**UPDATE** I moved this article from my other site. It was originally posted on September 8, 2017.**
I woke up to this view, not knowing what would happen by the day's end.
I jokingly had one goal today: get my industry pass and nothing else. I had no idea how funny that joke would be by the day's end. I'll go ahead and warn anyone who reads this that my writing will be on the lazier side this evening. I'm more pooped than poop.
I left the condo at roughly 8:30 this morning, marching down to the bus line. While waiting for the bus, I decided to take the subway instead. After all, it was only a few blocks according to the map. Well, yeah. Never trust the map. Never, never trust the map.
I ended up going through a series of residential neighborhoods that went in all different directions. Before I knew it, I was lost. I'm sure I looked like a deer in headlights, but I couldn't help but grin the whole time. I ended up getting a sense of Canadian culture that everyone talks about. There were loads of people mowing their lawns, walking with their children, raking leaves, on a Friday morning. There was no sense of anyone feeling rushed. I tried to get photos, but the phone kept acting weird. I'll need to go back to that area before I leave.
I ended up at a bar off of Prince Edward Drive (which was in the opposite direction of where I needed to go), and had a lovely conversation with the bartender, who once went on a press tour with Terry Bradshaw selling chewing tobacco. The act involved kissing him with a big wad in his mouth. She wasn't much of a fan of the tobacco, but she loved her time with Terry. "A big goofball with a gentle heart" she said. By the end of our conversation, she informed me of the subway station - the very one I was looking for - was no less than a couple of blocks away. So off to the subway. Finally on my way downtown. The camera started working again as well.
I listened to this guy for a bit, and boy he could wail. He was from Jamaica, which brings me to another point. Toronto really is a cultural melting pot. I've overheard several different languages, most of which I do not understand. But that's all right. I'm enjoying the hell out of it.
It was on the subway where I discovered one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen in my life. Unfortunately I couldn't (and decided not to push) for a photo with her. Honestly, I probably looked like a complete stalker. She got off one stop before I was supposed to, and I got the sudden urge to act on temporary insanity. I bolted out the subway and caught up with her on the stairs. I told her the truth. "Listen, I hate to be this forward, but you are one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen in my life. I just wanted you to know that, and don't worry. You will probably never see me again." She smiled, thanked me, and we went our separate ways. Thankfully, I managed to jump back on the train before it left. I'm sure she thought I was a goofball, and I mean…let's face it. I am. But I'm glad I told her. To point out the cliche, we should say things like this to each other more often. Far more often.
The subway helped me get closer, but damned if I wasn't still an hour and a half away on foot. The bus system, while efficient, was delayed due to the enormous traffic the festival brings. So I called an Uber. The Uber finally got me where I needed to go. At this point, it was 16:30. It took way longer than expected, but finally I saw TIFF with my own eyes.
It was a beautiful sight. The TIFF volunteers handled the large crowd like real pros, and I was able to retrieve my pass and a whole box of goodies. However, once I sat down, I realized that my head was a bucket of marbles. I was a bit on the hazy side. Clearly I was far too overstimulated with the journey. So I spoke with a few industry folks, and decided to head on back to the condo. For those asking if I ran into any celebs, I did. Three exactly. They were cool folks, very relaxed. I even gave one of them a spare travel thermos I got on accident. They didn't have one. Why the hell not?
I spared myself navigating through the public transit system getting back, and I hired another Uber. This guy drove like a pro. Uber is an enormous help with events like TIFF, and I will definitely be using them more often.
As I walked back into the condo, I spotted this crane straight chillin'. I had to get a photo.
Hopefully tomorrow will be a little less hectic and more productive TIFF-wise. I imagine it will be. I'm beyond tired, and honestly feeling a bit homesick at the moment. A lot happened today, in ways I didn't see coming. That's always the most exciting part of every adventure. But I had one goal. Thankfully, that goal was accomplished.