Listening Out Loud

coffee shop

You never know who’s listening…

Be careful what you say….an inveterate eavesdropper like me might just be tuning in to every word. With the all time I spend in airports, train stations and coffee shops, waiting for flights, meetings or the end of the world as predicted by the Mayan calendar, I’m awash in a sea of other people’s loud conversations. I can’t help what I hear. And you wouldn’t believe the stuff that wafts over to me sometimes.

Today, for example, I was innocently tapping away on my laptop in a Toronto Starbucks, when the communal table was joined by an out-of-work CFO and a headhunter.

“So,” said the clearly disinterested headhunter, “there’s just not much unless you’re willing to leave the GTA. Are you?”

“What…like Ted?” groaned her companion. “What was he thinking? He went to…St. Catharines.”

“Yeah…Niagara…that area. And he tries to say it’s not so bad but c’mon! That’s like…what…two hours from the city? You’re not that desperate yet, are you?”

OMG…that poor Ted…how awful for him! Can you imagine having to live in a place that millions of tourists spend mega-bucks to visit each year? A place where the price of a cramped Toronto condo will buy a four-bedroom house…with a waterfront view if you like? Where you can get your kids into great basketball, soccer, softball and hockey leagues without registering them at birth? Where the public school system is good and the streets are safe? Where we have 200 wineries and more great restaurants than you can shake a fork at (like LIV, for example…just sayin’…) and they all seem to serve fabulous Niagara produce? Where a peach looks and tastes like a peach….not a tennis ball…and where the roadside stands still have ‘honour boxes’? Where we’re just about to open a state-of-the-art hospital that will put our community ahead of just about any other in the province? Where you can row on a world-class course, ride your bike along the Niagara Parkway, hike the Bruce Trail or work out at a certain lovely fitness club with shiny golden diamond sides? Where both Brock University and Niagara College are just waiting to educate you…and teach you that that the world doesn’t end at Mississauga?

Yeah, poor Ted. He might just wither away in St. Catharines, stuck in that wretched backwater of Niagara. What was he thinking?

Is a travel writer with weekly columns in the Toronto Star, various other newspapers and She's a thrilled to be a blog contributor, and is inspired by the people she's met through White Oaks.


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