Well I found myself a decent internet cafe to write a proper message.
So I've got off to an interesting start. I promised myself that I wouldn't go on endlessly about troublesome journeys on my blog as I'm sure it's really no fun to read. However my journey here has effected my experiences so far so I'm afraid that I'm about to. Please excuse me and I won't be offended if you skip the next para...
The flight was smooth and I was quite enjoying it for a while. I had my introduction to Canadian friendliness with my flight attendant who was easily the nicest I've ever encountered. She had a flick through my lonely planet and pointed out good places to go. She was very genuine and I liked her a lot... anyway all was well until we started to make our descent. The excitement of the last few days in London left me with a slight cold. Nothing too terrible but enough to snuffle me up. When we started to lose height I started to get a lot of pain in my ears. It felt like the congestion in my sinuses was causing my ears to implode! The pain increased steadily for the last 30 mins until we landed. No amount of chewing, sweet sucking, yawning or ear waggling was aleviating the situation. I was squirming with pain whilst at the same time being terribly British and trying desperately not to make a fuss! When we finally landed I realised I couldn't hear a thing. I couldn't hear the people next to me. It was quite disconcerting.
I somehow managed to get through immigration by lip reading. I got some funny looks all the same. I then had some trouble working out which bus to get into town. I tried asking people but found it hard to understand the responses I got. Disorientated I got on the wrong bus! It turned out ok but instead of going to the downtown bus station it took me to the end of subway line. I jumped on the subway without a ticket (i couldn't work out where to get one!) and managed to bunk my way to a tube stop near my hostel. I then got myself lost in the PATH system which is an underground network of walkways which are used when the weather is too bad to walk outside. Anyway, after a convoluted journey I finally made it.
Despite all this my initial stresses were hugely alleviated by the kindness of strangers. It seems all you have to do is head for the subway with a backpack and you'll be inundated with offers of help and good wishes. Someone even gave me their email in case I needed anything whilst in Toronto. I got to my hostel with a smile on my face despite my cloth ears!
Luckily I had a dorm room to myself which was a relief as I couldn't really talk to anyone as my hearing was still considerably impaired. It had returned slightly by this point but I still felt like they were full of cotton wool. So I didn't end up going to see Final Fantasy which was a bit disappointing but I have been invited out to a gig tonight so hopefully that'll make up for it.
Today has been much better. I have my hearing back and my left ear only hurts a bit. I openned my curtains and realised I have a great view of the CN Tower from my bedroom. I now have a room mate called Jean from Montreal. He's here trying to launch a folk/rock band. Hopefully I won't keep him awake with my snuffling.
I've been for an explore today and realised what a great location my hostel is in. On the surface of things Toronto seems like a Canadian NYC only the taxi drivers here don't aim for your shins! The pizza slices aren't a patch on the new york ones though so things are balanced out!
You'll see I got the party pictures up. There are some right funny ones! Thanks to everyone for giving me such a good send off. Thanks especially to Simon for being such a great host. I owe you a cake a day when I get home!
Love and stuff from snowy Canadia...