This is from Dana regarding the Toronto Auto show of 2006 which I finally went to. I typically plan these things month’s in advanced and then cancel at the last minute, but this time I just upped and left.
The Toronto Auto Show, as you’ve probably already heard, was a blast. (Dana wrote most of this part but I’ve taken out some names because I didn’t ask if I could use them).
I was joined by my cousins, and our friend Jay from church. Our party of five left town around 4pm so we knew we’d be arriving in Toronto during rush hour, but our spirits weren’t dampened at all. The five of us took Becky’s beautiful new Civic for its first road trip, and what better way to celebrate than by taking it to a car show!
I was really looking forward to meeting my friend, Asif, for the first time. Asif and I have known each other for three and a half years but only in a virtual context, since we originally met online. We’ve been there for each other chatting through the good times and supporting each other through the roughest times as well. Until the car show, however, we had never met in person so naturally this was going to be huge!! :)
We had also planned to meet Niagara P at the show. The poor guy, he took the GoTrain into town and walked several blocks in the wrong direction due to some misinformation from a T.O. local. He arrived at the SkyDome irked and somewhat tired. So shortly after meeting up with P at the Suzuki section (I specifically requested Suzuki as a meeting place – gotta start off right!!) he accompanied Beck, J, Ja, and Jay to the nearby Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) north building to find some reasonably priced food, while I returned to Suzuki to meet Asif.
Meeting him was SO cool!! We hit it off quite naturally…I’ve met a number of internet friends in person over the years, and I must say that meeting Asif felt the most natural. We happily conversed as we made our way through a long tunnel from the SkyDome to the MTCC to meet the others. I found Asif’s perspective on the first half of the evening quite funny, actually. Here it is, posted with his permission – naturally!
In a nutshell: It’s our first meeting and the first chunk was walking through these long tunnels and then this empty concrete tunnel then standing beside a car engine for like 45 minutes. [At which point in the conversation I made a comment that 45 minutes sounded a bit long, to which Asif responded]: Okay maybe it was at least 30 minutes but you should still call it the 45 minute story.
You got it, Asif! ;) He continued: If I had a public blog I would write about how you are much more fantastic in person and super cute!!! My favorite time was when we were walking through those concrete tunnels in the skydome – you know those ramps. I could make a whole movie right there!! I can do a comedy about people who are having adventures while trying to find their friends at the auto show.
Asif was actually referring to what happened when we reached the MTCC and met with Becky, John, Ja and Jay. We were waiting for P in the Ford section, beside that engine Asif was talking about. (I’m embarassed to admit we chose that as a meeting place; sorry to you Ford fans out there…). Anyway, after we’d had enough waiting we decided to go find him. The last we’d heard P was “drooling” in the Mazda section, so when we finally went to get him he was gone. Thank goodness Asif was there, who proposed that we split up to look for him. Asif had never met P before, but thanks to my trusty digital camera I showed him a picture from earlier that evening, and thus began our search through the sizable MTCC building. Finally, just as someone was trying to sell Asif a credit card in the Lamborghini section, Asif found P and promptly called me with the joyous news!
Little did I know our adventure would spark an idea in Asif’s sharp, entrepreneurial mind: Start an adventure game based on the events of that night!! People [will] pay money to re-live our fun adventures at the Auto Show. There will be actors and staged adventures they will have to go through. We would charge them $1000 for a 3 hour evening. Per person. (Asif: Okay okay, the pricing needs work) [We’d include] scavenger hunts [such as] finding Niagara P because he has some kind of clue about something important. Plus at the same time they have to run from possible fake zombies. Michael Douglas did a movie about it and in the movie he pays $1,000,000 for like a one week fantasy vacation [referring to the movie, “The Game”].
Part three: Soon after finding P, Asif left for home and the rest of us continued taking in the show – we checked out all kinds of cars, we laughed, we hung out, we relaxed. Ja drove us home and entertained everyone along the way. He’s a driving instructor, so he had lots of stories to tell! Unfortunately I was so exhausted that I slept for most of the trip home, but I periodically woke up to the group laughing at some joke of his… I was too tired to catch his jokes, but I smiled anyway. It was such an awesome night! – End
Okay back to me (Asif Zamir) Ha ha! What a great time I had. I picked up Freddy around 5:30 and we left for downtown. Parking was difficult to find but we found some in a hotel down the street. Anyway we took the free shuttle to the dome, paid our $20 admission fee’s and headed inside with 0 (zero) wait time. What was hillarious to me was the people who paid $18 on the internet for convenience ended up in an overcrowded slow moving lineup to redeem their tickets. I heard one guy complain that he was waiting in line for over 35 minutes. All to save $2! What’s wrong with these people? I would glady pay triple to bypass a line anyday. Anyway I ended up spending most of the time looking for Dana and then standing by this 750 horsepower Ford engine. I really didn’t get to look at many cars. Doh! It was super fun and I hope to do it again.