Once back in Toronto, we intended to see whatever we could of the film festival and anything left as this would be our last time here. That did not quite go to plan because of several things.
The first of which was our journey back to Toronto. We’d had such an easy experience with Megabus before, but this trip to New York was doomed. I cannot be as annoyed at this journeys rest remover as he was a likeable guy that was very unaware of how he was affecting other passengers. He sat himself down next to me and his mother sat next to Dan, and the trip went well for the first hour, with both parties happily ignoring each other and talking quietly between themselves. It all went wrong when he got up from his seat and I took the opportunity to use the bathroom. He was someone that apparently needed very little invitation to start talking at length, and me asking to return back to my seat was enough to tell me his life story.
He was training to become a Buddhist and was on his way back from an international conference with his Mother. He was a man in his mid fifties, and I don’t need to describe him as he has a very famous doppelganger.
I’m usually fascinated by new people and am nearly always up for a good conversation, but I was also aware that it was midnight and not all of the guests in our immediate surroundings would appreciate us talking at length about the Buddhist religion. It seems that I didn’t have much say in this matter though as while I was trapped in-between this man and a window, I was going to have to listen.
“You see, I needed to QUIT my JOB to become a Buddhist, as it takes 8 HOURS A DAY to complete the mantras and PRAYER.”
“Oh, awesome, good for you for doing something so brave”
“Yes, yes, well I have BEEN DOING THIS for four years now and am ENJOYING THE EXPERIENCE MUCH. We believe that there are SEVEN DIFFERENT types of reincarnation, so I NEED TO LEARN about each one.”
“The FIRST ONE is that you will come back as an ANIMAL..”
I haven’t got a broken keyboard, that is how he spoke. He was learning English and needed to pronounce his words clearly. Unfortunately, this meant that his speech made people wince whenever he shouted to get the correct words out. I haven’t got it in me to forcibly quieten someone I’ve just met, so this went on for what felt like a year and a half, but was probably closer to 90 minutes. Eventually, he was finished telling me about a day in the life of a Buddhist and the seven different types of reincarnation and went to sleep. I experienced a blissful half hour of being able to look out the window and enjoy the fact that I was not being harassed when things got worse.
My seat buddy feel into a very deep sleep, which meant that the gentle rocking of the bus did not wake him. Instead, he started to dribble and his head kept threatening to lean on my shoulder. His arms slumped and slowly, he sank into his stupor and unconsciously allowed his shoulder to crash into my boob. I couldn’t even re-adjust myself to get away from him, as every time I moved, he followed. After being forced to cradle this man in my arms, he then began to snore. You would have thought he’d at least have the decency to snore in a soft way, but he had the worst type of snore – the type that catches in the throat and releases violently like tectonic plates causing an earthquake.
Before I went insane, I had to wake him to tell him that not only I was being kept awake, but the entire bus and anyone trying to sleep on the motorway was suffering from insomnia because of his nostrils. You would have thought he’d be embarrassed by that and the fact that he was using me for a pillow, but he just nodded and went back to sleep. I think he was surprised to find that I wasn’t interested in engaging in conversation with him the next morning.
Our next airbnb was the best possible antidote to a horrible nights sleep. The place was owned by a guy named Dan, who had a massive collection of games and kindly let us in at 8 in the morning. In all of our experience at airbnb, this guy was probably our nicest host. He was genuinely sorry that he hadn’t got round to changing the sheets when we arrived without any thought to the fact that we had turned up four hours early and was really keen to make us feel at home, telling us to use any of the games and entertainment as we wished. So the second reason we didn’t get up to much in Toronto was Dan and his apartment. Why spend $50 watching a movie at a festival when you can watch whatever you want and play whatever you want in the comfort of a living room? The next two days were spent eating take aways, playing games and sleeping and it was just as well, because we had a big journey ahead of us.