We'd gone to Toronto for his work, and he'd spent most of the weekdays while we were there doing boring scholarly stuff at the University of Toronto while I explored the streets by myself. We did the usual stuff in the evenings; standing on the glass floor in the CN tower, eating at the fabulous restaurants, getting looted by a rickshaw guy - you know, the usual tourist stuff.
Running away with our money. "Yeah, I meant 10 dollars per person."
On our agenda for the weekend, after all that boring academia, (kidding!) having spent most of the week in Toronto, was to go to Niagara Falls. But on our way out of town we had one more scheduled stop. Gerrard Street .
Gerrard Street is this part of Toronto that is full of Indian and Pakistani business - sometimes called "Little India" or "Little Pakistan." Every kind of shop or restaurant, and brimming with Indians and Pakistanis and other South Asians. I had known about the area before we went to Toronto, and we'd both been looking forward to that part of our trip in particular. It was my first time to that kind of area, although we've since been to others .
First we did a little shopping. We browsed through the clothing stores and I marveled at the beautiful fabrics and intricate beading. I most liked to look at the wedding outfits because until then I'd only ever seen one desi wedding outfit - my own . We also found some bangles, although mostly all I could find were metal ones. I only ever found one set of glass ones, which I bought and still have. There are still the nicest glass bangles I've ever seen. We also got some terrible service at a convenience store and I bought my first-ever, totally crappy, didn't work even for a second Pakistani-brand AA batteries and was then told "No returns!" And this from the so-called "Friendly Super Mkt."
We also ate. We ate at the Lahori restaurant in the picture above, but I can't remember what we ate and alas, there is no picture of our dinner in my old files. But I remember what we had for dessert. Mangoes. Mangoes. Then a few mangoes. And then we topped that off with a little bit of mango.
M hadn't eaten a Pakistani mango in years because there was (is?) and embargo against Pakistani mangos and they weren't (aren't?) sold in America. But not so in Canada. M seemed powerless over the stacks of Pakistani mangoes and he bought a full box. But you can't bring fruit into America, so that meant we had to eat an entire box of mangoes. Like 15, maybe? Between the two of us. And we only had a day and a half to do it.
It took me a long time to want to eat mangoes after that. Perhaps I should have just tried to smuggle the darn fruit back into America.
It was nice to see M so happy to see part of Pakistan. When we first got there and were wandering around, M looked up and did a double-take at the street signs in Urdu The look on his face...
Well, I'm glad I was there to see it, and to take a picture of it.
My Mian, who is in another time zone and apparently catching up on the 'ol bloggity blog, just emailed me this: