My last night in Bucharest last year, I grabbed an Ursus out of the fridge in my apartment and went for a walk. I found an old residential neighbourhood. Nothing remarkable about the architecture. Very different from home. Kind of dusty. Kind of a work in progress. Real people lived there. It was a memorable experience because it was just me and the city walking together.
Something about my new neighbourhood reminded me of that old neighbourhood in Bucharest. Not sure why. I’ll take the positive vibes from it nonetheless.
Pulled in at 6:48pm and parked in front my new address. Turned the key to silence the engine and just sat there for a moment. This is my new city. Now what?
I knocked on the door and met Frankie, my landlord. Found Megan in her room. Saw my room. Needed to pee. Almost forgot to hug her hello.
My room is smallish, but I like it. Two other people are living in the same space (we each have our own room). We have a large bathroom and a kitchen. No living room. Just as well. It is my intention to be living out amongst the city, not cooped up in my room.
The landlord is Italian. Megan said his mom occasionally cooks authentic Italian meals for the residents. The neighbourhood itself is Portuguese. In the bar last night while watching the Rider game, I heard three languages being spoken. Our server was a Saskatchewan girl from a small town outside Saskatoon.
This morning I woke up and took my time getting myself ready. Long hot shower. Unpacked my clothes and kitchen stuff. Changed Sweeney’s clock to local time. The rest of the computer stuff can wait. Frankie and I still have to meet later to sign the lease. He said I could park my car in a space behind the building until I get my street permit.
In the meantime, I’ve been walking around the neighbourhood. Found a TD Bank in a mall on Dupont and took care of some business. Went for a wander down Symington Ave and found a cafe called ‘Angel’s’. Decided this would be a good place to write.
I’m not in a hurry to hook up with my Toronto friends just yet. Me and this new city need some time alone together. I live here now. I really live here.
How ‘bout that?