Met up with friends for lunch this afternoon at Paramount, a Lebanese joint at Mississauga (a suburb west of Toronto). Friends discovered the place recently. Food and drinks were yummy, the place was pretty full, with healthy flow of people – we had music and were treated to new drinks on the menu. Felt great to have some Arab cuisine after a while.
Felt nice to catch up with friends, who seem to be settling into lives of home, career and family. A few are expecting – so that was the news of the day. A few bought homes and hope to walk down the aisle soon and one decided to part ways with her significant other.
The weather hasn’t been great past couple of days - it’s been raining all day today. I've got to attend a dinner this evening at Hemingway's, a really nice rooftop patio/bar kind of place. Great food, drinks and ambiance. However, am just beat and lazy - feel like ordering in some Sushi, from across on Yonge (room service sucks) a decaff, a choc cake - and watch tele in my PJ’s at the hotel. Quite honestly, don't feel like socializing this evening, it's still raining and cold. Need a believable excuse and skip tonight’s dinner – thoughts anyone?
Being in Toronto is sort of relaxing. It does not have the mad rush, crowd and pushiness of NYC. Often, being here I learn to walk slower, be nicer and a bit calmer. The city has a much slower pace – personally, it feels a positive change, though after a while, I just have to get back to the hustle/energy of a larger city.
I’ve always believed Ontario/Canada is a healthy place to live, raise a family, though I do hopelessly wish the government did more to propel an economy – do away with the passiveness it's always had. Ontario is a nice place, it's huge. Toronto isn't bad, though not much has changed since mom bought me here the first time, back in '82, except there are newer condos on every inch of downtown, cost of living has sky rocketed and the infrastructure is falling apart. Compared to most global or emerging cities, personally, I find Toronto quite passive and perhaps lethargic - quite socialist, over shadowed by powerful cities of the neighbour south.
There is much Canada can achieve - given it’s vast oil resources across Alberta, the financial industry across Ontario and other natural resources across the country.
That said - it is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world. If and when I am done with career quest, have some extra $$ (and in the unholy event UAE becomes totally unaffordable, banishes me or both) I'd hope to retire somewhere around the Canadian Rockies. Yup, it’s been an alternative, ever since I took a cross country trip. Someday, I hope to have this cozy tiny cabin, over looking crystal pristine lakes, snow capped mountains, wild life, blue skies, pine trees as far as the eye can see - and my two dogs. Canada perhaps is a better place to retire - touch base with your soul and walk into the sunset of one's life.