Monday, August 4, 2014

Visit to Toronto


Last night I returned from a short trip to Toronto, Canada. What I have to say is that if Amtrak (or any railroad) offered a modicum of passenger service, it would pull in travelers such as myself, who find the herd mentality of airports and airlines demeaning if not abusive.

Charlotte and Toronto airports, as well as the airlines servicing them, put a strain on the civility of middle class travelers for those in first class by their management policies. As an example, it’s absurd for coach passengers to wait in a long queue at security while nearby first class security gates are unused.

That passengers for two separate flights must wait in a small remote room at the end of a long deserted concourse where they have to stand because of inadequate seating makes you wonder about the educational requirements for airport management.

Flight delays is an old story, so I won’t go there.

On the bright side...

Toronto is a bustling city with what appears to be a thriving ethnic mix. About fifty percent of the population is foreign born, with a sizable Chinese community. Our taxi driver was Pakistani. Building cranes are perched across the skyline like a flock of mechanical pterosaurs. The city’s future looks auspicious, judging by the obvious development and the cost of housing (in my friend’s complex, a one-bedroom condo is listed for sale at $900,000) .

On a personal note, I hadn't seen the friends I visited for years. I’m reminded that email and letters are great for keeping in touch with family and friends who live at a distance. But to share in their lives, we must be in their presence, in their homes and neighborhoods. Whatever the cost, we have to spend time with them, or our attachment becomes dependent on the past, which, as we all know, is lifeless.

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