I haven’t blogged in almost a week, so I’m going to participate in 7 Quick Takes Friday and try to get caught up.
Last weekend we went to Toronto. Don had to get some stuff from an archive, so Peter and I came along for fun. We got a TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) weekend family day pass; it was only $9 for all three of us to ride as many busses, streetcars, and subway trains as we wanted. Peter was happy. Riding public transit is his favorite part of going to Toronto.
We had lunch in Chinatown. It was a deli as well as a restaurant; as we waited for a table, we watched a man take a huge knife and cut off pieces of a cooked whole pig for a customer. There were cooked ducks and other foods on display in the window and at the counter as well. The restaurant was so authentic that the list of daily specials was only in Chinese. Fortunately, the regular menu included English translations. The place was packed and there was a line of people waiting, but we were among no more than a dozen non-Asian people I saw there. The dishes and utensils were all Chinese. Peter made a valiant effort to use his chopsticks, but he mostly was holding one chopstick above his head with noodles dangling off it and trying to get some into his mouth, so we encouraged him to just use his hands. It may have been impolite, but it was more practical for a four-year-old who had never seen chopsticks before. It was the most foreign-feeling experience I’ve had in Canada; I could just as well have been in Beijing.
It just so happened that there was a belly dancing presentation at the Toronto Reference Library that afternoon. Way to bring Peter to the big city and expose him to some culture! Peter and I watched women move in ways that my body doesn’t move while Don did what he had to do in the archive. Then, after the presentation, they had refreshments and a free lesson. Peter tried the dancing, but quickly gave up and concentrated on snacking. I made an effort to follow the lesson; it was fun to try but I won’t be signing up for lessons anytime soon.
We stayed with friends who live just north of Toronto. It was great to hang out with them. They cooked up some tasty barbeque (grilled chicken and zucchini on Saturday, steak on Sunday). Our friends are active in geocaching, so on Sunday, they and Don took Peter out geocaching for the first time. He had a blast. I wasn’t feeling well, plus I needed some alone time, so I stayed at their place to take a nap, catch up on e-mail, and post the pictures of Peter in his hockey gear.
Tuesday was Parent’s Day for Peter’s swimming lessons. We got to the rec center and all got changed into our swimsuits. Then when we walked out on the pool deck, we noticed immediately that there were no parents in the water. They were all sitting along the side of the pool watching their kids, as usual. For a moment, I thought maybe we got the date wrong, but I was sure we had marked it on the calendar correctly. When we sat down, a woman next to us leaned over and commented, “You’re making the rest of us look bad.” When Peter’s lessons started, we were the only parents in the pool. Another dad and his son in Peter’s group came in late. No parents joined any of the other groups. I thought it was sad that so few parents were willing to participate. It was great for Peter. He got a lot more practice time because we could hold him, instead of him having to wait for a turn with the instructor. It also showed him that we care about him learning to swim.
My orientation for supply teaching will be at the end of August. I have to submit TB test results and a criminal record check, so I’m working on that. I went to the health unit on Wednesday for the TB test; I have to return this afternoon for the results. Efficiency is not their strong suit; we had to wait an hour and a half just to have a little needle stuck in my arm. I’ve had TB tests before and I know how simple they are, so I wasn’t expecting to wait so long. Peter and I were both hungry for lunch by the time we got out of there, so we skipped the police department. With any luck, they’ll be faster about reading the results today, so we can stop and request the criminal record check also.
I love having a public library branch within walking distance. Peter and I have been going once a week. I can go online and request books from other library branches, then I get an e-mail when I can pick them up at my local branch. It’s terrifically convenient. I have a feeling I’m not going to have much time for reading once the summer’s over, but for now, I’m taking advantage of it.