Travels in Amerika: Part V

Well, I’m back in Canada. That is, if you consider Toronto “Canada”. This city is more American than some American cities, in the sense of traffic and billboards. There was a snowstorm right before I arrived, so walking is a bit of a pain. I only have a pair of black Rockports, but at least they are waterproof. Unlike Vancouver, though, the snow just lays there, rather than turn to slush and back up the storm sewers.

I’m staying at the Sheraton, downtown. It’s a 42-floor concrete monstrosity on Queen St, across from Nathan Phillips square, also known as “City Hall”. For some reason, I always want to call it “Mel Lastman Square”, before I remember and correct myself. I’m on the 14th floor. There is a sign on my door explaining the emergency procedures. I am advised that if I hear a “whaling sound”, the fire alarm has been triggered and I should evacuate by the nearest stairwell. So far, the hallway has been devoid of the sounds of harpoon guns and shouts of “Thar she blows!”.

You know what I can’t stand about hotels (I mean, besides everything)? The way they fold the toilet paper into a point on the end. Apparently this is supposed to give me the sub-concious impression that the roll has not been used (despite its’ suspiciously small size). It’s toilet paper, not fucking origami, and I don’t feel any more relaxed about using it knowing that the woman who just scrubbed out the toilet used those same hands to grope the end of the roll. Like most things, this trend began wth one chain, and was soon adopted by every hotel in the land. I recall staying in a condemnable roach motel in Fort St. John that had a bare light bulb, peeling paint, and a yellow-stained bathtub, but hey, at least the toilet paper was shaped into a pleasing white arrow.

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