Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Toronto the Friendly City!

‘If your lips would keep from slips
Five things observe with care:
To whom you speak, of whom you speak,
And how, and when and where.”


 Well I made it, the farm girl landed in the middle of this great big city. The bus driver pointed me in the right direction and off I went.
 I decide against the World’s Biggest Bookstore for now. I always have a hard time pulling myself away from these places; before I know it the day would be gone. I would miss so much, and the weather is beautiful.

 I decide to walk aimlessly through the streets. I take photos of the corner street signs as I go. This way I just have a record of where I came from. I have found my digital camera a great tool in navigating.
 I have been told people from the city are more distant and self absorbed, and do not like to be bothered. They are supposedly not like country people. I was told they just go through their lives trying to survive in the city. Well they have never met me I smile at most people I meet. I have been accused of being naive but I am positive that if you smile, and share a kind word with someone they will usually smile back.  I am very careful, and there are some situations and some people I know not to smile.  I always go by my instincts. I think basically people are the same everywhere you go. Most people appreciate a smile. These are some stories of the people I met.

 I sit across from an older lady on the subway our eyes meet and I smile. She is eating a taco and explains just how good it is, and says it is probably bad for her. I reply it seems all the best tasting things are bad for you. We both laugh, and we chat for the next 5 subway stops, I exit with a smile, and she in turn was smiling.
 I walk up to a construction worker; he is standing on the sidewalk holding a shovel. I point in front of me and ask, am I heading North or South? He replies “West”, we both laugh out loud. He tells me which way I should be going. I guess my map reading skills need a little work.
 The lady that works behind the counter at the coffee shop, where I stopped to lay out my map and check it, smiles and shows me all the best places to go. She asks if I am from close to the city, I tell her I am from the country she gets very excited and says how lucky I am. This I know. She has a cottage in the North Country and hopes to retire there someday. She loves the trees, and the quiet. I really liked her and her family stories. Drinking a tea listening to a stranger share their life is nice. I did not even remember I was in the city.

  Two students ask what I see as I am practically lying on the ground trying to get a nice shot. They being art students at The Ontario College Of Art and Design (OCAD) understand. We chat a bit and we all continue on our way smiling.

 The lady behind the counter at the Art Gallery of Ontario who after I ask prices, remarks you are not from around here are you? No, how can you tell? You have such a great attitude, and happy. I tell her I am from a farm in the country she said I knew it. The people in the city can be rude and never seem as happy. I wonder what she is talking about as I have only met nice people all day, her included. She tells me the price and I tell her maybe I will see her tomorrow with my daughter. We both shake hands and smile, I head on my way again.

 The most memorable encounter I had was with a young man at the Eaton Centre who was working at a cell phone booth. He was so friendly, and had an infectious laughter. Now I know what you are thinking; he did know I was not going to buy a phone. After chatting with him for a while, I relay to him I am from a farm in the country, don’t worry I never say where, he tells me how lucky I am.
 He spins a tale about the people he sees everyday walking by his booth, they are just trying to survive, they are just trying to make a buck any way they can, hoping to leave the city someday, just like him. The same routine day, after day. They have become shells of the people they wanted to be. Never looking up, and never smiling.

  He asks what it is like out in the country? I tell him about the clean air, the quiet, the forest and trees, the view of the stars, also the hard work, and trying to just make a buck. Trying to hold on to this dream place.
  I explain there is lots of food, if you are willing to plant it, and raise it, there is plenty of warmth if you are willing to cut the trees and saw the wood. It is a lot of hard work but it is worth it. We both smile. He says, “I want to come to your farm and work, I am a hard worker. You are so lucky.” I know I am, I also think he is too, and just does not realize it. He has managed to hold on to his laughter, and optimism surrounded by what he describes as a negative atmosphere.

 I myself did not see this in the city, and I am secretly happy to be known as naive. I would not want to live my life expecting the worst of people. I have found this city full of people who are just looking for that excuse to smile.



  1. What a wonderful attitude. It is true..you sow what you reap. I'm glad you had a nice time in the city!

  2. What a wonderful post. The world would be a much nicer place if people just took the time to smile and say hello, don't you think.
    I'm glad you met so many nice peoople on your visit.
    Much nicer to be happy than glum!!!

  3. I have met some truly inspirational people, just by smiling and saying hallo.

  4. Smiles are infectious, and a happy and grateful attitude is contagious. I think you should be un-leashed in many big cities!

  5. What a great day you had! Though completely different it reminds me of going to the hospital for my dad's chemo...EVERYONE is just so nice to us but then again my mom and dad are so gracious with everyone first...it is truly something to see. We are lucky indeed to live where we live...I sat on the front porch last night and the moon coming over the mountain was just breath taking...I hope one day you will be able to see it with me. (yes that is an ivitation...lol)...the desert would be quite different that where you live...love the quote for day btw....

  6. I really enjoyed reading this. If we will just be pleasant and treat others with respect, it will be reflected back to us. Thanks for taking us to the big city with you!

  7. I just loved this post! Keep on being who you are...your smiles and friendly attitude probably made someone's day!

  8. I loved the photos! I always hate the traffic, but you managed to remind me that there is beauty in the city. :)

  9. Well if we are ever in the big city I will look for your smile.:)

  10. and you managed to bring them a spot of the country life, of beauty and hope... :)

  11. It really is called "The Biggest Book Store in the World." But I think I'd have done the same as you. Books can wait, life can't.

    It was fun to learn how we probably all stand on one side of the fence thinking the grass is better "over there." You were smart to know most people will be friendly and willing to help if treated kindly. What a superadventure!

  12. Love your blog. Read it from start to finish. Sounds like you met a lot of nice people and had positive experiences in the city.

  13. Next time- take me with you please- you are brave!

  14. So great that you gave them your smile. Most city people really would rather be in the country. I think it is the American dream. It's just not possible for them all. I too, would be like that if I lived in a city. I did and I was.

  15. Smiles are amazing, don't you think? I'm so glad you had a positive experience!

  16. Glad that it was a positive experience!

  17. What a breath of fresh air blew in from the country! This is so encouraging. We MUST remember to be naive (with discernment). Look at how many people you touched, and at how many people touched you. Thank you for sharing. :) (smile!)


  18. Smiles can be infectious and did you know they use less muscles than frowns so they are easier to use? Love the description of your day in the city and love the photos!

  19. Wonderful write-up and creative captures. We each see in life what we look for. If you don't look for negative things, you won't see them :)

  20. Worlds Biggest Bookstore reminds me of the movie YOUVE GOT MAIL which I love and watch over and over again, much to my husbands chagrin


The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

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