Saturday, December 13, 2008

'Tis the Season be crotchety. Fa! La! La! La! La! La! La! La! La!

The holidays are approaching and it certainly doesn't feel festive to me. Perhaps it's because there is barely any snow here in Toronto, or because I've been preoccupied with the baby...or because people are just not jolly at all!

1. I was taking the subway to the hospital the other morning and an elderly person collapsed and fainted. The subway was packed and this poor old man was on the floor! I asked people to hit the yellow emergency button, but no one responded. I don't know if it was out of sheer indifference, or that people didn't know how to react...or that they didn't want to have a subway delay and be late for work. I was livid. The man was fasting for surgery and just passed out. Finally someone hit the emergency button (I wasn't anywhere near it, otherwise I would have done it myself) and the paramedics arrived at the next station. This experience totally left me feeling awful about humankind and how people react in situations like these. God forbid you're late for work because someone was ill on the subway! Shame on that person for disrupting your lifestyle. (Note the sarcasm?) I am not a fan of delays either, but if it meant saving someone's life, then I'd rather ensure that the person were taken care of. I just think of how I'd feel if it were me in that situation. I'm just glad that the man who collapsed got help. I would feel awful if he had something serious like a heart attack and no one bothered to push that emergency button!

2. I'm generally a happy, smiley, friendly person. I usually greet people good morning. I understand that sometimes people aren't in the mood to smile, say hello, or just be kind. Each morning I have been saying "good morning" to the bus driver when I get on the bus, and he always lets out a grumpy "hmph"! Well, the other day he was extremely rude! This is no complaint against all Toronto Transit drivers, because there are many really friendly ones out there. On of my friends is a TTC driver and he is really pleasant, personable and polite. This driver I was talking about slammed the door on my arm the other day! I was the first one waiting at the bus stop and then a man arrived, followed by an elderly woman. When the bus arrived, the man motioned for me to go first because I was the first one there, but I motioned for the elderly lady to go first because I was always taught to respect my elders and let seniors or anyone needing assistance to go first. The lady told me to go first and as I was getting on the bus, the bus driver closed the door on my arm and said, "Well, you friggen people can't make up your mind and I need to go!"

Ummm...We weren't even two seconds in our deliberating! That just really ticks me off! Being in the city, although I have missed it, really makes me want to be back on the Island. People on the Island acknowledge each other, say hello and good morning, and most of the time they are helpful and accommodating. People on the Island wave, nod, or honk their horn as they see you when driving. It doesn't matter if you know the person or not. It's a courtesy thing. I think I'm suffering from reverse culture shock! Ha!

3. My friend drove me from the hospital to the place I'm currently staying at while the baby is in the NICU. There was a person at the side of the road who looked like she was in need of assistance. Her car looked like it had broken down. On the Island, people would most likely stop to see if the person needed help. It's happened to me before when I ditched my vehicle. A dozen vehicles stopped (not all at the same time) to see if I was okay. One guy even called the tow truck for me. Here, no one stops to help. I totally understand why though. I could be dangerous to stop to help someone in the city. You never know if the person really needs help or wants to rob you. That's the sad part of it though. It saddens me to think that we live in a world where helping and trusting people is something that isn't as natural as it ought to be.

4. People are so rude during the holiday season! The malls are crowded and people don't seem to care about apologizing when they bump into others or anything. I was watching as a teenager pretty much plowed into an elderly lady at the mall. In her defense, she did say "Excuse me"...but it was more the tone in her voice that implied that she didn't mean it that way. She was really, really rude.

5. For some reason, in the past few weeks, whenever I hear Christmas carols I am reminded of shopping malls! It's really, really odd! I never felt that way before.

I do love Toronto. I love my friends who live here, the culture, the diversity, the arts and entertainment, the restaurants, the shopping...but I don't miss #'s 1, 2, 3, and 4.


J at said...

I'm sorry hon, it seems like when you're under stress, the world just throws more of it at you, doesn't it? I know the holidays with the crowds and the money concerns and the pressure people feel often puts people over the edge.

One thing I have heard about someone collapsing in a crowd is that often everyone assumes that someone else will take care of it, so while they aren't intentionally cold, they don't respond. The best way is to point at someone directly and say, "You! Please, call 911 (or push the button, or whatever) and if for some reason they say they cannot, then you can tell someone else to do it. Thankfully I've never been in a position to have to do it, but if something like that ever happens to you, maybe it would help.

Thinking of you hon, in the big city. Hugs.


Veronica said...

Gah, I am avoiding shopping centres and stuff like the plague because damn people are rude! All these groups of teenagers refusing to move out of the way of my stroller and then stopping! right in front of me! arghhh! It's a wonder I haven't run into anyone's ankles. Sorry, it makes me pissy when people just don't think.

I have found to add Christmas spirit to your day grab some tinsel, make yourself a halo and pin it in your hair. Guaranteed more people will smile at you and you will feel more Christmassy. Heh, maybe I should do it next time I have to brave town.

Anonymous said...

i know what you mean girl. coming from montreal i noticed that in general-not saying all people are colder in toronto. i don't know what it is but it is different. torontonians seem cold, indifferent and that their city is the centre of the universe. ok all the torontonians who read this will be pissed but it's just an observation.

merinz said...

Big cities tend to be all similar all around the world!

jan said...

I do hope you start running into a nicer group of people. Rude people always stand out in our minds more than the nice ones. But I think it's because most people are nice people.

Rosie : ) said...

The things you describe explains so well why I am a small-town girl at heart. Even though our current city is not considered that big (espeically when compared to Toronto!), I find it big. I do have to admit though that most people here are kind enough to stop when someone needs help, they move over when an ambulance drives by with an emergency, etc... And yeah, unfortunetly, I've had those experiences first hand!

I wish you luck so much, and know that we are thinking of you, wiating for you to get back to normal life.

As for the breastmilk, you'll probably end up throwing some of it out. Since you have such a nice stock, you can splurge on spicy/garlic-y foods and your next pumping can be throw away that way, if the baby hates it. I know some of my babies hated certain things I ate, or it gave them tummy cramps, so when I had extra milk stocked up, it was nice to be able to treat myself to those foods and just thorw away the next pump. :)

TellingMom & Brood xoxo

Anonymous said...

I think most big cities are like this. I have not found Montrealers to be any more pleasant than Torontonians! If you want to find really nice people, you have to go to small town communities. But then again, where would your daughter be if you were in one of those right now?

C said...

True about that! I am really thankful that I am in Toronto and thankful for the wonderful care the baby is getting at the hospital here :)

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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