30 days more….
The countdown has begun…
Although my trip is over and I am not in Canada anymore, I keep this blog because this blog is about me wherever I am, wherever I go or wherever I live. This blog is a part of Me. Canada was the start up... But now, I just go on...
Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina, Toronto is not the capital of Canada but it is the most important city of the country financially speaking. Buenos Aires is a financial city as well. Buenos Aires City and Toronto have almost the same population: 3 million people. However, if we take into consideration the surrounded area, there are 5 million in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), while there are 11 million in the “Conurbano Bonaerense” (GBA Greater Buenos Aires). That makes us a little more overcrowded.
It is said that Toronto is the most multicultural city of the world, no doubt about that. However, Buenos Aires is a multicultural city too. While Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Hindus and Arabs choose Toronto as a city to settle down; most people from Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay choose Argentina to immigrate. If you walk in the street you can hear many different languages in Toronto. In Buenos Aires you are able to hear the same language (Spanish) but with many different accents, mine (the santiaguenio) included.
Toronto has the “CN Tower” as a symbol of the city; Buenos Aires has “El Obelisco”. However, I can’t understand why we can’t go up to the top of that building. The view from the CN Tower is amazing.
Toronto has the largest street in the world: “Yonge Street”. Buenos Aires has the widest one: “9 de Julio Avenue”. However, if we take into account the location and importance of the streets, “Yonge Street” could be compare to “Corrientes Avenue”. Both of them drive you directly to downtown and they have a very nice sightseeing to look and walk. While in the middle of Corrientes Av, we have our “Abasto Mall”, in the southbound of Yonge Street is located the “Eaton Center”, the biggest mall in Toronto. It is huge, believe me. Perhaps it is two o three times our “Abasto”
Buenos Aires the same as Toronto have subway system. While in Buenos Aires the main company is called METROVIAS, in Toronto it is called TTC (Toronto Transit Comission). There are three main differences between METROVIAS and TTC. Firstly, while METROVIAS owns only the subway trains, TTC owns the subway, the buses and the street cars and they are all connected. If you want to use public transportation in Toronto, it is better if you buy the Metro Pass (monthly pass) which enables you unlimited access to the transport system and you pay only once. If you want to use public transport in Buenos Aires, you pay every time you want to use the service and you need one way pass for the subway and coins for the buses. There are not transfers between buses and subways here. The second difference is regarding the “rush hour”. While in Toronto everyone tries to be “safe and considerate”, in Buenos Aires you need to be inconsiderate if you want to be safe. While in Toronto you travel as a human being, in Buenos Aires you only try not to loose your human condition. And finally, there is another important difference. I think that the most important one. While TTC goes on strike once in a while, METROVIAS lives on strike… hahaha. TTC has the policy to announce when they are going to stop the service; METROVIAS stops the service without announcements. And listen to this, this is the best one: If TTC goes on strike, they give your money back for the days they didn’t give you the service! On the other hand, if METROVIAS goes on strike: Who is responsible for the time and money that we loose? Anyone knows? Hahaha.
Despite those differences, “Bloor and Yonge Subway Station” could be the equivalent to “Carlos Pellegrini- 9 de Julio” in Buenos Aires. In Bloor and Yonge the green line meets the yellow one. In “Carlos Pellegrini” you can transfer from the red to the green and to the blue too.
If you take a look to the map of these cities, what will you be able to visit? Toronto has many distinctive areas that you “must visit” such as: China Town, Korea Town, Little Italy, The Greek Area, The Annex, Bloor Ville and the Lake Shore. There you can eat traditional food, do window shopping, shop, walk and spend a good time. Buenos Aires has many distinctive areas as well. If you stay few days in “la City Portenia” you must go to: La Boca, Palermo, Palermo Soho, Abasto, San Telmo, Recoleta and Puerto Madero. They are beautiful places to see and stay.
If you come to Toronto; you will see that “ice-hockey” is the most popular sport. In Buenos Aires is “soccer”. Toronto is next to a lake (Ontario Lake) while Buenos Aires is next to a river (River Plate). Both cities have an island too. In Toronto you can take a ferry to go to Centre Island, in Buenos Aires you can cross the river to visit “Martin Garcia Island”.
If you like going to the gym, Toronto will offer you three main fitness chains: Fitness Extreme, Good Life and Curves. Buenos Aires will give you many good options too, for example: Megatlon, SportClub and WellClub. If you want to eat hamburgers you will find Mc Donald’s all over Toronto and Buenos Aires. The competitor of this global company in Toronto is “Wendy’s” and in Buenos Aires is "Burguer King". If you feel like eating Pizza: “Pizza Pizza” in Toronto is the equivalent to "Uggis Pizza” in Buenos Aires. The main difference is in the size of the portion: in Toronto one slice is two times bigger than in Buenos Aires and they don’t offer you “empanadas” as well.
Everything is huge here. “The bigger, the better” they might think. You can buy “Jumbo Cereal” (a box of 1.5 kg) or a pack with 4 sachets of milk and a 1.5 litres bottle of ketchup. However, they don’t have as many low fat products as I thought it would be. The sweetener is only powder, no liquid. There is no Hellmann’s Light. Can you believe that? Instead, they have Hellmann’s half and a half, but it has too much fat from my point of view. Cookies and Crakers? There is nothing similar to “Ser Cookies”, and nothing similar to “Criollitas Crackers”. Diet jam? Forget about it. I couldn’t find anything. However, they have “Dulce de Leche” made in Canada. Unbelievable, isn’t it? And the Yogurt is OK because you can find “Danone” everywhere.
When in Buenos Aires you eat one “factura” or “vigilante”, in Toronto you will buy a “donout” or a “muffin”. Our “Dulce de Leche” it is their “Maple Syrup”. If you want to drink a coffee or a tea, in Buenos Aires you will go to “Café Tortoni”, “Los Angelitos” or “Las Violetas” and you will sit and spend time while you enjoy your “espresso”. On the contrary, in Toronto you will drink your coffee on the fly. Tim Horton, Timothy’s, Starbucks and Second Cup are the most popular coffee shops. In Buenos Aires, “Aroma Café” could be the comparable, but they are not the same. Our ‘Hoyts” Cinemas are their “Rainbow” movie theatres and our “Dr. Cormillot” line products, their “Weight Watchers” system to lose weight.
If you turn on the TV you will find more than one similarities: “El Gen Argentino” = “The Greatest Canadian”; “Cuestion de peso” = “The biggest loser”; “Operacion Triunfo”= “American Idol”; “Bailando por un suenio”= Dancing with the stars” (of course, there is no Marcelo Tinellu here hahaha). Everything seems to be the same in this “global television world”.
Finally, what else can I add? In Buenos Aires as well as in Toronto, you can meet good people, bad people, and crazy people. In Buenos Aires as well as Toronto there are homeless and people asking for money in the street. However, you don’t see barefoot kids neither windscreen cleaners in each corner and may be here you can walk more relax with your backpack in your back.
Nevertheless, despite that, Toronto is not so different from Buenos Aires or viceversa. That is why sometimes I don’t miss the city because I feel that I am just around the corner. And I strongly believe that if you can live (and survive) in Buenos Aires, you can live anywhere in the world, but, even though, there is no place on earth like my “Santiago Querido”.
Steve's song suggestion:
Desperado, why don't you come to your senses
You've been out ridin' fences,
for so long - now.
Ohh you're a hard one.
I know that you've got your reasons.
These things that are pleasin'you
Can hurt you somehow.
Don't you draw the queen of diamonds boy
She'll beat you if she's able.
You know the queen of hearts is always your best bet.
Now it seems to me, some fine things
Have been laid upon your table.
But you only want the ones
That you can't get.
Ohhhh you aint getting no younger.
Your pain and your hunger,
They're driving you home.
And freedom, ohh freedom.
Well that's just some people talking.
Your prison is walking through this world all alone.
Don't your feet get cold in the winter time?
The sky won't snow and the sun won't shine.
It's hard to tell the night time from the day.
And you're losing all your highs and lows
aint it funny how the feeling goes
Why don't you come to your senses?
come down from your fences, open the gate.
It may be rainin', but there's a rainbow above you.
You better let somebody love you.
(let sombody love you)
You better let somebody love you...ohhh..hooo
before it's too..oooo.. late.
What's open and closed Victoria Day
May 19, 2008 04:30 AM
Me inside the Cristal
SEAN I was thinking about what you said to me the other day, about my painting. I stayed up half the night thinking about it and then something occurred to me and I fell into a deep peaceful sleep and haven't thought about you since. You know what occurred to me?
SEAN You're just a boy. You don't have the faintest idea what you're talking about.
WILL Why thank you.
SEAN You've never been out of Boston.
SEAN So if I asked you about art you could give me the skinny on every art book ever written...Michelangelo? You know a lot about him I bet. Life's work, criticisms, political aspirations. But you couldn't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling.
And if I asked you about women I'm sure you could give me a syllabus of your personal favorites, and maybe you've been laid a few times too. But you couldn't tell me how it feels to wake up next to a woman and be truly happy.
If I asked you about war you could refer me to a bevy of fictional and non-fictional material, but you've never been in one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap and watched him draw his last breath, looking to you for help.
And if I asked you about love I'd get a sonnet, but you've never looked at a woman and been truly vulnerable. Known that someone could kill you with a look. That someone could rescue you from grief. That God had put an angel on Earth just for you. And you wouldn't know how it felt to be her angel. To have the love be there for her forever. Through anything, through cancer. You wouldn't know about sleeping sitting up in a hospital room for two months holding her hand and not leaving because the doctors could see in your eyes that the term "visiting hours" didn't apply to you. And you wouldn't know about real loss, because that only occurs when you lose something you love more than yourself, and you've never dared to love anything that much.
I look at you and I don't see an intelligent confident man, I don't see a peer, and I don't see my equal. I see a boy. Nobody could possibly understand you, right Will? Yet you presume to know so much about me because of a painting you saw. You must know everything about me. You're an orphan, right?
Will nods quietly.
SEAN (cont'd) Do you think I would presume to know the first thing about who you are because I read "Oliver Twist?" And I don't buy the argument that you don't want to be here, because I think you like all the attention you're getting. Personally, I don't care. There's nothing you can tell me that I can't read somewhere else. Unless we talk about your life. But you won't do that. Maybe you're afraid of what you might say.
SEAN (cont'd) It's up to you.
And walks away.
The Argentinean Immigration to Canada
There is almost 11,000 km of distance that separates Argentina from Canada. Argentina is situated in the south part of South America. Canada, in contrast, is located in the north part of North America. Despite this distance, both of them have something in common: Argentina and Canada are immigrant countries.
North York Center Station 10:15 am