Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Leaving do

en route to New York City
Good afternoon. It’s about 1pm and I’m on a train from Toronto to New York. This post heralds the further metamorphosis of this blog from social life calendar, to multiculturalism monitor, to Christian cynicism to travel! I like travel, and I’m going to be in the USA for the next five weeks or so, visiting places and seeing friends. I’ll try and update the blog every few days with my usual witty perceptions and fascinating anecdotes. Well, I’ll try and update the blog every few days anyway.

What a weekend! I don’t think I had a moment to stop – certainly not to blog – for all of Saturday and Sunday. Following my excursion downtown with Ryan on Thursday, Andrew Mackenzie (my Bible study leader and “key student leader” of Campus 4 Christ at York) picked me up on Saturday morning. He doesn’t, unfortunately, drive a convertible, even though he’s a Pentecostal.

We left the car at Downsview subway station and went to Chinatown first. I went to Chinatown two Saturdays previously just to have a look round, but armed with the recommendations of various Chinese friends of AMac, we joined the crowds at King Noodle House on Spadina/Dundas. My chopstick skills aren’t all that bad – at least I don’t think so! – but there were furtive points and giggles at my expense from the table next-door. Whatever. Whose idea was it to eat a meal with two sticks anyway?

Suitably full from our massive bowls of broth with noodles, duck legs and beef flank or wonton noodles, we hit the TTC again for Castle Frank station, just east of downtown. Ours was a purpose-driven day trip, although Andrew hadn’t told me what or where this would be played out.

(The night before I’d had dinner with Matt Hughes (as mentioned previously) and he smiled when I told him about this mysterious trip. “Let me give you a clue” he said. “There will be flowers there”. My first reply was “Am I going to a graveyard?” and he replied “how interesting that that’s the first thing you think of.” Maybe I’m morbid.)

After we turned the street corner near Castle Frank, Andrew said to me “so we’re going to a graveyard,” which made me laugh at Matt’s clue from the night before. We spent an hour or so there, first wandering around and then reflecting on what in our lives is eternal, and what is eternally useless. Andrew is wholly committed to the Great Commission, and we chatted for quite a while about world mission.

To wind down after all that, it was nice to explore a little more, and we walked back downtown through a farily “eccentric” neighbourhood with some “eccentric” people. Eventually we reached the Eaton Centre where Lydia came to meet us. Andrew wanted her advice on choosing a U2 CD… no comment. I also picked up some old-school postcards in a souvenir shop – the CN Tower under construction and York University looking even worse than it does today.

Well, by this time it was getting on a bit and I wanted to get packed on Saturday. At Downsview, Andrew asked me “do you want to drive?”, jokingly. Then I said “well… actually…” so off I went. I did a few circuits of the parking lot then we hit the streets. I didn’t hit anything which is a good sign for California next week when I’ll hire a car!

So I finally got home and started packing. Even though I didn’t bring all that much stuff, it was taking me ages. Hye-min and Dan next door invited me in for a beer, and we chilled for a while. Then I did half an hour more packing and Bai, Jenny, Shafat and the other Dan said “Chris! Let’s party!” An offer I couldn’t refuse… I had another three beers with them and flopped into bed (after I’d cleared all the junk off it) at 2am.

The phone rang at 8.30. I’d asked Josh to ring me because my alarm clock doesn’t cut the mustard any more in waking me up. Church was fantastic – Paul preached a wowser of a sermon on how Jesus is the fulfilment of Old Testament prophecy. We too often separate the OT and NT as if they’re completely different books, whereas the NT is the fulfilment and continuation of the OT. Lunch at the Robinsons was also a wowser, as usual J

I made it back to York at around 7pm to basically start the real packing. It took longer than I expected (which always happens, so I should really expect it) and I said my goodbyes and left just before 10. Being pretty tired from the night before and three hours of frenetic packing, I went to bed straightaway at the Roughs’ house. A good job too! My train from Union left at 8.30, so Hugh and I got up at 6, scarfed some breakfast and he dropped me at Don Mills station at 7, in time to get the subway downtown. Maybe I’ve been away too long, but I doubt that I’d get a seat on a London Tube train at 7am on Monday!

It’s now 6pm and the train is somewhere between Syracuse and Albany, NY. Time goes pretty fast when you’re on a long train ride: I’ve listened to three hours of Way of the Master Radio, my home church’s Good Friday sermon, last week’s GFC sermon which I missed in favour of some migraine-healing action; I’ve also organised the pictures on my laptop, read a bit, and looked out of the window at the rather uninspiring scenery, sad to say. There are some hills in the distance now, but earlier on everything was flat industrial or farmland. And of course we sat in a siding in Niagara for two hours for customs checks…

A 1000 word blog entry! Maybe this train journey is too long after all.


TwinsK&D said...

Bring on Way of the Master :-) Glad you had a great weekend, I was wondering if you were able to pack everything since when I talked to you on Sunday, you still had a bit to go :-) Great blog, by the way. Keep up the great work!!

TwinsK&D said...

how did it feel to drive on the 'wrong side of the road'? :-)

Lydia said...

it was great meeting you on Saturday...although mall shopping is not entirely conducive to getting to know people.

and why would andrew want my opinion on U2? i don't even listen to them. LOL.