I landed fairly on my feet. My first lovely Tee Dot couch host, Severine, (the whole couch surfing thing is also turning out to be really interesting in a sort of social anthropology way) lives in a big house with 5 other people. She's around my age which I figured would be cool... She's so open easy to chat to (despite the couchsurfing website flagging up that we might have a language barrier as her english is intermediate and my french is rubbish to non-existent). Anyway, her other housemates are in their early 20s and I have ended up hanging out with lots of tweens... good thing I still look like I should be ID'd! I'm just the random british girl they take to things and is squatting in their house. I'd call them tweenage dirtbags but actually they're really rather lovely! They are also a really rather mature bunch with lots of interesting things to say - am really quite impressed by them! I'm sure I was never so wise, free and full of awe of the world when I was in my early 20s. They've also been ridiculously giving in terms of letting me share their world whilst I'm here.
The house is like it's in some crazy time warp. It's slap bang in the middle of Kensington Market (like the Camden/Brick Lane area of Toronto - I know, check me out and my bad self!). It used to be a hostel so the odd person still turns up asking if there's any rooms available. There is also no key to the door - just a code. Sometimes, people who don't live in the house just came in (tho' they are good friends of people who do). One day, a french accordian player called Tongy came to drop off his stool for a bit (he'd been busking on the street and would be back for it another day). He affecionately called it the 'Crazy House'.
The best thing about the house though (other than it's fabulous residents and randomness!) is its rooftop. I love climbing up on the rooftop - to admire Toronto on a starry and moonlit night, soak up the sunshine and the blue skies whilst reading and sometimes... to join the party! One such evening involved a few of us climbing up on the rooftop to admire the skyline, drink vino tinto and ouzo, and a couple of people played guitar and accordian. There ended up being about 15 of us (from 10 different countries) on the roof until 3am and then as we were just about to hit the sack more people turned up at the door and there was more chatting until 5am. So much random fun (that I actually think i am now too old to be doing everyday but the odd day is fun!).
I thought I'd get out of these lots hair for a few days and stayed with another couch host, Katie (and her boyfriend Gord and son, Sam). My liver started to hurt from how much they were 'making' me drink! Again, really lovely cool folk. I loved chatting and drinking beer on their balcony - or in the park over the road in little camper chairs with pockets for your drink ;o) Hey, we worked hard too - I helped a little with a spot of gardening... I might yet grow up to be a green fingered person! I also feel strangely proud that I am one of three people my new couch host knows from the UK - one being someone I used to work with (such a small world!) and the other being Belle du Jour (the person Billie Piper's playing at the moment... you know, the one about the high end escort and author)!!!!
A spot of gardening on Katie's balcony
Toronto is really very diverse and colourful which was a surprise. I don't know why it was a surprise, I wasn't sure what to expect but in my wanderings, the thought that comes in to my head is always how wonderfully colourful it is.
Check this out - just because I love it so!