24 February 2008

Paved paradise

Why is it that asteroids hardly ever stop by Earth for a bit of death and destruction on their way to final destinations anymore? Don’t get too comfy, peeps of divine faith, hybrid vehicles and peaceful Nations, because outer space steps aside for no planet.

Speaking of stepping aside, nobody in London will do that for you either. Shoulders square, opposing armies of shoppers march staunchly into enemy territory like matching Tetris pieces that interlock perfectly before passing straight through. It’s a spatial anomaly made possible only by the mad contortions of a single person who cannot trust the pattern, and so behaves as though she’s lost her right shoulder if you’re passing her on the left, vice versa on the right, until her husband gently suggests she retires from acrobatics and walks like a proud member of the two-shouldered species.

And that is when a good game of Tetris turns suddenly into Space Invaders and I’m body-checking men, women and children so that I might pass freely without having to gimp myself in the manner to which they’ve become accustomed. Is it worth it? I’m not sure, but I’m feeling a bit more limber today and that’s what counts.

It only took us a little over a year to discover the Canada Shop, just down the street from the Maple Leaf pub, and although its modest corner must fend off the more substantial stock of vegemite and Twirls belonging to its domineering Commonwealth brethren, I nearly wept at the sight of Jell-o powder, Kool-Aid and Robin Hood brand flour. O processed, innutritious chemicals of my environmental development, how I’ve missed you!

I’m not a fan of Jell-o or Kool-Aid (or baking) but you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone, so I let nostalgia be my guide, picked up a few things that I may or may not use (Swiss Chalet gravy?) and felt instantly Canadian. Well, North American. There was no pemmican or bannock, curiously, but I’ll take what I can get (or get what I can pay for, anyway).

Oh, and I’ve discovered one less reason to move to Canada: Tim Horton’s coffee, at the Canada shop. Now all I need is a filter-drip coffee maker, which is not easily found in a country that likes its tea.

Some very important football is taking place this afternoon, and kick-off starts at three. I have a few hours yet to decide if I really want to sip soda with Bruce and his closest mates down at the pub, or if wrapping up on the sofa with a good book for a few hours is more my speed on a chilly Sunday afternoon.

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