A phrase from Confucius reads “It is at the coldest moment of the year that the pine and cypress, last to lose the leaves, reveal their tenacity”.
A bit like that pine and cypress tree, in Toronto I pulled my tenacity out on several occasions, but never like that time when I wanted to go to the Royal Ontario Museum in the only weekend when the whole city was blocked due to an ice storm.
I had arrived in Toronto for a week and had decided to take advantage of every free minute to discover the metropolis. My glorious plans, however, had not come to terms with the Nordic and changing climate of Canada, which had already put me to the test with sudden snow, announced by a cold wind, and a capricious sun that came out when you least expected it. On my first free Saturday I was ready for anything, except to face an ice storm:
«Maximum state of alert in the city due to the arrival of a violent” ice storm “. We recommend that you do not use the machine and stay indoors». Admonished on TV, the lady of the weather bandaged in a cobalt blue coat while behind her flowed scenes from Apocalypse Now with supermarkets taken by assault and salt spreader in action along the super roads.
«But then you want me badly!» I thought, looking at the sky full of gray clouds and ready to unload his fury on the city. I had only three free weekends to know that wonderful country and the weather it does? It makes ice rain. The storm, in fact, arrived on time with frozen rain grains at first light and then more and more intense that in a short time covered roads, sidewalks, and buildings. I had never seen such a thing in my life.
After spending the Saturday watching the world freeze from the window, the next day I armed myself with courage and, together with three friends ready for anything, I decided to spend Sunday at the Royal Ontario Museum, the museum of natural history of the city.
«The metro station is called Museum, you cannot go wrong, see you there». Instead, I got lost. My innate ability to roam randomly, trusting only my instinct, had struck again and so from the hostel, instead of getting off at the right stop and take the yellow line that came directly to the entrance of the museum, I stayed on the line green going down to St. George Station.
When I went out into the street it was as if I had found myself at the North Pole.
It had begun to blow the north wind and ice-cold grains came from the sky.
«Excuse me, how can I get to the museum?» I asked the ticket vendor, running back to the station.
«From here it’s a 20-minute walk and the next train is late because of the storm»
«Well Sara, you’ve had your usual mess, now try to get to the museum».
Armed with tenacity and google maps I went out in the cold and frost.
Sometimes time never seems to flow and on that occasion, it had crystallized like my hands and feet as I tried to get to the Royal Ontario Museum.
Twenty minutes and a principle of frostbite after, I saw the salvation in the “Crystal” the crystal facade added in 2007 to the museum whose main entrance faces on Bloor Street.
I arrived first and once I found friends, I finally started to enjoy my “hot” Sunday at the museum.
The museum is composed of two main sections: the Natural History Galleries (natural history) and the World Cultures Gallery (dedicated to the civilizations of the world).
(Admission ticket $ 20. Museum open every day from 10 am to 5.30 pm).
I started the tour in the rooms that collected the Asian art to end it in those dedicated to the natural sciences. In one afternoon I saw ancient Chinese temples, Egyptian mummies, Roman remains. I visited a Canadian wood, with a lot of animals plastinated inside it, and discovered the culture of the ancient indigenous tribes whose symbol were two huge totems carved in cedar wood.
It was one of those occasions when I admired the “world in a room”.
One of those moments when you do crazy things with friends as enter an art laboratory to eat at the buffet for free with the consent of an elderly Canadian lady who helped us not to be discovered by the teacher of the course.
It was a day of culture and lightheartedness in which I bravely challenged the cold of winter to live a beautiful adventure.