Monday, July 27, 2009

Spontaneous Wet Adventures and Goodwill Fashions

(Canada chronicles continued ...)
Goodwill Fashions on the 504 bus to Dundas West Station

On Friday, after the sunny, smiley day in Tinto, I went to visit my new friend, Kaspar, just off Roncesvalles Avenue. As we sat eating and talking, we heard an unexpectedly loud roll of thunder out of the blue ... or rather, out of the greyish-black. He quickly suggested that we go for our walk to see the nearby "beach" (i.e. Lake Ontario) before it started to rain.

Luckily I had my army raincoat with me. He had an umbrella. As we headed out, it was drizzling, but we thought nothing of it. The wind began to gust and his umbrella was bending back, so we stopped at the Goodwill thrift store at the corner to see if there was a raincoat he could buy. No luck ... but the rain and wind seemed to be abating. We proceeded to 'the beach'.

It took us 5 minutes to get there, on a bridge over the highway. It was about 6 p.m. when we hit the edge of the water, which was grey and tossing with little white caps. Kaspar walked ahead and I lagged behind, taking photos and picking up stones and sea glass. Pretty soon the rain started to pelt and the wind picked up considerably. Even the gulls (one of which almost crashed into Kaspar) were having a hard time flying. The raindrops began coming at us almost horizontally.

The top part of my body and my head were dry under the hooded raincoat, but the rest of me was by now soaked! My jeans were stuck to my legs and my trackshoes were flooded. I began to laugh, envisioning myself attempting to head home sogging wet on public transport. The wetter I got, the more I began to laugh, with the growing realisation that I would have to stop at that thrift store on the way home and purchase dry clothes.

Other than a pair of black winter boots with sheepskin lining, the only footwear that looked like it didn't belong to a very large man, a petite woman or little child was a pair of black slippers with Canada written on them. Compared to the other shoes available, they looked brand new/never worn (still had stickers on them) and were only $1.99 (no tax to be added - I guess because it's Goodwill). I removed one foot from a waterlogged sneaker, peeled off a soaking sock and slipped in. Perfect fit ... (and actually I quite like them).
The pants I bought ($5-something) were long, black and straight-legged with convenient pockets and a waterproof, almost leathery appearance. They're not pants I would have bought on a regular day, but I knew they would fit me and didn't have to try them on there. I wonder who they belonged to before.

Back at the house, I slipped into my new, dry ensemble, drank a cup of Kaspar's hot orange and ginger tea with honey and, at about 7:30 p.m., headed out to get the first of two buses, feeling like a Goodwill fashions bag lady: long black leathery pants, black Canada slippers à la Maple leaf, striped woolen hat (which luckily I had in my bag, as my head was feeling cold), khaki jacket and brown vest, napsack on my back (containing laptop), large green market bag in one hand (bearing wet sneakers and jeans), bag slung over shoulder (stuffed to capacity with wet raincoat, wallet and other paraphernalia). Thankfully Toronto is a place of diverse and layered fashions, so no one gave me a second glance. In my slippered feet and still feeling slightly damp, I was glad that it wasn't too chilly and was no longer raining.

I came straight home, made some soup with kale, bulgar and tomatoes, drank that and, after pottering around for a while, went to sleep, still chuckling at it all.

(P.S. I am scheduling this to be automatically posted on Monday. By that time I will be on the way to Montreal, where I will have no internet unless I go to the little café down the road).


Lynn Cohen said...

Well you must be in the cafe down the road if you are reading this, right? Enjoy your coffee or tea or cocoa!

I too laughed at the picture you painted of you at the beach and at the good will store. I had such fun enjoying it from the dryness of my home.

I'm happy you are having such varied fun and staying such a long time it seems in Canada. Any thoughts of moving there? Once there you could come here?

Anonymous said...

You are right, I'm sure you did not stick out at all in your Goodwill ensemble. In fact, people could mistake it for a new trend and start copying you!