Days 54-56: A Drink to Friends and a Drink to Enemies, A Drink to Those you Love and One to Those You’ve Lost, and Then One More Just Because!

October 20-22; Zero Miles

It was a pretty surreal experience being back in Toronto. For one, it really meant that my trip was just about over. Second, this place had been my home for nearly four years and a lot can happen in that amount of time, a lot of fun, a lot stress, a lot of love, and a lot of heartbreak. Since, for me, the end of this adventure really just meant the beginning of another as I’d be moving to China indefinitely in only a couple of weeks, this was a somewhat permanent goodbye to a place and people I’d grown to love.

Most of my time was spent going all over the city, getting together for drinks with as many of the people that I could see as possible. On night one I managed to go to the old restaurant I used to work at, from which I had been fired after falsely being accused of stealing a camera only 6 months earlier, but also where some of my closest friends worked. So after a couple of towers of beer (a new beer special at the place) with two other friends, we headed off with some of the staff as they got off and continued til last call at a couple other places. The next day was much the same. At 4 I met up with some friends after they got off work, then moved on to Hooters (my first ever visit, the wings were great) to watch the Toronto vs New York hockey game (how appropriate!). There, Pam and Brent, who I hadn’t seen since their bike broke down in Roanoke, VA, met up with us. Then, after saying bye to this group around 11 or 12 I made my way up to the north end of the city to continue the celebrating with another group of friends in that area. Then came my last night, which, no matter way I look at it, ended exactly as it was supposed. Luckily it was a Friday and so I got to see a lot of good friends who came out to a bar that we eventually ended up taking over and which also stayed open for us beyond the Ontario last call so it wasn’t until about 3 in the morning that I said goodbye to everyone for the last time.

As it turns out however, despite what would have otherwise been a great visit, it probably wasn’t the best idea to have stayed with my ex-girlfriend. Despite a great first 24 hours or so, when it was very nice to see each other again for the first time in 5 months but feeling like no time had passed at all, it just went downhill from there. It is definitely a hard thing to impose on a person, the coming and going almost on a whim, and it was this reality, of another departure in only 72 hours, that probably pushed the situation over the edge. Unfortunately for the story, it’s probably not fair to get into too much detail, but it certainly was a learning experience, one very appropriate for such a trip as well as for a farewell to a city that I’d gone through so much in. The last night in particular, though incredibly fun, happened to be a particularly eventful and dramatic one. Suffice it to say, people got much more hurt then was probably necessary. But after all was said and done, I’ve found, especially during the course of this incredible 2 month trip around the country, that there are no regrets, only experiences to grow from. So in that vain, thank you everyone in Toronto for everything.

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