The Canadian National Exhibition opened quite recently. This is often called the CNE, or when I was young “The Ex”. This event runs until Labour Day Monday at the exhibition fairgrounds in Toronto. It has been a staple of life for many Ontarians for many years.
As a child, I used to go every year-sometimes even twice. There were rides, carnival games, wild and whacky foods, free popsicles (alas, not anymore) unusual products, animals, lots of lights and all kinds of visual spectacles. Basically it was a smorgasbord for the senses. What little kid wouldn’t love that.
Coming from the burbs, what I didn’t like was the commute. It involved a bus to subway to bus transfer. The trip to was tolerable, mostly because the excitement of getting there was fantastic driving force. The trip back, however, was crowded (like Japan rush hour subway crowded). Everyone was tired and cranky and desperately trying to hold onto the many things they had acquired throughout the day. It wasn’t so bad if you were lucky enough to have a seat, but if you had to grasp the pole with one had and hold onto your stuff with the other…well, good luck. It was not unusual to see someone carrying a stuffed animal bigger than they were. I remember feeling rather jealous in those days. Now I wonder how they would get it home.
Despite my writing in a somewhat negative tone (that is today’s voice imagining going, not the little kid in me–that little boy wouldn’t miss a chance to go to the Ex for the world.) I do enjoy the Ex and smile when I see people with big stuffed animals.
The last time I went was a fantastic trip with my two older sisters. We went mostly to see the band the Great Big Sea, but spent time wandering around before the concert started. The concert was fantastic–only improved by my sisters flask of rum and mixing drinks in the food building.
I was reminded of this yesterday when I spotted someone with a huge Pikachu a bit of a ways down the subway car. It was late at night and due to subway maintenance the trip home was a bit of a pain. However, the Pikachu brought a smile to my face–and probably confused a lot of Pokémon Go players.