Hello, misfortune

What a horrible start to the day…today I planned on heading out to Tommy Thompson Park for their Spring Bird Festival. It’s bad enough that the weather was semi uncooperative, and that I got less than 2 hours of sleep, but I did not expect the string of bad luck that was to follow.

After I got off the bus, figuring out exactly which direction I was suppose to walk to reach the actual park was kind of frustrating. I’m horrible with directions (I can’t tell which way is south when I don’t see the CN Tower lol). All that I saw around me were empty railroad tracks, a factory, and the street signs. I kept thinking that I had to walk down one street, but I was suppose to walk down the other. I crossed the cross walk about 4 times, and paced back and forth before I finally figured out which direction I was suppose to head towards.

Once in the park, I tried contacting Pete (no luck because he forgot his phone at home when rushing to get out… haha it’s okay Pete I forgive you ^^). So I headed off with a group of other people for the Early Bird hike for beginners. This hike took us into the area known as the Baselands. Our guide lady (the project manager) was very nice, and described all of the birds that we saw. She took us along a trail deeper into the Baselands so that we could find more birds. (FYI this park is a place where many different species of birds flock to while migrating).

It was fun exploring and trying to take photos of the birds, although it was difficult to do because the birds were so tiny and hard to spot and my camera lens didn’t have a big enough zoom. The numerous swarms of flies was rather annoying but expected. The weather was getting sunnier (no rain in sight), but quickly became cloudy again, and I could feel the temperature dropping.

At around 10am, our Guide had to head back to the research station, so she left us inside the Baselands to further explore. I started walking around trying to take photos of the different birds that I could spot (I failed many times to get a clear photo, but I kept trying, since I was focusing manually instead of on auto). I then noticed that the group had dispersed and everyone was off wandering off on their own, so I decided to walk around. I headed in the direction that we were going to walk towards originally, but decided I better head back to the entrance of the park to see if I could find Pete.

While walking through, I started realizing there were many trails (not just one) and they all looked so similar. 1 trail became 4… which became 7… I no longer recognized where I was walking, and it soon became apparent that I was on my own…no one in sight. I decided to try to head back to my original spot, but I completely failed at doing so. All of the trails started to change and look very different. It was getting to the point where I couldn’t tell if the break in the grass was an actual trail, or if it was just naturally like that. It also didn’t help that my digital map of the Baselands that I had saved onto my iTouch before leaving home, didn’t show any of the trails, so I was honestly lost in some part of the Baselands.

I thought to myself, if I kept wandering around, I’m either going to find my way out, or I’m going to make myself even more lost by moving deeper into the Baselands. When I finally reached a point where I could no longer tell if there were any more trails, I turned around and tried to find the last couple of people that I had passed before reaching this point of no return.

Heading back on different trails yet again, I was lucky enough to find the people I had just passed a few minutes ago. Finally I was starting to see the group of people that I had originally headed into the Baselands with and so I followed them out back towards the park entrance. I had finally made it out of the Baselands!

At the entrance of the park, there were some people holding an owl, a falcon, and another bird (but I’m not sure what kind of bird it was… it was pretty small, and looked like it was related to the falcon — and I also failed to take a photo of it). I managed to snap some photos of them (probably my better photos of the day), and then I headed in the direction of Peninsula D and the Bird Research Station.

The walk felt extremely long, but there was a fantastic view of the lake. My photos turned out horrible for it though, maybe because I was shaking due to the cold wind that was coming in (and I didn’t want to go through the hassle of changing lenses). When I finally reached the entrance for the research base, I was digging through my bag and realized I had lost my metropass! I couldn’t find it anywhere. I dug through my pockets (where I believe I had originally kept it)… but it wasn’t there. Thoughts kept racing through my head, trying to retrace my untraceable steps as to where I could have dropped it…

The Baseland? I probably had dropped it in there somewhere when I pulled my phone out of my pocket and didn’t realize it. It was the only place where I had a difficult time pulling out my phone/iPod out of my pocket (since it felt like they were stuck). But then again, I might have lost it when I was trying to figure out how to get to the park in the first place. I’m not really sure… but it totally ruined my mood. I couldn’t help but panic because now I had no way of getting home AND I’m in a place that I’m not familiar with.

Hoping that I’d have better luck finding it if I dug through my bag some more, I tried to search through my bag while walking to the research station. When I got to the research station, I saw a group of people leaving. I had just missed the live demonstration of how the researchers capture and band the birds with id tags. They also looked like they were starting to pack things up because the weather was getting worse. Oh well… I decided to head back… still frustrated that I could not find my metropass.

It started raining and the park bus pulled up so that I could get on and it drove everyone back to the park entrance. At that point, I was totally freaking out since I could not find the metropass. I searched the area where I had waited originally before going into the Baselands. No luck. I decided if I should really try and walk back into the Baselands on my own to see if I could find it. As I walked past the parking lot towards the Baselands I figured it would be a very stupid idea for me to walk into the Baselands on my own since I had already gotten lost in there a few hours prior, and I wasn’t 100% sure if that is the location where I had lost my metropass.

Reluctantly, I left the park. I tried to search the area where I was pacing back and forth in the beginning (when I was trying to figure out how to get to the park) but I still had no luck in finding the metropass. I walked into Shoppers to see if they sell it there, but they don’t, and the only place the girl knew where you can by it was at a corner store on Queen St. But I was at Lakeshore, and I don’t even know that area too well since I’m never in that area.

I headed off to the bank to withdraw some money, and hopped on over to Starbucks to buy a drink (strawberry smoothy) and to gather change so that I could pay my $3 bus fare to get back to the subway. At the bus stop I ran into Pete (FINALLY! lol), and had told him about my situation. From Donlands Station we travelled to Bloor, where I was hoping I’d be able to buy a metropass from those dinky machines, but it only accepted Debit card (and I didn’t have enough money in my debit card).

Decided to head on home and try my luck at the 7eleven across the street, but apparently, you can’t buy metropass with credit card at all! I was so desperate, and it was an emergency. I wanted to use my credit card because I didn’t have enough money in my debit card to pay for a $120 metropass.

By the time I got back inside my apartment, I was extremely frustrated and depressed. I told my parents I had lost the metropass (ugh), and gave them my debit to use to get a new one. I will have to pay them back the difference because I don’t have enough on my debit card yet (only $50… need another $70, but won’t have that until I get paid).

It’s times like this where I wish Toronto had adopted the kind of system that is implemented in South Korea (T-money card) or Hong Kong (Octopus Card). The card itself costs $1 (at least in South Korea it does, not sure about HK), and you can fill it with whatever amount of money you want to put in it, and your fare is deducted from that card according to the distance that you have travelled. Also, at all of the stations, there would be a machine that you can buy the card from, as well as recharge it with more currency. If we had that implemented in Toronto, I probably wouldn’t feel so frustrated that I had lost my Metropass, because I could simply go buy a new card for $1, and fill it with $10 (or any other amount).

Unfortunately, Toronto is still behind, and we have to pay $120 for an Adult Metropass (which is suppose to cover 1 month of unlimited public transit). If you do not have a metropass in Toronto, then the regular adult fare is $3 one way, which is rediculous, especially considering the fact that when I used the T-money card in Korea, the fare one way was about $0.90!!. Did I mention that you can also use this card to pay for taxi, as well as grocery, and pay phone??? Unlike the metropass, which is strictly for public transit. If you do not have a metropass in Toronto, then you are basically super limited in the amount of travel that you do around the city (and are restricted to paying your fare either by cash or tokens).

In my opinion, the T-Money card and Octopus card far surpasses Toronto’s Metropass. Losing a metropass is really frustrating (since it costs so much to purchase one), whereas if I had a T-money card or Octopus card, it wouldn’t be a big deal since I can easily purchase another one.

SO to recap my day: less than 2 hours of sleep. Woke up at 6am. Got lost trying to find my way to the park entrance. Got lost inside the Baselands due to the ever multiplying number of similar looking trails. Realized I lost my metropass and I don’t even know where I lost it. Couldn’t buy a replacement metropass right away since I didn’t have enough $ in my debit card. Wished that Toronto implemented the same system as the T-money card & Octopus card.

*insert big sigh*

I’m going to probably sleep soon and wake up in a few hours to work on finishing my wholesale order into the early early hours of the morning. Will add photos to this post later, if they turned out okay (I haven’t checked yet). Photos added.

Note: Most of my bird photos were cropped. My zoom lens doesn’t let me get super close photographs of the birds, so I had to crop my photos so that you could actually see what the birds look like. My apologies if they look a little blurry/out of focus. I’m satisfied that I was, at the very least, able to capture photographs of a few different species of birds.

2 Comments to “Hello, misfortune”

  1. Hi Sherry! It must have been a super crazy day for you! Just the way you described it, it’s as if I could feel your frustrations! Very nice photos of all the birds! You certainly saw a bunch of different birds which was good! I don’t think I’ve seen many of the birds you saw, and definitely would not be able to capture them. Did you have to stay super still to capture so many shots of these birds?

    • Hey Janet ^^
      yeah capturing the photos of the different birds were so difficult, because most of the time I could not see them! The guide would sometimes help and try to point out where they were, but even then, they were still difficult to spot. Sometimes I’d see the birds, but when I looked through the viewfinder, I’d be unable to find them again lol. There was this one bird (the blue-ish gray/yellow one that’s sitting in a bush) that I got photos of (posted in my blog entry). It was pretty close and just sitting there! I wanted to move in closer but didn’t because I thought it would fly away, but as soon as it showed up, everyone who had a camera was snaping away! lol I also found it easier to use manual focus because auto kept focusing on the branches of the trees rather than the birds (so a lot of my original pictures had turned out blurry/unfocused when on auto).

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