Mystery Solved

Yesterday I was on the Queen Street replacement bus. If you know anything about the TTC, you no longer have to show your pass when you board a streetcar, however you are required to do so on a bus. We stopped at Sherbourne and a black man with dreads got on. I could tell he was a little out of it but he stood at the door shuffling in his pocket. He asked the driver if he had change for a $5 bill. I was super interested in this because i could tell he probably didn’t have a $5. I guess the bus driver realized this also because he said, “You know I don’t make change AND where is this $5 bill”??? A woman who just stepped on asked if she could swipe her presto card but the driver said you couldn’t swipe twice in a row. The man started to walk down the centre with his hand out trying to collect change for his fare. A kind man gave him a token. He then turned and tried to sell this token to the kind woman who had offered to swipe presto. She was aghast and said, “HE GAVE YOU A TOKEN, GO PAY”. The man returned to the front and paid. He then asked a few people for change before sitting beside me.

“Can you spare change”? he asked…

Now, I almost always give change but I felt annoyed with this man and said no. A minute later I said, ‘ this was extremely impractical of you…. had you waited a minute for the streetcar, you could have entered without paying a fair…you just wasted someone’s generosity…. this doesn’t make sense to me”. He smiled shyly and nodded in agreement. “No, really” I continued… “what was your thought process…. you just gave $3 to the TTC, that you need for yourself – how could you have not waited for a streetcar”???

He just smiled and then I started to feel guilty.

“Ok… listen, I’ll give you some change, but there is a cost to you”.

He looked perplexed.

“You need to explain your thought process. I need to understand for my own curiousity why you wouldn’t have waited a minute for the streetcar – I just need to know”.

We sat silently for a few minutes and then he said….

“I was cold”.

I handed him a $5 and got off.

I Look Like a Princess!

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I walked into a store for voluptuous women. There was a happy smiling Nigerian woman standing in the middle of the store with her arms full. “I’ll take this one, and this one, and that one” she exclaimed excitedly. I was smiling and said “I love your shopping style, so enthusiastic”. We shared a moment and then I moved on.

Later I was in the change room staring disapprovingly at my reflection. I’ve gained a few pounds and I didn’t like what I saw. All of a sudden I heard my new friend Temi laughing gleefully from the change room beside me. I heard “oh my goodness I look like a princess” and a series of “I love this, I look beautiful”. We walked out together and I told her she was so inspiring with her positive self love. She laughed and said ‘I can’t lie, I looked beautiful”.

The salesgirl told us we were adorable and I had her take our photo to commemorate the moment. I told Temi about TTC Tales and she excitedly wrote down the address.

Perception is reality!

Truly Inspirational

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I had coffee with this beautiful soul. He arrived from Nigeria with $200 in his pocket. I was shocked as he said he didn’t know anyone here, and didn’t have accommodations. I kept asking, ‘but what was your plan’?? He laughed and said he had no plan but he was so happy. He went into a shelter and worked for $9/hour doing back breaking labour lifting heavy steel that left him in extreme pain and within one month was in an apartment. Within 6 months his wife arrived with their son. The most heart breaking part of the story was when he told me about his wife having to work in the factory doing heavy labour. ‘I would bleed inside when I thought of her working’ he said. Awwww :( I looked at him with such admiration and respect. He is so happy and optimistic. He has taken courses, gotten his drivers license and has a vehicle – they are both working in comfortable jobs and building their life. I laughed and told him I failed my drivers license and given up. He smiled and said he had failed 4 times and yet there he was, driving! Truly inspirational.