Museum. This is a very busy working museum, but it had some great displays,
especially of armour. The museum shop sold, among other things, Australian
Aboriginal crafts (at an unbelievable markup).
Dodging Toronto's public transport (they look like buses but they are
powered by overhead electricity like trams) we got back just in time to
find Mike walking home. Leaping into the car he cried "Kentucky Fried
Chicken!", and the word became chook. I spent the evening watching ice-
hockey, evidently the Canadian national sport and very exciting. In general
Canadian television was not much better than American television. At least,
as a cable subscriber, Mike had good quality reception. From time co time
on my travels I found myself alone with a T.V. and in the mood to watch,
with nineteen channels to choose from and nothing worth watching on any
of them.
The next day I slept in, and washed my hair. By this time I had
realised that in order to survive it was absolutely essential to spend one
day a week doing nothing. Mike gave me the freedom of the kitchen, and
all the bilingual tins and packets. I got a tin of soup open, and managed
to heat it up in one of those Le Creuset saucepans that only weightlifters
can actually lift off the stove. By now I was used to power plugs without
on/off switches, but I very nearly abandoned the idea of coffee when I
realised that I was expected to plug the kettle into a permanently live
two-pin plug on the stove. I reasoned that Mike was still alive, and anyway
I needed the caffeine. Victoria Vayne came over in the evening and we
talked while Mike set tests. Victoria was very faanish -- indeed Toronto
seemed to be full of fen, especially the group known as "The Derelicts",
who take their activities deadly seriously. Inevitably this leads to feuds,
and various people told me blood-curdling stories which I did not record.
I really enjoyed Toronto. The city is rather like Melbourne in style,
right down to the numerous ethnic groups. Getting around wasn't too
difficult, as a lot of the new buildings had ramps and so on. Before leaving,
and indeed after I came back, I had a lot of people tell me how wonderful
the facilities in America were for disabled people. I concluded that their
opinions were about as reliable as those of people who tell you how wonderful
the facilities in South Africa are for black people. People who go on
officially-sponsored tours are shown what the official sponsors want them
to see. No doubt the reverse applied to some degree in my case; I probably
missed out on all sorts of cunningly concealed ramps and toilets because
my hosts didn't know they existed. (Readers should bear in mind that my
observations were made in 1976...)