Travel

I sit here, serenaded by our neighbourrhood nice crazy (as opposed to the many very irritating ones. CAMH is just across the road). He’s probably 3 blocks away and his plaintiff tenor wafts through the air. I saw him singing fortissimo a few days ago, as he skateboarded over the college st trolley tracks in the busy traffic, his head high, dressed for modest but tasteful street living, the spitting image of Jake Angeli, the Siegmund parody among the jan6 invaders of the capitol.

Bike maps need a grain of salt. How to find the entrance to the Taylor Creek path? It's easy from the east end, where it starts just north of Victoria Park subway. But the western end is tangled up in the various ravines mixed up with the 4-lane monster Bayview "avenue' and the Don Valley expressway, snaking through, trying to straighten out Nature. Another false start. Last time I was with Ryan and he was impatient with my bungling, so we ended up at the tacky waterfront. It's an industrial wasteland now, and soon will be glistening high rises and manicured greenery. Yuck.

I had to do something risky and interesting, having chickened out of last week’s planned 90km trip into the traffic wastelands from Innisfil to Toronto. Right move, foot now fixed itself with some massage, bandaid splint, lots of ice, and lots of doing nothing. Time to prove my mettle. Supposed to be rain, but didn’t feel like it and I prefer cloud, so after defending Iraqi-Iranian friendship for Presstv, i packed my oranges, cheese, dope, cell phone with map stored so i could use offline, and offline i went by metro to the sticks. 

Up at 8am and went out to catch cosmos heads as they burst, as they hang over the border onto the sidewalk. It’s nice to say good-bye to my floral friends, especially the catalpas. 

Oshawa is the last stop on the GO train east from Toronto, 60km -- in theory. I’m sure there are many ace sportsmen who zip back and forth (terrifying walkers), but I’ve never met anyone who tried to do it. Undaunted, I packed my lunch, gathered my pump etc, and aimed for the 8:13 train.

With the new bike craze, there are bike lanes popping up where you least expect them. University Ave, Toronto’s stately boulevard of banks, the US consulate, the Ontario legislature (in that order of importance) now has a spiffy bright designated lane, and a trip down past spooky silent skyscrapers on an early Saturday morning was now a delight. Leisurely pedaling among the monolithsI felt like I owned this concrete paradise, not TD et al.

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Canadian Eric Walberg is known worldwide as a journalist specializing in the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia. A graduate of University of Toronto and Cambridge in economics, he has been writing on East-West relations since the 1980s.

He has lived in both the Soviet Union and Russia, and then Uzbekistan, as a UN adviser, writer, translator and lecturer. Presently a writer for the foremost Cairo newspaper, Al Ahram, he is also a regular contributor to Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Global Research, Al-Jazeerah and Turkish Weekly, and is a commentator on Voice of the Cape radio.

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Eric's latest book The Canada Israel Nexus is available here http://www.claritypress.com/WalbergIV.html