A Week in the life of an SA consultant
The weekend was almost over. Made some space to enjoy lunch with the family and watch Harrison Ford’s Sabrina. Finished packing for my Toronto trip, printed the boarding pass. The flight was at 8:35. Plan was to leave at 5:30; too early for dinner and it would be too late to get dinner in Toronto when I get there at 10 PM. Moreover, I had a 45 minute ride to the Hotel. Rama offered to cook some puliyogre and I gladly took upon it. Had filled gas Saturday on the way to my teaching class at the temple. So I was all set.
After hugs, I was on my way to the airport. I switched on the Audio and was listening to some old Kannada songs on the way. The streets were light for a Sunday evening. The drive to airport took about 45 minutes and was an easy one. Finding parking was also fairly easy – I was expecting the lot to be empty, but it appears that lot of people had already started the week on Sunday itself. Security was fast and I had decided to carry on both my laptop bag and carry-on on board. For some technical reason, we were a bit delayed in take off. The flight was mostly smooth and we landed at Toronto right around 10 PM.
At the Immigration counters, the officer asked me why I was visiting Toronto. I told I was here to see a client; after more questions he let me through. The Toronto International airports is one of the more pleasant airports I have been to. Once out of customs, I headed to the taxi line. It was a flat 60 Canadian dollars to downtown Toronto. A Pakistani or an Indian driver drove his Lincoln town car into the town. There wasn’t much conversation. I felt some sympathy for these taxi/limo drivers – they are up late at night and still put on a smiling face. Downtown had very little traffic as expected at that time and we arrived at the Renaissance about 40 minutes later. I got a glimpse of the CN tower which is very next to it.
The check-in lady upgraded me to a suite but said it was a bit of a walk to Room 283. I lugged along my baggage. It took about 283 steps to get to the room, though when I measured it another morning when I was much fresher, it was more like 215. The suite was super large – well over a 1000 sq. ft with a huge living room and a HUGE bathroom. All of the bathroom was marble. I had asked for fruits and water as my welcome gift and about 10 minutes later I got the fruits nicely presented in crisp, white dinner napkins with rather heavy silverware. It took me another 30 minutes to get settled – pull the clothes out of the carry-on, hang it, brush up. Wanted to call home from my laptop, so I powered it up only to find the Internet connection wasn’t okay. Made a call to the front desk who then transferred me to the tech support. After 15 minutes on the phone, I was live on the Internet. When I got into bed at 12:15, I was too tired to sleep. I had managed to call Rama and wish her good night. I was already feeling lonely after some great family time earlier in the weekend.
Monday morning, I got up at 6:30 not wanting to get late. I knew I had to take the city bus to Victoria St, but after some googling thought I will walk the mile. I first headed up to the Renaissance Club lounge and had some decent breakfast – free for travelling so much. The walk on the streets of donwtown Toronto was pleasant if you are not in a hurry. There were a lot of people at 7:30 AM. But the light wasn’t still too bright and I thought one of these days I should stop on the way to catch some pictures.
… to be cont’d