Thursday, September 08, 2011

Quite a start

I knew I'd have to wait in a line of some sort to pick up my tickets, and I calculated at least an hour when backtiming for my arrival in Toronto.  With my first film at 6:00 p.m. at a theater that is approximately a twenty to thirty minute walk from the festival box office and calculating that I want to be in line there by 5:15, then I figured I ought to get into town by 3:00 or 3:30.

The plan was to leave at 6:30 a.m.  I slept maybe four restless hours before finally giving up and getting up at 4:45.  It's not the way to start what would prove to be a long day--I was up about 22 straight hours--but the extra time gave me the comfort of knowing I had everything ready to go and not being in a hurry.

Because neither my friend nor I were hungry and we went through a stretch where there wasn't anywhere compelling to stop to eat, we made fantastic time with just one bathroom stop and another one for gas and its weird Canadian pricing.  Cents per liter?!

Arriving at the downtown hotel at 2:00 p.m. would then seem to give me time to breathe.  The room wasn't ready, so I figured the best bet was to get the tickets and then figure things out from there.  As it turned out, the extra time was essential.  After walking to the festival box office and picking up the ticket package with ease, I then found one of those quirks of the system.  Picking up the individual tickets I ordered meant getting into a different line.  (I could also turn in my vouchers and do any exchanges in this line.)  That line only took, oh, about 90 minutes to get through.

Since I was not going to be heading back to the hotel--and would not be there until about 2:30 a.m.--I began heading to the first theater.  At this point I realized I had no Canadian currency.  I popped into a Hilton on the way and got money changed at an absurd rate.  (Nice little racket there with the fee everyone charges.  It was the same changing money at a bank.)

And then I saw three movies.

Did I mention all I'd had to eat all day was a cinnamon roll and a decaf coffee?  After the third movie I did get a slice of pizza at 2:00 a.m. and ate it while walking the twenty minutes or so to the hotel...where the room was not in my name and I did not have a key.

Luckily I didn't have any problems at the hotel and finally collapsed into bed by 2:45.  Quite a start to the festival.

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