Sunday, November 1, 2009

Adventures in Toronto or Why I should never leave my house

I had an appointment in Toronto last week and, even though it would only take me about 30-40 minutes to get there, I gave myself 2 hours because I know me and I knew I would somehow get lost at least once. My biggest fear right now, because I don't know Toronto at all and it's so huge, is getting lost while walking around and not being able to find my car. I've been there a few times but I still don't have any established landmarks or, really, any concept of where anything is. Plus I'm directionally challenged and still get lost in places where I've lived for 20 years.

So, I drive there with my GPS and I'm paying very close attention to where everything is and I find where it is I'm supposed to be but I'm an hour early so I decide to find a place to park and go have a coffee or something and oh look! there's a Second Cup right by the building where my appointment is so, great, I just need to find a parking spot close by and find the Second Cup again and I'm golden. I'll just keep going straight and not turn so I know that once I find a place to park all I need to do is go straight back down this street. Perfect plan.

I drive for about 8 blocks and can't find an outdoor parking lot so I opt for an indoor parking garage which is under construction, so I end up driving around in circles for 20 minutes before I find a spot. And then, once I find a spot, I have no idea how to get out of the parking garage.

After wandering around for about 10 minutes I find two exits to stairs to two different streets. Now, this would be good news if I had remembered which street I had entered from which I do not. I decide to just guess and exit onto a street that, of course, doesn't look familiar at all. But I do know that my appointment is supposed to be on Front and University so I walk to one end of the street to see if the intersecting street is the one I want and it isn't so then I walk to the other end and same thing there and, oh yeah, I'm wearing heels, so I finally stop and ask this concierge dude who I've walked past three times how I would get to Front and University and he says, "The front of the University?" and I'm like, "Seriously you thought I was asking that?" because Front and University is a pretty key intersection in Toronto and he's like, "Oh, ha ha," and tells me which direction to go.

So, I walk the 8 blocks and I find the Second Cup again and by this point I only have half an hour but I decide to go in anyways and have a tea and use the washroom. I get the giant key from the cashier and she points out which way to go and I go the wrong way and end up having to ask someone how to get to the washroom. Seriously.

After my tea, and with 10 minutes to spare, I exit the Second Cup and walk two blocks in the wrong direction before I realize I'm actually walking away from the building I'm supposed to be at. I turn around.

Shockingly I actually make my appointment on time and, after it's over, I take out the little piece of paper on which I have written the street and street number to the entrance of the parking garage. Giving myself a congratulatory pat on the back for thinking of writing down the address, I immediately head in the exact opposite direction of the one which I should be going, realize my mistake, and start the 8 blocks back to the parking garage. And then I pass it. And then two blocks later I realize I passed it and go back. And then I find the address but there isn't an actual entrance. And then I realize I'm pretty screwed and have no idea what to do so I decide to just walk around aimlessly for a while and then I find the entrance to the parking garage for cars but apparently not for people but I decide to go in anyways because I've entirely run out of options so I slowly try to maneuver down the steep ramp, in heels, hoping that a car doesn't decide to enter or exit until I've made it down.

Once I make it down I realize I have no idea where to go. I know I'm parked on the 3rd level but I can't find a staircase or an elevator. So, I go into this office thing and ask a guy who shows me where the elevator is and I take the elevator which does in fact lead me to the 3rd level but I can't for the life of me find the section that my car is in.

So, for about 25 minutes I walk around the parking garage dodging cars and looking for my own. Did I mention I'm wearing heels? Oh, and also I'm pretty sure at this point that I'm getting sick.

And then I find it. And I almost cry with joy.

Then I get ready to leave and am confident that I'll find my way out of Toronto because I now have my GPS but, before I do actually leave I put my little card in the machine and realize this little adventure has cost me $22.00. To park. For 2 hours. Are you fucking kidding me.

So, then I'm like, SCREW THIS and just totally gun it and yell, "$22.00 THIS bitches!" and drive right through the gate thing and then I realize that it's rush hour and I'm trying to exit onto Front Street and no one will let me in. So I have to pay the $22.00 anyways. And also pay to replace the gate.

It was a good day.

**Note: This entire story is true.

**Note: Except for the last part about the driving through the gate and the yelling.

**Note: But in my head that happened so it's basically the same thing.

**Note: And it turns out I actually was getting sick and am sick and have to quarantine myself for 7 days but I'll leave that story for another time because this post is way too long already.


Monica said...

I have been there! I feel your pain!!

Billie Rock said...

I think we may be the same person. I too am always getting lost. Ridiculous.

Imnotbenny said...

I've lived here for thirty five years and it recently took me three trips to not get turned around while going to my buddy's house ten minutes away.

I should have got a medal for actually finding your house. That's like a normal person finding a pea floating in space. Twice.

primerica life insurance said...

Oh my!!! This sounds like the worst day ever! I guess your orientation sense is as bad mine is. I still can get lost even in Toronto, not to mention cities I don't know.