On Monday night, Toronto had its ass properly kicked by a gang of vicious, snarly weather gods. At about 4:30-5pm I looked up from whatever it was I was doing (it was so compelling that I have no idea, 48 hours later, what it was) because it had incredibly quickly become as dark as midnight outside. No rain or thunder or lightening yet–that would come, dealing destruction, soon–but it was clearly trouble.
I immediately contacted my husband and forbade him to ride his bicycle home. I then took this low-res but, I think, very evocative photo from the safety of my front door:
After that, of course, I took to Twitter and joined the chorus of the worried, the fascinated, the drenched, the stranded, and the both literally and figuratively powerless.
My husband and I were crazy lucky. He got home on transit before things went really haywire–although the most badly affected parts of the transit system aren’t in our neighbourhood anyway. And while our power did flicker and threaten quite a bit, we didn’t end up going without. Given that 300,000 people in the city lost power–including, literally, all but two of our friends–we were unfairly lucky. One friend had to walk down 64 flights of steps to leave her place of employment; another took something like 3 hours to walk home from his gym (normally a 15-minute streetcar right or a 45-minute walk). Our Basement of Bad Dreams flooded a little, but not so much that the drain couldn’t handle it.
Just stupidly lucky–in part because I got to make dinner. My powerless friends were generally confined, once they got home, to weeping quietly while dining in the dark on once cold milk and cereal. The dinner I made was a limited sort of dinner because getting to the grocery store never happened. It was one of those dinners tossed together from all the limp scraps left in the fridge combined with any and all available pantry items. But it was like the food you eat while camping: more delicious than physics, or any other science, can possibly account for. Here’s what it comprised:
I called it storm cellar curry because while I was cooking, I was thinking long and hard about the beginning of The Wizard of Oz and what I’d do if my house got really battered and I woke up wearing ruby slippers and conversing with weepy lions.
Chickpeas, kale, collards, garlic, coconut milk, onions, carrots, celery, red curry paste, salt, lime juice–all over brown rice. (I threw in some small green peas at the last moment, because I didn’t think this meal was green enough; also, I’m in a terrible loop with the frozen peas. I keep using them, when I shouldn’t, in order to get rid of them…but then, because I’m apparently insane, I buy more. And the terrible cycle begins again.)
The storm cellar curry was pretty good, but not flavourful enough. (I think I’m ready to take my curry paste to coconut milk ratio to the next level. This is an incredibly exciting epoch in my culinary journey.)
We also enjoyed the world’s most pathetic salad as a side; each plate featured approximately six leaves of spinach and 2 tablespoons each of red pepper, cucumber, and radish. I admit it made me a little fearful of devolving back into the horrid salads of my childhood. But I was so engrossed in looking at photos of the storm on the internet, not to mention just a wee bit hysterical, that the tiny-salad didn’t hurt and shame me as much as it could have.
Speaking of photos on the internet, here are the best collections that I’ve found chronicling Monday’s shitstorm. They’re all from blogTO, of course:
- Massive rain storm hits Toronto causing flooding and power outages
- 15 harrowing moments from the Toronto rainstorm
- What the Toronto floods looked like on Instagram
There’s a lot going on in those photos…but when I saw my first pic of flooding inside buses, I knew we were experiencing something entirely new to me, and even worse than I’d imagined.
The cats totally didn’t give a shit of course; they just washed their fat faces and continued being smug and happy.