So Mungo and I did go to Canada and also returned thence. We are both confident that Mungo could be happy and get a good education at either U of T or McGill. I liked Toronto much more than Montreal, but that may not be much of a compliment to Toronto: I'm not a city girl.
In Toronto, I got to spend time with bcholmes
, and em_h
took me to the Royal Ontario Museum, which is a really good museum. I felt envy when the tour guide at U of T mentioned that U of T students can visit the ROM free on Tuesdays, but then I remembered that they're college students, they're never going to have the time to go.
B.C. said that, among Canadians, Torontonians are reputed to be cold and standoffish. They seemed polite and kind to me. When Mungo and I were on the bus-to-subway step of our journey from the airport to the hotel, I was saying to Mungo, well, here's the subway, but how do you make sure you get on the right train, one that's going in the right direction? An airport worker who had ridden the bus with us said, "There's only one direction from here." Which was a relief.
It is difficult to decide when to talk to strangers. On that subway ride a school group of nine or ten year olds got on. One of the girls grabbed the pole next to me. One of the boys started playing with her hand: he moved her thumb so that it was pointing upwards, instead of wrapped around the pole, and then pulled her hand off the pole. She shook his hand off and grabbed the pole again. He moved her thumb so that it was pointing upwards. She shook his hand off with a sound of annoyance. He started moving her thumb again. "Hey," I said kindly but firmly, "she doesn't want you to."
Generally, I'd agree that an adult who has no relationship to a particular child should probably leave them alone. I don't know that I was right to butt in in this case. But, I thought, if I were that boy's mother and the adult in charge didn't see what was going on, I would want me to say hey, I understand that exploring your power is an essential part of growing up, but that person is just as much a person as you are, so her desires are objectively just as important as yours are, and in this case her desires trump yours because that is her hand
I guess that is why I am not a city girl: when you don't live in a city, you don't have dozens of interactions every single day with people who have no relationship with you, so you don't have to think about this sort of thing so much. It is tiring.