Friday, 19 October 2007

A Tale of Two Cultures

Culture Two

Toronto, a city of high buildings and the CN tower. It is a different city from Montreal, but with its own charm. Our train was delayed by a major fire beside the track. There was high excitement when the driver switched the electric off one side of the train, causing the tilting mechanism to shut down and the carriage to lurch to one side. She had been instructed to teeter past the fire site, a scrap yard with burning tyres and propane canister. But despite the delay chaos at the Central Station ,the information lady found us a decent hotel in minutes of our arrival.

One of the Toronto highlights was visiting three city centre bookstores.
1) World's Biggest Bookstore, who live up to their name. They stock a huge selection of Canadian and American literary magazines. I bought two, I couldn’t help myself.
2) Nicholas Hoare. I can honestly say is the best bookstore I have visited in my life. The interior is lined with tall wooden shelves bordered with green wrought iron detail. All books are classified to perfection and every book I saw on display I wanted to read. It is a class act. I could have browsed and lingered all day.
3) Indigo. I spotted from the eight floor café of the Hudson Bay Company. The curved glass street front window looked inviting; unfortunately I had to battle through Saturday afternoon shoppers in a mall to reach the entrance. It was not a good experience. The store is similar to the large bookstore in the UK. Popular fiction, cookery and self help books piled up for the masses.
Lucky Toronto, their bookstores cater for all taste.

French Bliss - DVD Cyrano de Bergerac (Gérard Depardieu)

My DVD rental was one of my all time favourite films this week. Cyrano de Bergerac, stars Gérard Depardieu as the French poet and soldier, expert swordsman and popular leader. His one distinguishing feature is his huge (in fact it is massive!) nose, Pinocchio without the strings.

Because Cyrano believes he is ugly, the love he harbour for his cousin, the stunning Roxanne, falls undeclared. Roxanne, who admires Cyrano is blind to his devotion and when the handsome guy she fancies joins Cyrano’s unit she asks her cousin to look out for him. He does more than this; he helps the tongue-tied youth win Roxanne’s love by composing exquisite love letters, so full of passion and soul they make her swoon. She marries the youth but becomes a young widow when he is killed in battle. Roxanne wastes the rest of her life mourning the lie and is content to live with the paternal company of her ugly cousin.

The film is heartbreaking because it allows the viewer to witness Cyrano's painful unrequited love until his death scene, when Roxanne realises the soul she adores belongs to her selfless cousin. It is then she tell him she love him. Too late!

One thing that is interesting about this film is that the personality of Cyrano is so strong his big nose become almost invisible. As my granny would say, ‘handsome is as handsome does.’

If a heart breaker is your pleasure, this is a must.

Winter is on the way
Today I spotted the first V of geese this season. I look forward to watching my friends from the frozen North make their morning and late afternoon flypast over the house.

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