a smooth criminal


So... here's the story of my entry to the City.

I arrive after midnight, but being a travel pro I've packed only the smallest of carry-ons and have no baggage to pick up. I'm set on my goal of getting to my destination, the house of the bride and groom, as soon as possible. I choose the taxi over transit only because it is late and I don't feel like dealing with transfers at 1am. I head outside the arrivals area to the taxi stand and get the next one in line. It takes some time for the driver to sort out exactly where I need to go. I've never been there before so my directions are based on the little information I have from previous emails and my iPhone. But we piece things together, especially after the driver uses his GPS to figure out the best route. About twenty minutes later it seems that I have arrived. We've ended up on the wrong end of a one-way street so I have to walk past a couple houses. It's okay, it looks safe and the street is well lit. It's not the most ideal situation but this is the result of encountering a road closure and then taking a roundabout way to arrive at the wrong end of a one-way. But my map tells me I'm in the right spot even if I can't seem to find the street sign to verify. I'm a little tired and disoriented. But I remember some of the details that my friend had told me about so I look for the landmarks and I approach the house with the #49 and no awning. I double check my iPhone but the blue dot is deceiving. I am a little hesitant but I throw caution to the wind and try the door. It is supposed to be unlocked but it isn't. I think I have the wrong house. I'm about to call my friend (who is sure to be asleep by now, this I know because we were texting when I arrived at the airport) but an oldish woman walks by with her tiny dog. I ask her for directions because clearly she lives in the area (she's wearing house slippers and I just saw her come out of a house on the corner). But either her English is poor or she's hard of hearing because she doesn't seem to know what I'm asking and she's not much help. But she does point me towards a street sign. By this time I hear some commotion inside. I start to think that maybe it is my friend coming to unlock the door. So I approach the stoop and call out my friend's name. "Is it you?" Then a voice that sounds eerily familiar to my friend's says, "I'm calling the cops." Oh great, half an hour in the big city and I just attempted my first home invasion. The woman, little dog and I explain to the victimized lady through the door that we're not criminals and that I'm looking for a specific address. She tells me it's around the corner. That way, gesturing with the phone she is threatening to use to call the cops. I apologize but thank her for her help and then go the direction she indicated, which I soon discover is clearly not the right way. There's a guy walking around with his laptop open in front of him. Another local? I ask him for directions. He tells me to go around a different corner. Which is also incorrect. Then the old lady and her dog come to the rescue, she walked farther down the street (the opposite way that home invasion lady told me to go) and found the right street. Two minutes later I find the correct house a block away, number 49 with no awning. This time the door is unlocked.

So now I'm properly situated in the guest bedroom of my friend's house and the streets of Toronto are safe from this inadvertent cat burglar. What an exciting way to announce my arrival.


  1. great post Fella. Welcome to TO and what a way to arrive. Should have called me, After 5 days we got used of the route to Queen, Dundas, and College.