The Availability of Things

I never used to think about what it was that was not available in Toronto, since for the most part my head was always too busy buzzing with the multitude of options what were. But for some strange reason, I’ve lately been reverting back to simple pleasures of my youth that I have not encountered in a long time. Things that I used to consume / amuse myself with / criticize relentlessly that I just don’t see day-to-day that include:

Red Currants – My grandma used to bake with red currants constantly, and make compote and soup that was always such an awesome alternative to thick and creamy vegetable soups or black tea. But I don’t know if I’ve seen red or black currants or gooseberries here ever. And for a kid obsessed with tartness and citrus flavours that’s a harsh way to live. Take my sunshine away why don’t you.

Turtles – When I was a wee sprite hanging out in the playgrounds of Oliwa trying to amuse myself while adults did adulty things (I lived next to Lech Wałęsa, by the way, who was just up the street on Polanki Avenue. Jealous?) I remember a lot of turtles. Turtles everywhere – all the kids had turtles. Cats were generally disliked because they were scrappy and unkempt (think Stimpy of Ren and Stimpy fame) so that was the next best thing – and we annoyed all the crabby old ladies on the block by feeding them the neighbourhood rose petals. But I see no turtles. Anywhere.

Frogs – Again, I understand that amphibians are in decline, a result of cities and urban sprawl blah blah blah, but COME ON. I don’t think I’ve seen ONE, except at the exhibit in Washington. Seriously?

Roxette – Canadians just don’t appreciate amazing musical duos. *cricket cricket*. Seriously though, I learned my first English words singing these songs.

Halva – I almost choked on my bubble gum when I saw that Essence of Life in Kensington was selling halva, since for the last twenty years I have not seen this incredible treat anywhere. Mars and O’Henry’s and Snickers are fine, but nothing compared to this treat. I tried one of the “Vanilla” flavoured bars and it tasted like sawdust. Let’s hope the “Pistachio” one is better, otherwise this post is moot.

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