I’ve managed to get rid of it which is great, but I have to move out Monday.

In the evening I went to Boston Pizza for my leaving do because my last shift is Sunday. I was tagging along with Chris, an Irishman who is also leaving the same workplace because his work permit has expired. Unfortunately one guy (who is a twat) decided he was having his leaving do on the same night somewhere else. He’s not leaving for another 2 weeks, but some guy (who he’s going to be working with when he leaves) happened to be in town this week. There was still a good turn out though so it was good.

Brigi showed up and I gave her a deposit for one of the houses for her to drop off for me.

At the end of the night, one of the servers approached me saying that I hadn’t paid for my first drink. That was correct, someone said they’d buy it for me and for some reason it never went on their tab. I complained and she went back into the kitchen. I did a runner as I had no money left!

House Hunting

I’m soon to move out to Pickering, but I don’t have anywhere to live just yet.

Brigi picked me up after work and she drove me out to Pickering.

After a very nice toastie, we went around to a few houses.

The first was in the perfect location. It was right on Fisherman’s Bay with a beautiful view of the lake.
The house however was a dump and the room was the size of one and a half double beds. It had a double bed in it and very little else.
Plus it was $650 + $150 for bills. Rip off!

The next house is the one that I will probably move into, so I’m not going to document that publicly. It is massive though and immaculate with a huge island kitchen, garden with balcony and a shed. I need to make friends with the neighbours as they have a swimming pool!!

We then went on to a house in Major Oaks which was nice, but unfortunately unfurnished. Also, the woman who owned it seemed quite controlling. It had a big deck balcony, garden, piano and lots of over sized novelty teddy bears around the place.

The next one we didn’t bother with because the landlord sounded like a complete dick. Instead we looked at one on Amberlea road, which was nice, but was sharing with a five person Indian family. THe only thing private would be my room and I didn’t feel comfortable sharing it with a family I didn’t know.

We went back to Brigi’s and messed about for a bit. She forced me to watch Glee and I have to admit it was actually quite good.
JUST KIDDING! It was fecking awful!! It’s teh worst thing I’ve ever watched, they can’t even mime in time to the songs!!

Almost there…

Second to last shift today. Cannot wait til Sunday!!!

This morning I wrote to a few more ads for housing and then did a late shift at work.

I’ve now been out of the UK for over a year!

Still tired

Still not recovered yet, spent most of the evening looking for new houses for me to move into.

A friend of Baldo’s came to look at my room. I think she’s worried about the house being cold in winter though.