Part I: Chatting with a complete stranger

Such interesting things can happen here. I was at Second Cup this afternoon, quietly journaling in a corner. A rather large group came in and sat in the empty seats at the back. There was a guy that kept going to the backdoor to look at some tree-rats (he kept asking people to go see the rats). I was amused at this activity and had just penned that occurrence down in my diary when a young George Clooney look-a-like stopped beside my table. I looked up, still smiling at what I had written about the guy obsessed with tree-rats. He says, “Hi. What are you writing? Is that your diary?‘ Me, hesitating a little, “Yes, you could say that.” Him, “Cool! Can I read it?” Me, indignantly but with laughing disbelief at the audacious request, “Of course NOT!”

I ended up chatting with Shany and a couple of the people in his group for just under an hour. Shany is a Hebrew name and it refers to a ‘red silk worm’…apparently Joseph’s multicoloured coat of Biblical fame is made from that type of silk worm. Shany had spent 5 months in Singapore before, doing reasearch for his B.A. He studied part of his MBA in Shanghai, and he had taught English in Japan. In fact, he speaks fluent Japanese, and even some Mandarin (his tree-rat crazy friend could hold a simple conversation with me in Mandarin, including telling me *rolls eyes* that he is 天下无敌). The large group at Second Cup was a Canadian-Japanese exchange group that met weekly at ISC in UofT. Shany & I talked about Singapore, Israel, and my work. And at the end of the hour, I had been invited by them to their dinner party, which I turned down of course. It was quite fun and surreal to have such an interesting conversation with a complete stranger (who was very charming, funny and friendly). But that’s it! An interesting interlude.


Part II: Dinner at Elm Place

Wanting, Calvin and I had been invited to dine at the Elm Place ‘Integrated Resort’ this evening. I had no idea what a fancy dinner was in store for us. Four courses! And such delicious courses too… though the process of getting dinner ready was almost even more interesting than the dinner itself. The main kitchen was on a different floor from the serving kitchen and the dining room. And each course was prepared immediately before serving. All dinner guests doubled as kitchen helpers and waiters/waitresses.

Gourmet dining rarely gets more interesting than this. *smile* And I was warmed by the fellowship and community of the resort dwellers who, I think, have really made Elm Place a ‘home away from home’ for one another. Their closeness reminds me a little of Zibin’s band of ‘159 Beverley Brothers’. They’ve undoubtedly defined one another’s Toronto experience. Now that some in this community is graduating, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish them well!

Photos from this amazing dinner can be viewed here.

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