Monday, April 13, 2015

From TLV via LHR to YYZ and the Annex

The whole idea was to reach The Annex (you know -- the one in Toronto, ON) by the most efficient, least painful route, to see our daughter Shira whom we hadn't seen in about a year and a half, which -- as far as I'm concerned -- is way too long a time not to see one's daughter.

Our 2-part flight was blissfully uneventful. During the first part, the seat to my left was unoccupied, which is a great convenience, since you can drop all your stuff there after takeoff rather than try to squash it on the floor under the seat in front of you and in the tight pockets of the seat in front of you. Also, the gentleman next to the empty seat just minded his own business and responded politely and helpfully when I asked him for something.

This flight took me to hitherto unfamiliar sections of Terminal 5: B & C, for our connection to Canada. Security was quite strict, which led to several misunderstandings, baffled looks, angry complaints and what-not. One Israeli guy couldn't believe his ears when the security guy stone-facedly told him that he could not bring his seriously-large chunks of halva into the U.S. "But this is halva, it's not margarine based, it's not liquid, it won't turn into liquid!" He kept repeating. "It's for my daughter, she loves halva, what am I going to tell her now?" he beseeched. Then he insisted on speaking to the security-guy's boss. Mr. Boss came along, and coolly confirmed his subordinate's ruling.
I, on the other hand, caused the metal detector gate to beep loudly as I passed, though the female security guard who patted me down couldn't find anything metallic on my person, aside from my jeans' zipper.

No time for serious shopping at the Duty Free. Which was just as well; as soon as I step into WHSmith or Boots I go glassy eyed and helpless, befuddled by the selection. I couldn't even choose a pretty box of chocolates for my own daughter! My husband, on the other hand, did managed to choose a couple of bottles of whisky with fancy names.

On to the Toronto-bound flight. Minding my own business is not what I did on this journey. There were only 3 seats across (as opposed to 4 on the LHR-bound flight), and to my left sat a serene, impressive-in-an-understated-way woman, who was marking papers. The editor in me was intrigued and wouldn't keep quiet. I immediately decided she was either an editor or a prof at some university/college. I longed to ask, but didn't want to bother her or break her concentration. Guess what? Eventually I broke down and began talking to her. Indeed, she's a professor at Kent Law School in the UK. And a lovely person to boot! Hope I get to see her again, maybe in Israel.

Landed in YYZ as planned. It was cold and dreary out. But who cares! Our daughter was there to greet us. Went to the Avis desk. Were too tired and distracted to resist the sales pitch of the guy at the desk, and thus ended with a large, heavy-set Hyundai Tucson instead of a more modest Elantra, or a VW Golf. But, having driven a 25-ft RV, I can barely protest that the Tucson is too big for me...

To make a longish story short, we got to our pre-booked accommodation -- a lovely studio apartment on Madison Ave in the Annex -- a name I'd never heard of until we started searching AirBnB for a place within walking distance from Shira's.

I wanted to upload a couple of pics, but either my oldish laptop, or the wifi here, or both, are sluggish. So this is where I stop for now, hoping to continue with some impressions of Bloor street (don't turn up your noses, please!), Queen street, and -- most important -- ballet class with the amazing Stelio.

Ta-ta for now.

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