Monday, May 26, 2008

Dispatches From The Field-2

After going out with me on the bus and subway, my husband is a little more positive about Toronto. However, in the past 24 hours, I have been snarked upon for my American status, one of those times from the staff at the yarn shop that I took a bus, a subway, and a streetcar to reach. After reading about the Yarn Harlot's local yarn shop on her blog, I decided to visit. Notice I didn't mention the name? No link? There's a reason. The store was the size of my kitchen, the woman working there was completly flustered and discombobulated, and when I tried to make small talk, it was made pretty clear to me that they didn't know me and therefore could not confer upon me the status of "one who is allowed to talk".

They were having sidewalk sales in their neighborhood and they actually had fabric for sale for a couple bucks a bunch so I ended up getting some of that and when I went to pay with my credit card, I signed the slip and handed her the top copy. I was rebuked and told that they needed the bottom copy. "Oh," I said aloud, "We do it different in the states." She promptly took the top copy out of my hand and said in a frosty voice "We do a lot of things differently here."

But then I went on a streetcar and visited a real sewing shop. and let me make this clear, there are a lot of textile shops here. A TON! But they all have the same problem, they are filled to the gills with fabric that looks like it hasn't seen the light of day since the seventies. And I don't mean retro, I mean dusty. Granted, there are many beautiful Asian fabrics that I enjoyed looking at but had no use for. What I want is cottons and what I found in the textile district was disappointing, until I went to The Workroom.

By my normal standards of quilting and sewing shops, this place wasn't big by any means, but every bolt of fabric there was exactly what I like and they were very friendly. Aside from the shop dog, a golden retriever who felt the need to retrieve whatever it could find in my crotch, I had a lovely time. When I was at the yarn store, they actually had fat quarters for $8.00 a piece. Yes, Canada is more expensive but I almost shit myself. When I reached The Workroom, they had fat quarters for $3.00. Yeah bitch, you do do things differently here, you rob people blind...

Sorry, just venting in a very American way.

So i got a few fat quarters and an Amy Butler pattern and considered myself happy. I then proceeded to go about my merry way and shop at all the other independant shops I could find.

I do have some personal rules I follow when I'm in a strange city. I do not allow myself to eat at any restaurant that I recognize. I do not allow myself to shop at chain stores. And I force myself to go outside of my comfort zone with foods at least once. (Curried goat and bubble tea anyone?) Yesterday, I was out all day and only had one set back. I was in desperate need of facilities....ANY FACILITIES (too much curried goat), and I ran into Starbucks. After sweet blessed relief, I got in line to make a purchase because I felt I should. I then waited for a few minutes but the line was long and I soon snuck out without ordering.

So that doesn't count. does it?

On my traverses yesterday, I wandered alone through China Town and Kensington Market but as soon as the family wakes up, we are planning on going out again today to China Town. Then, my daughter wants to see the zoo. Tomorrow we are leaving so I guess it's now or never.

I did go to the farmer's market two days ago. I have many photos which I will post when I get home. I was floored, amazed, and saddened that I have to go home. I know things are more temperate here but I have never seen so much lovely produce.

And pig's heads.

Lot's of pig's heads...

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