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the kwokkie diaries: day 4

June 29, 2018 , , , , , , ,

Day 4: Toronto

I’m meeting my FUR-NIECE TODAY! Oh, and catching up with Robs + Em, my brother and sister-in-law. But THE PUPPER! THE FUR-NIECE!

I fit ALL of this into my carry-on, and I ONLY travelled with carry-on for this trip. Everything except the green tea is for Robs, and the tea is for Em. My kid brother owes me so many compensation meals, and I’m making the most of it!

Steps taken: 22,587, mostly around the incredibly trendy + hip areas of Queen + King Streets. Think Newtown, or Rundle Street East. With the hipsters, and the kale chips, and the deconstructed coffees, yes, they are all there as well.

One memorable meal or food item: The salted peanut butter cookie dough JAR CAKE! Brunch was also delicious. Just off leafy Dovercourt Road, Toronto’s answer to Adelaide’s tree-lined Victoria Avenue, is Luna Café which specialises in local organic food. I had poached eggs with the yellowest of yellow jokes, home cured salmon, sourdough, locally sourced greens, oven-roasted cherry tomatoes, and avocado, lemon + mint. After yesterday’s slim pickings, I relished today’s fare!

Salted peanut butter cookie dough jar cake. My life is complete. 

One special photograph: Indi, my fur-niece! “Indi” is short for “Indiana”, as in “Indiana Jones”. My sister-in-law’s last name is “Jones”, therefore Indi’s full name is “Indiana Jones-Kwok”. Hyphenated. Who takes after her Mum, Emily, with the curls!

Robs looking pleased with all his loot. Me, FINALLY, about 2.5 kgs lighter and ready to go shopping!

One decent coffee: This was a cracker. I am still a bit jet lagged, but not the sort of jet lag that renders you semi-drunk. Just a milder sort of “drool-for-half-an-hour-at-lunch-time” sort of jet lag that is almost possible to cure with a decent coffee. Enter Sam James Coffee Bar, suggested to me by Robs. This minimalistic, sleek coffee shop would not be out of place down a Melbourne alleyway, with the quality of coffee to match. I can imagine it being filled to the brim during the morning rush, but when I arrived it was virtually empty, which meant that I could sit on their window ledge and while away a delicious half an hour with my equally delicious coffee.

Just hangin’.
Secondary school teachers, especially MUSIC ones, never “just hang”. This is a RARE occurrence. 


My apartment. 

One amazing moment: The history + love behind the amazing loft apartment I am staying in. A family of four was raised in this apartment: Mum, Dad, and two daughters. When Baby. No. 3 came along, the family finally decided they had to move further outward, despite how much they wanted to stay downtown. This apartment is like a super-cool, hip, modern Scandinavian apartment, filled with tiny, thoughtful alterations and utterly surprising uses of space. Totally up my alley. The fact that I can walk around this apartment and see evidence of such care and connection – things such as the heights of the two girls etched into the staircase, the hollowed-out sections of the walls for their books, and tiny little hooks where their necklaces and treasures would have hung – makes me love it all the more.

The hilarious thing?! It’s on the doorstep of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

How very convenient!

The blue dot is where I am staying. So convenient. Just a hop, skip, and a jump away!


One unplanned detour/adventure: An unplanned reaction for me. I thought I’d love the downtown Toronto area, full of the usual shops and haunts, the buzzing heart of the city. But, much to my surprise, I really didn’t! I found it impersonal, overcrowded, and a complete assault on the ears and self. I loved, wholeheartedly, the quirky edginess of King + Queen Streets, the boutique stores, the interesting characters, the one-of-a-kinds, the quality, the care, the uniqueness. The space between shops + people. The older I get, the more I seek out the unique, as well as time + space enough to savour them.

The buzzing Toronto Eaton Centre. I loved the charms of King + Queen Streets all the more. 

One act of kindness: I thanked the girl who made my coffee and told her it was ABSOLUTELY Melbourne-coffee-snob-standard, which made her grin from ear-to-ear.

“We’re catching up. There’s a real culture here!”

20 minutes reading: Didn’t get there.


30 minutes composing: Didn’t get here either. Better START here tomorrow!

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