Even only for the moment
January 22, 2006
My last Sunday in Ontario
Cousin Rommel dropped me off at Kipling Subway Station to meet my friend Timmy Tan, who accompanied me to downtown Toronto to buy some books, to Scarborough to meet Ate Doy's family, and then to North York to meet Sheila Leobrera, a former officemate of mine at Quorum-Lanier (Philippines).
Timmy and I spent the whole day traveling via subway trains and buses. We would have checked out some CD stores and toy shops, but we lacked time. It was a fun adventure nonetheless. Besides, the weather was fine—sunny and not much windy cold.
I was back in the house, in Mississauga, at around midnight. I took the bus by myself. Cousin Rommel would have been more than willing to pick me up at the station, but I'd rather opted to try going home on my own, which I did without woes. Always in my mind was what my friend Pet used to tell me:
"It's all right to get lost once in a while as long as you carry these three essentials—money, address book, and the confidence to speak to people of whatever race."
My friend Timmy Tan, who lives in North York, Ontario
A statue of the four-faced and multiarmed Thai deity Phra Phom inside Springrolls Thai Restaurant in downtown Toronto, at which Timmy treated me to a hearty lunch
At the hallway leading to the washroom of the restaurant, I took fancy for these glowing tubes of reddish light which scared the Sith out of me! I thought Darth Maul was at the moment somewhere in the restaurant, feasting on dewback steak or kaadu chops.
Timmy took me to The World's Biggest Bookstore in Toronto, where I bought several books (shown below) to add to my collection.
Myths from around the World by Jean Lang, Nostradamus & Other Prophets and Seers by Jo Durden Smith, The Greatest Exploration Stories Ever Told by Darren Brown, Butterflies on a Sea Wind (Beginning Zen) by Anne Rudloe, Solo Crossing (Poems by Meg Campbell), and The Nibelungenlied translated by D.G. Mowatt
We also checked out the BMV Used-Books Store located beside the "biggest" bookstore, where I bought Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Characters by Andy Mangels, The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan, Indian Legends by Jean-Claude Dupont, and Favourite Folktales of China translated by John Minford. I spent only about 40 Canadian dollars for all the books I bought that day.
Some of the CDs which Timmy gave to me as birthday presents
Past three, we went to meet Ate Doy's family at Scarborough Town Centre, where the children (John, Gella, and Detdet) were ice skating. Ate Doy is the eldest sister of my bestfriend/brother-in-law Ramil (who is married to my sister Lovelle).
I and Timmy by the ice-skating rink
I with Mike (Reyes), Ate Doy's friend / former officemate who was also there to accompany his own children ice skating).
We proceeded to the house of Ate Doy and her family--son, John; husband, Noel; and Detdet, eldest daughter). Gella was not in the picture, busy playing or just shy.) They live one-bus-away from Scarborough Town Centre. We had early dinner there.
Around five, Timmy and I went ahead to drop by at the house of my former officemate Sheila Leobrera. She and her husband Mike live in North York, around one-hour-away from Scarborough where Ate Doy and her family live. Sheila prepared some food, on which the four of us feasted while sharing fond stories of our lives back in the Philippines and here in Canada.
Around 11 p.m. at the bus station at Square One where Timmy and I parted ways, waiting for the last trip back to the house; I was a bit tired, but happy that I got to meet all the people whom I intended to meet that day. My deepest gratitude goes to my friend Timmy Tan, without whom I would have most likely been unable to get around such a big place as Ontario; and to think that we only got to visit three cities: Toronto, Scarborough, and North York.
When one finds himself alone in a distant place, very far away from home, spending a few moments with friends (especially those not seen for quite sometime) becomes a heartwarming experience. This somehow fills a portion of the hole in the heart caused by the continual yearning to return to one's homeland.
Again, there's no place like home. But, in a special way, meeting relations or friends who also live far away from home and share with you common or similar experiences in the past has the power to lift and carry your heart back home even only for the moment.