It was just this past summer, and I was in my favorite French bistro in Toronto: La Palette. It is small, comfortably crowded, and quirky. It was a wonderful day. Kensington Market was closed to auto traffic in a “take back the streets” sort of moment. Live music blared from three different bands. And a summer shower forced us all inside — wet, but happy. I was looking forward to a simple plate of steak frittes. The beer list at La Palette is great, and I was able to enjoy a Hoegaarden Verboden Vrucht, which I haven’t had since the last time I was in Antwerp, nearly 8 years ago now.
I struck up a conversation with the couple next to me, older, visiting Toronto themselves from Prince Edward Island. Talk turned to the recently opened — and now bankrupt — ferry connecting Toronto and Rochester. We all agreed that it was a great idea. My new friend seemed concerned, though. “We tried to get seats for the opening run, but they weren’t organized enough for us to be able to buy tickets.” “You mean they were sold out?” “No, they just couldn’t figure out how to sell me a ticket.” (No wonder the ferry is now shut down).
As for me, I’ve long wanted a warp gate that would make travelling to Toronto faster. And even if the ferry wasn’t actually faster, it would be more interesting than driving the QEW. “Gee,” I said, “Rochester is just a little too far away from me. I’m hoping they’ll have a ferry between Toronto and Buffalo.”
An uncomfortable silence ensued. The husband and wife looked seriously at each other. Then he looked back and, gently, said, “Well, you see, the difficulty with that would be that Buffalo is on a different lake.”
Why, yes, in fact, I am American. How could you tell?