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A Usual Saturday

October 17, 2010
"We just passed Mavis Road"

We just passed Mavis Road

It’s one of those usual Saturday that I have to bring my child to a tumbling class and go work in the School of Science Open House for a few hours.  But it just so happened that my child has a flu shot in the morning and I caught a terrible cold (probably from my student).  So I tore myself up from my bed, changed and ate my breakfast and woke up my little daughter and got her ready for her flu shot.  After changing and breakfast, we headed out the door into the cold morning air (about 10 degree Celsius ~ 50 F).  Drove to the clinic, stood in line (like animals waiting to be slaughtered), had her shot and drove back home to get ready for acrobatic tumbling class.

Now it’s time to wake mom up, so she can join us in the Acrobatic Tumbling class.  She said she hadn’t seen the child in the class for a while and I needed her to look after the child while I was working in the Open House after the tumbling class.

While my daughter was tumbling, I was grading, and the phone rang.  It’s from Mr. Said.  Mr. Said wanted to know the way to the “Hong Kong style” Chinatown in Toronto.  I gave him the information some weeks ago but he misplaced it and they will be going tomorrow.  He said he sent a mail to me via Facebook.  It also happened that I hadn’t logged on to Facebook for the past 3 days.

“Okay, okay Pak, I’m in the Gym right now, with my daughter, and in about a few hours, I’ll go home and reply your Facebook mail.”

I assured him he will get his message by that night.

I cut the Tumbling class earlier by ten minutes (to my daughter’s reluctance) so that I could reach my Open House work on time.  Actually there was no need to be on time, but being very much a Singaporean I still like to be on time.

So I arrived at the Open House on time and my wife and daughter went to visit other parts of the Open House or sit on the side table to read.  Then her phone rang again.  Almost 3/4 way through the Open House, there was another voice message from Mr. Said on our phone.

“Hey, we’re on our way out, we’ve decided to go to Toronto now instead of tomorrow.  Please tell me how to go to hongkong style in Toronto.”

I quietly complained how people could not be resourceful.  They asked me for information which needed the computer anyway.  Why can’t they search on the computer for themselves?  I went to the nearest computer in my school and search for the address and direction to the Pacific Mall in Toronto.  I used the phone and called them while reading the instructions on google map to them.  I suggested he type in the address “4300 Steeles Ave” on his GPS system.

An hour later, Mr Said called again.

“We’re lost, and our GPS system doesn’t work in Canada”.

My hands were full at that moment.  My wife complained we shouldn’t cook and should eat out so that she could cook later for the 4PM party in Mr. Porter house.  And she reminded me not to forget about the APAF meeting in Wegmans and 2PM.  What?  Then I had a small argument with her about not cooking for ourselves so that we can cook for others, blah, blah, blah.  That’s how selfless we are, I lamented.  In times like this, we would spend a lot of money, so that others can have our home-cook gourmet and hospitality while we suffer with MacDonald’s fast food.

“Why don’t we just eat out and then spend more money buying them food as well?”

“But I already promised them my Sayur Asam, my Ayam Goreng, my Cap Cai ….”

I still wanted Mr. Said to reach his destination, if not Pacific Mall, then at least the Chinese Times Sqaure or One Markham Place.  So I went to my computer upstair and started calling to Mr. Said again…

“I’m at Hwy 407, the ETR, and there’s no 403 or 401 when QEW)(Queen Elizabeth Expressway ) ended…”

“Just tell me what the next sign said while you’re on 407.”

They shouldn’t be on 407.  ETr 407 is an electronic highway that deducts money from your machine if you have one installed like those of Singaporean cars.  Only Canadians are allowed, I think.  Two or three times I used that myself and despite warning that they would get me and send me a fine together with the toll fee, I’d never got it.  That maybe because I have a Pennsylvania license plate.  And we only have license plate on the back of the car.  Mr. Said has a NY license plate and they’re placed on both the front and the back of the car.

“We were just passing Mississauga and marvis rd”

pass mavis rd

That was his SMS.  I navigated on google map and found that Marvis road is even before the Airport in Mississauga.  So they’re about another 100 km from the destination.  I quickly called again

“You will come to 403.  Exit to 403 then 401.”

“But we were on Hwy 403 and then somehow it became Hwy 407, do we go back?”

“No, stay on 407.  You’ve passed Marvis Road, very soon you’ll also pass Hurontario, and your highway will verge North…”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, we just passed Huronario exit.”

I was very happy and the adrenalin rush is equivalent to Keanu Reeves speaking to Sandra Bullock in the 1994 movie Speed.

“You will meet Hwy 403 again, then on 403 go about 11 miles and you should reach Hwy 401, now go East on 401 and it should get you to 404 after 18.6 miles.”

The google instructions were all in kilometres.  I used google to convert everything to miles so that the Said family can understand and also they’re driving an American car and everything on the Odometer and Speedometer are in Miles.

“Alright, thank you banggett!”

I put the phone down with a sense of relief.

“Mrs Porter party is not today, I was mistaken”  said my wife

“And the meeting in Wegmans is not today either!”

Phew, now we can have the cake and eat it.   We already bought some things from MacDonald’s.

“Let’s go to YMCA then!”

I then drove my wife to YMCA and brought along some exam grading to do while I looked after my daughter in YMCA.  Then the phone rang again, this time it wa again from Mr. Said.  I was so ready for him, I actually brought along my Toronto map together with my exams to grade.

“Hey, we are finally in Pacific Mall.  Just one more thing, where is the best place to eat here?”

“Go out of the Mall building and behind the building is another building called the Market Village.  Di sana ada cha kueh, ada tahu …”

He finally reached the Market Village, he just couldn’t find the store selling “cha kueh” (you chia kueh 油炸果 or 油条), but I felt that this was not such an usual Saturday after all.


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One Comment
  1. Gosh, you are so patient. I would have freaked out by the last question on where to eat at Market Village.

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