Sunday, December 9, 2007
The Lost Arts (2nd in a series)
I knew it was a mistake but that didn't stop me.
I just popped into a Dominion store about a mile and a half from home for just a couple of things, and wound up buying too many groceries to schlep back on the bus.
I needed only a couple of little things, but yogurt was on sale, three for $1, the bags of crummy bagels [more like bread doughnuts] were going for three for $4. And of course it's Clementine season and I saw stuff that I'll want to have on hand over the holidays and if you don't get while there's that to get, you don't get.
I'd forgotten to bring one of the many eco-friendly store bags I have accumulated, so of course, I had to buy another. The check-out guy (not a kid) asked me which of the groceries I wanted to go in the bag. Huh? So I opted for the heavy stuff - the two cartons of egg nog ice cream and the Clementines. He proceeded to put everything in the bag.
I dragged the load out of the store and onto Yonge Street where I hailed a cab, to convey me, said groceries and other assorted Christmas shopping home.
Not unlike most Toronto cabbies, the guy didn't bother to reach over and open the door for me from the inside, laden though I was. As I seated myself among the bags spilling their contents onto the back seat and floor, I gave him my address which he apparently didn't recognize, despite the fact that I also gave him the nearest major intersection.
Thereafter followed the Toronto cabbies' refrain: "Let me know when we get there."
The guy (probably the brother of the bagger at the Dominion) figured I knew where I was headed, so why should he bother with his Perly's (Toronto's A to Z... street map) or his GPS (never mind learning where fairly major streets are)? Especially when no one ever hears the correct name of my street, he'd never be able to find it. (I enunciate RATHBURN; they hear Rayburn, Raglan or Robert.) (Street names changed to protect... me!)
So I give directions – how many blocks north and west of the major intersection, even down to the number of houses from the corner. So why do cabbies invariably go blasting up the street, and we're a block past my house before I can say, "Hey! Where are we going? What happened to the THIRD house on the right?"
Heaven help a tourist who comes to Toronto to see the famous Terry Murray gargoyles and has no idea where they are.
A tip: get into the taxi, give the address and then say, "Let me know when we get there."