Wednesday, 27 September 2017

'A Tree in Water: My Journey From Aotearoa to The Great White North' Chapter 21.

It’s been six months since I met my first celebrity, and now I’m about to meet my second, and my first director. As I always had hoped, my opportunity to meet one of my heroes had finally come true during my time here in Toronto. Then it became the best day of my life when I finally shook hands, bear-hugged, as well as got an autographed book and a photo with Guillermo del Toro at AGO. For those who are not familiar with the Master of Horror, Guillermo del Toro is a renowned Mexican Filmmaker known for his Horror Fantasy and Genre-bending films such as Cronos (1992), Mimic (1997), The Devil’s Backbone (2001), Blade II (2002), Hellboy (2004), Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), Hellboy II: The Golden Boy (2008), Pacific Rim (2013), Crimson Peak (2015), and The Shape of Water (2017). Del Toro’s works is characterised by a strong connection to fairy tales and horror, with an effort to infuse visual and/or poetic beauty. He has a lifelong fascination with monsters, which he considers symbols of great power.

The artist and the man, like Hans Zimmer, was a humble, funny and a genuine human being. It is no wonder why both artists are highly respected in their fields. But, unfortunately, all opportunities have their flaws and, like all good things, must come to an end. Even though I got to shake the master’s hand, got the biggest bear-hug from him and got an autographed book and a photo with him, I never got to talk to him at length, tell him how much he and his contributions to cinema means to me as an aspiring filmmaker, and never got to ask him my question. This was due to the fact that the line was LONG and security only allowed each person a short window of time with him. However, thanks to a friend I had met in line, the end of my time at AGO got better when I was invited to attend a VIP preview of del Toro’s exhibition before it opened to the public. Naturally, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity. Even though I went to his exhibition at LACMA in Los Angeles, the exhibition was similar to the LA exhibition; everything I had seen before and had expected was present. Yet, at the same time, it was certainly a different iteration of the exhibition and had its own elements that made it stand out from all the other iterations of the exhibition so far.

So once again, to recap, I became one of the luckiest guys in Toronto, having got the opportunity to meet one of my heroes. In addition, I got to shake his hand, got a bear hug from him, got my Guillermo del Toro sketchbook autographed and gotten a photo with him. All of which I will treasure for the rest of my life. I sincerely hope I will get another opportunity to see him again, only next time I hope we’ll be colleagues. I felt the happiest and the most optimistic I had ever been that day. For the first time in my life, I felt that I could be able to do anything I wanted. With that in mind, I also felt that good things would come my way.








Monday, 18 September 2017

TIFF Film Review: "The Shape of Water" (2017).



"A Fairy Tale for Troubled Times." This is The Shape of Water. This romantic fantasy film directed by Guillermo del Toro, and written by del Toro and Vanessa Taylor. The film is an other-worldly fairy tale, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. In the hidden high-security government labyrinth and oratory where she works, lonely Elisa is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa's life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda discover a secret classified experiment.

The idea for The Shape of Water formed during del Toro's breakfast with Daniel Kraus (whom he would later co-write the novel Trollhunters) in 2011. Del Toro then began working on the film, he self-financed a crew that designed both the creature and the world. Del Toro called it the most difficult movie he and his team have ever designed. Del Toro would go on to work on this film for the next several years, and developed it before he began production on Pacific Rim (2013). Eventually, he chose to direct this film instead of Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018). It was finally confirmed in March 2016 when The Hollywood Reporter reported that the film was in development which would star Sally Hawkins and Octavia Spencer, and which del Toro would write, produce and direct for Fox Searchlight Pictures. The film would be set in the Cold War era. Del Toro originally wanted to shoot the film in black and white, but due to budget restraints, decided against it. Del Toro first pitched the film to Hawkins when they first met at the 2014 Golden Globes, and pitched the film to her while being intoxicated; "I was drunk and it's not a movie that makes you sound less drunk". Ironically, when she was offered the lead role in this film, Hawkins herself was working on a script for a short film about a woman who turns into a fish. Hawkins researched Charles Chaplin, Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Buster Keaton and Audrey Hepburn for her part. Del Toro bought her a Blu-ray collection featuring the performers prior to filming. By May, Michael Stuhlbarg and Michael Shannon had joined the cast. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, del Toro confirmed his frequent collaborator Doug Jones would play the creature in the film. Jones commented: "...I played a creature in it, in a full rubber, you know, transformation from head to toe. ... Sally Hawkins is like the lead of the movie, and the one I had most of my scenes with." Jones spent three hours every day getting into the costume. According to him, it was nothing compared to previous costumes he has worn in other films by del Toro. Filming began in August 2016 in Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario, with a budget of $30 million. Filming took twelve weeks, and it wrapped in November 2016. In December 2016, Alexandre Desplat was announced to score the film. Desplat's whistling can be heard in the soundtrack. Del Toro wanted the score to feature whistling because it contrasted how many scenes of the film feature water. In July 2017, the first trailer for the film was released. Despite visual similarities, del Toro has denied that this film has any connections to Hellboy (2004). The film was screened in the main competition section of the 74th Venice International Film Festival and premiered on August 31, 2017. It would later win the main award, The Golden Lion, the first English-language movie since Somewhere (2010).

The film stars Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Octavia Spencer. The cast gave terrific performances that was outer worldly and more multi-lated than one would expect. Both Hawkins and Jones gave incredibly physical performances that radiated soulfulness and outer worldly beauty without uttering a single word. Performances that harken back to performances of the silent era to the performances of the golden age of horror films. They were just simply wondrous. Shannon's multi-layered performance was the key throughout the film, as his character in the film epitomizes the human theme of the film. He has joined the rank of del Toro's greatest antagonists, a character who is both unsettling and chivalrous. Stuhlbarg, Jenkins and Spencer gave scene-stealing performances that is sure to get some award buzz.

The Shape of Water is Beauty and the Beast for grown-ups, with the horrors of both reality and fantasy blended together into an extraordinary, spellbinding fable like Pan's Labyrinth. The film is another epic, poetic vision from Guillermo del Toro in which a love story is set in a period of history that examined what made America great and horrible. It is a fairy tale of such potency and awesome beauty that it reconnects the adult imagination to the primal thrill and horror of the stories that held us spellbound as children. It works on so many levels that it seems to change shape even as you watch it. Del Toro has crafted a masterpiece, a visually wondrous fairy tale love story for adults that blends the beloved del Toro fantasy elements and the melodrama of Douglas Sirk into one of the most magical films to come along in years. It is so breathtaking in its artistic ambition, so technically accomplished, so morally expansive, so fully realized that it defies the usual critical blather. See it, and celebrate that rare occasion when a director has the audacity to commit cinema. The film is one of those rare beasts, with a sense of genuine permanency. It beds down in your mind, like it is preparing to live there for a while. It is not pretty, but it is, sometimes, very beautiful. But even in a year where cinema is not at its finest, I'm unable to see everything. And I'm still not finished with my 2017 discoveries. I'm still looking for more movies to watch until the end of the year. Nothing I am likely to see, however, is likely to change my conviction that the year's best film is The Shape of Water. It's simply bewitchingly bonkers.

Simon says The Shape of Water receives: 

Sunday, 17 September 2017

'A Tree in Water: My Journey From Aotearoa to The Great White North' Chapter 20.

Victory! I got them at last! I got tickets to TIFF at last! The tickets themselves were not easy to obtain. Even worse, I wasn’t able to get all the tickets I had wanted nor on the dates I had hoped. All things I had to find out the hard way about TIFF when it came to the early morning of Monday 4th November. And boy it was as though I was kicked in the nuts! I was definitely dumbfounded, yet excited; by the time I had gained my hands on the tickets. The Toronto International Film Festival’s process of tickets sales is rather an interesting one, interesting as in it’s very different to the ticket sales process of the New Zealand International Film Festival. Once I saw the process itself with my own eyes, the differences were more than apparent. It was basically day and night. The process itself was actually two separate components. The first is online where TIFF members can be able to purchase the tickets, and any other special deals, before the public on the day before. I should have become a member. That’s the part that pissed me off the most. Especially when I wasn’t able to get my hands on the tickets of a 70mm IMAX screening of Dunkirk with a Q&A with Christopher Nolan. I can’t explain, and stress enough, how upset and how pissed I was when I found out when those tickets were sold out and how TIFF lied about the tickets being available to the public. The second was obviously for the public to purchase tickets at the TIFF Box Office, which was held across the street from Lightbox. I quickly realized when I got there at 7am in the morning that it wasn’t going to be easy. But I had no idea that it was going to be as difficult as it was. The line itself was not long at first, but it grew and grew extraordinarily as time progressed. The line itself became a giant serpent full of anxious moviegoers waiting to get their hands on a ticket. I had no real hope of getting all the tickets I had wanted. It was just going to be almost an impossibility, but it didn’t hurt to hope for the best. It was time for me to get in line and play the waiting game. 

The amount of time waiting felt as though it was an eternity. With nothing happening even though the clock was ticking closer. I honestly did not expect for it to have taken as long as it did. After waiting about three, the line finally started to move towards the building and inside. I quickly lined up in the queue so that I can get my tickets as fast as possible. At this time, I had no expectations whatsoever that I would get the tickets I was after. As it was only a matter of time, while I was waiting, that someone would get them before I could. But this was my only chance to go to TIFF. It was time to accept whatever I could get. The queue was moving faster that I had expected. The rest of the line from the main entrance and outside was long and slow. As I had heard from a few people in front, this was typical in the life of the members of the public who are not TIFF members. When my time finally came, I pretty much hoped and kept my fingers crossed that I would get the tickets I sought after. Then things looked a little optimistic despite some bad news. Just as I had suspected, I was only able to get three out of the five tickets I had wanted, and none of them were on opening days and nights. During the time I was in the queue, the idea and prospect of getting the exact tickets were pretty slim. I grew more saddened and pissed. It was hard to think about that. But it was reality. Then by the time I got my hands on the tickets, I forgot about being saddened and pissed. In the end, at least I had the opportunity to go and the tickets to three of the movies I wanted to see. 

Oh God, I did it. I’ve finally gone to TIFF. I never could have imagined any of it. But it happened. I’ve finally got to go to one of the major film festivals in the world. And TIFF was one of the major film festivals that was high on my list. First, I went to see Hong Sang Soo’s The Day After (그 후) at Scotiabank Cinema. I went to see it, as I was curious to see a Hong Sang Soo film as I had never seen a single one of his films. The last of the many reasons why I went to see it was simply because it was a Korean film and I am myself Korean. The next film was Armando Iannucci’s The Death of Stalin at Ryerson University Theatre. This was a film that came as a recommendation from my brother. So based on his recommendation, I went to see it. After the two films, I finally got to see the one film I wanted to see most of all – Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water. Del Toro is one of the favourite filmmakers of all time. So when I heard his next film would be shown at TIFF, I immediately, within a heart beat, jumped at the chance to get my hands on a ticket. I waited in line for hours when I got to the Elgin Theatre, to make sure I could get the best seat possible. It was a nightmare waiting in line. But I was all smiles by the time I got into the theatre. I guess it’s true, “all good things come to those who wait.” By the time the lights had come up when the film ended, I was cloud nine. Smiling as I exited the theatre. I couldn’t never imagine myself not going to TIFF ever again. I just had to be a part of it for as long as I was going to live in Toronto. I’d started to forget about NZIFF and started to think about future TIFF events to come as I started to head on back to my apartment.











TIFF Film Review: "The Death of Stalin" (2017).



"The fight for leadership begins." This is The Death of Stalin. This period comedy-drama film directed by Armando Iannucci, adapted by Iannucci, David Schneider, Ian Martin, and Peter Fellows, based on the French graphic novel of the same name by Fabien Nury and Thierry Robin. The film follows the Soviet dictator's last days and depicts the chaos of the regime after his death.

The project first gained momentum during the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Armando Iannucci was set as director and co-writer, alongside his regular collaborators David Schneider (The Thick of It co-writer), Ian Martin and Peter Fellows. Production began in late June 2016, with Jeffrey Tambor, Steve Buscemi, Olga Kurylenko, Michael Palin, Simon Russell Beale, Paddy Considine, Andrea Riseborough, Adrian Mcloughlin, Rupert Friend, Jason Isaacs and Paul Whitehouse all confirmed to be in the cast. In September 2017, a high-ranking Russian official with the culture ministry said the Russian authorities were considering a ban on the upcoming film, which, he alleged, could be part of a "western plot to destabilise Russia by causing rifts in society."

The film stars an ensemble cast that includes Jeffrey Tambor as Georgy Malenkov, Steve Buscemi as Nikita Khrushchev, Olga Kurylenko as Maria Yudina, Michael Palin as Vyacheslav Molotov, Simon Russell Beale as Lavrentiy Beria, Paddy Considine as Comrade Andreyev, Andrea Riseborough as Svetlana Stalina, Rupert Friend as Vasily Stalin, Jason Isaacs as Georgy Zhukov, Adrian McLoughlin as Joseph Stalin, Paul Whitehouse as Anastas Mikoyan, Paul Chahidi as Nikolai Bulganin, and Dermot Crowley as Lazar Kaganovich. Every single one of the cast gave performances that rides the thin line between hilarity and insanity. Every moment throughout the film, all the performances were hilarious and insane to the point where I actually, and literally, fell on the floor of the theatre laughing my ass off. All the jokes by the cast were funny as hell and the entire ensemble is great.

There had been nothing in comedy like The Death of Stalin ever before. All the gods before whom the Russia of the stolid, paranoid 50s had genuflected went into the wood-chipper and never got the same respect ever again. Armando Iannucci's brilliant Soviet Union satire is funny and razor-sharp. The film is arguably one of the best political satire of the century. By a whopping margin, this is Iannucci's most radical film and greatest dramatic gamble. Like most of his work, Iannucci's insane satirical comedy-thriller on the death of Joseph Stalin madness and its possible effects has aged well. Perhaps Iannucci's most perfectly realized film, simply because his satirical vision of the danger of power and human stupidity is wedded with comedy. The pre-eminent satire of the troubling times of the Soviet Union, the film is a hilarious and harrowing fable of systemised madness. The film does what so few comedies do today: it challenges us, provokes us, unsettles us while also making us laugh. A slick satire of Stalin's death, and one that succeeds in brilliantly lampooning the hands that guide the world.

Simon says The Death of Stalin receives:


Saturday, 16 September 2017

TIFF Film Review: "The Day After" ("그 후") (2017).



The 21st film by the Korean Woody Allen - The Day After (그 후). This South Korean drama film written, produced, and directed by Hong Sang-soo. The film centres on Bongwan, who runs a small publishing house in Seoul, wakes up early, very early this morning. Why is that so? To his wife who asks him for an explanation, Bongwan answers only elusively. He then sets off for work and while walking through the dark streets, he thinks of the woman who left him a month before. Later on, at the office, he meets Areum, his new secretary, a pretty young woman who takes on her first day of work. Meanwhile, at home, Bongwan's wife discovers a love poem written by him. She sees red and rushes like a fury into the publishing office. Mistaking poor Areum for her husband's mistress, she physically attacks her.

The film is another addition to director Hong's study on human relationship that has been synonymous to the director's career since his 1996 debut film The Day a Pig Fell into the Well (돼지가 우물에 빠진 날). But one can not ignore the fact that the film is an indictment for the director's extramarital affair with his leading lady, Kim Min-hee. In June 2016, Hong was reported to be having an extramarital affair with the actress since shortly after their first collaboration on the director's 2015 film Right Now, Wrong Then (지금은맞고그때는틀리다). Hong, who was 54, was in relations with a woman 21 years his junior. Rumours of their affair started circulating since the release of Kim's 2016 film The Handmaiden. At the Seoul premiere of On the Beach at Night Alone (밤의 해변에서 혼자) in March 2017, both Hong and Kim openly admitted their affair. By March 2017, it was reported that Hong had financially cut off his daughter for the affair, Hong's wife had confronted the actress in public, and that Hong's wife has refused to divorce Hong as she believed that he'll come back to her. She commented: "She put us in hell but my husband looks at Kim Min Hee with such a happy expression. My husband looks like a boy who fell in his first love. But we used to live so well together..."

The film stars Kwon Hae-hyo, Kim Min-hee, Kim Sae-byeok, and Jo Yoon-hee. The cast gave terrifically slight, contained, but ineffably soulful performances that portrays the subtleties, fragility and the brutal melancholy of people caught in a tangled web of complicated relationships.

The Day After is a simple story where director Hong Sang-soo addresses complex issues through extensive dialogues. Hong has a unique ability to create relationship studies that are both charming and puzzling. Every one of Hong Sang-soo's efforts has their delights. In its quiet, pensive manner, the movie plays like a cogent stanza in the ever-flowing lyricism of Hong's career. Even though the film is plotless, its wryly likeable study of human emotions. A melancholic honesty blows through every haunted frame of Hong Sang-soo's film.

Simon says The Day After (그 후) receives:


Thursday, 14 September 2017

'A Tree in Water: My Journey From Aotearoa to The Great White North' Chapter 19.


Made it to another meet up today, and I had a fun time. Just like I did for the first meet up. An interesting meet up this one was. Getting to the location wasn’t much of a problem, even though it was a little far. As to how far it was that I live all the way West and the location was all the way East. Further East than my where my bnb was. I left for the location at 5:30pm and I took the 504 streetcar, a streetcar I’m more than familiar with since I’ve taken it more than any other streetcar. The ride was a little while but it was a straight ride, which only went in one direction. Up till now, I’ve been hanging out by myself and exploring on my own. It is when I’m exploring on my own that I started to feel lonelier than ever. The feeling grew more and more as time progressed. But as soon as I joined the group, I no longer felt alone and felt more and more that I enthusiastic to hang out with groups and people like this one. The good news is that this will continue to comfort me for days to come. I get to have opportunities where I can hang out with like-minded people and I can be myself and do what I love with them.

The weather was fine, it wasn’t too hot and it wasn’t too cold. No unbearable heat and no discernable winds. I think it was a good evening to shoot some photos. There’s a good chance we could get some great pictures of the skyline and sun setting. I should be able to show off some tuff in this post. Which, by the way, we did. After taking shots of the bridge over the Don River, the Broadview Hotel and its surrounding area during sunset and at night. I stayed with the group on the bridge for most of the time. I could gone off on my own and shot some different things, but the group was so much fun to hang out and shoot with, and there wasn’t much else to take photos of. Most of the action took place on the bridge. By the end, we wrapped it up and went out drinking at a bar and chatted with each other for about two hours.




























It’s a strange but wonderful feeling when I was sitting there surrounded by my new friends. Before all of this, everywhere I went, I felt isolated and distant from the Canadians I’m living among. During then, I never once felt I could connect with; the last thing I remembered was an advice give to me by friend Peter, whom I met during my stay at my bnb. He told me something that stayed with me that shaped my perceptions of Canadians, whether for better or for worse. He told me that Canadians are nice, but they are not friendly. This concept was further reinforced when I first interacted with my roommate. She told me it was because Canadians have their national/international image to uphold as an immigrant-friendly nation that upholds diversity above all else. Because of this reputation, Canadians are pressured and stressed to never let the reputation slip through the cracks, as my roommate explained. I wasn’t really expecting much in terms of interacting with Canadians after that. I was expecting to have a difficult time connecting with people. A month passed by and I had only made a few friends, which mostly consisted of the people I interacted with at my bnb. Here’s a man who has substantial amount of friends back home. Man, I miss my friends. I wish I could see all of them before I had left. Jesus Christ, look how far I’ve come connecting with people and making new friends. Back in the first month, I’d give anything for a five-minute conversation with someone, anyone for that matter. Anywhere and about anything. I’m the first member of my family to have taken the risk to immigrate to another country on the other side of the world and to be alone in that country.

Okay, enough moping about depressing feelings. Now I am having a conversation with someone, with some people: my new friends. It’s a bit quick to jump to conclusions but I’ve made up my mind. They are my new friends. And the whole point of this entry is to talk about my new friends. I could even talk about them and a whole bunch more before this long story ends. So here’s another first: This week I’ll be attending the Toronto International Film Festival.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Film Review: "It" (2017).



"You'll float too". Prepare for It (or It: Chapter One) (2017). This supernatural horror film directed by Andy Muschietti, adapted by Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga, and Gary Dauberman, based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Stephen King. It is intended to be the first installment in a planned duology. When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.

The project first entered development in 2009, David Kajganich was first attached to pen the script in 2009, with Dan Lin, Roy Lee and Doug Davison as producers. In June 2012, Cary Fukunaga was brought on to direct and co-write with Chase Palmer. In addition, Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg were added to the producing roster. In May 2014, it was announced that Warner Bros. had moved the film to its New Line Cinema division. In December, Lin announced that the film would be split into two films. In May 2015, it was officially announced that Will Poulter had been cast to play Pennywise. Afterwards, it was reported that Fukunaga had suddenly dropped out of the project over creative differences. In July, it was announced that Andy Muschietti was in negociations to replace Fukunaga. Muschietti’s sister and collaborator, Barbara, was also brought on as producer. In February 2016, Roy Lee confirmed that the script had been rewritten. In April, Poulter had dropped out of the project due to scheduling conflicts. In June, both Bill Skarsgård and Jaeden Lieberher were both confirmed to portray Pennywise and Bill Denbrough. By the end of June, the rest of the cast was rounded out. Principal Photography on the film took place in Ontario, locations included Toronto, Port Hope, Oshawa, and Riverdale. In July, the first offical image of Pennywise debuted. In February 2017, Lin confirmed that It would be rated R. In March, New Line released the official teaser poster, and then a 139-second teaser trailer the following day. The trailer reached 197 million views in its first 24 hours, setting a new record as the trailer with the most views in one day.

The film stars Skarsgård, Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, and Jack Dylan Grazer. Each of the seven young actors gave performances that were sweet, strong, ribald, outrageous, funny, a bit rough around the edges, and pure. Simply one of the film's greatest treasures that absolutely must not be missed. But the key performance came from none other than Mr. Skarsgård. Who gave a terrifying tour-de-force performance that moves Pennywise away from Tim Curry's interpretation into much darker territory. His sinister and frightening performance constantly upstaged the young performers, as well as being mesmerizing.

Nerve-frying and sensationally effective, for the most part, It (2017) is a gripping and terrifying horror film that works beautifully because it's populated with characters that have been developed into human beings. It exquisitely captures the vulnerability of youth.

Simon says It (2017) receives:

Friday, 8 September 2017

'A Tree in Water: My Journey From Aotearoa to The Great White North' Chapter 18.


By my reckoning, I think I’m doing find in the connecting/social department. Or simply, making new friends. But, without giving myself too much credit, I’ve finally a group where I can be make new friends, be my-freaking-self, and do what I love with like-minded people. I’m feeling pretty good. Not “King of the World”, but pretty good. As I mentioned, I’ve finally found a way to connect with people with the help of MeetUp. Thank God for MeetUp. The site was specifically created for people to connect with other people with similar and shared interests, so it’s especially useful for people like me in my situation. I knew when I found out about it and created my account that it was going to be a very useful tool in my arsenal. The site had tons of groups for me to choose, so I figured that I would narrow it down to, at least, five groups I would join. I was right in this. Turns out that I found exactly five groups that peaked my interests.

My first meetup was to be for a group called ‘Get Out & Shoot Toronto!’ I chose this first because it was a photography group with amateur and semi-professional photographers that went all around Toronto and Ontario, giving me the opportunity to connect with my kind of people and explore Toronto with them. Also they were the only photography group that was less of a semi-professional class and more of a casual social group. Plus, the other groups would cost me some dough. That wasn’t going to work out, but it meant that the group I finally joined was the only one for me. I considered putting things I had planned for today on the back burner to attend my first meeting for the group. So I made my way to my first meet up in Chinatown. Which I actually got there in 15 mins since I lived five minutes by foot from the 510 streetcar which goes up Spadina. It wasn’t much of a strain to get there. Things got interesting from there. I reached the rendezvous on Spadina/Dundas; it was not quite the spot I would pick to meet up, mainly because it was just absolutely bustling as it always is in Chinatown. I then started to meet the various members that would come to the spot slowly, one-by-one. Thirty minutes later, and after meeting the members and introducing each other, the organizers Adam and Kurt showed up and we finally got the show on the road. So, again, I was finally in a meet up group, I am surrounded with like-minded people, I got to do what I loved with them, and I got to explore a part of Toronto with people and not by myself. This was a great sign. Today, my luck was starting to look a little bit more positive. After two months of struggling in a new city and country, I’ve found a place to live in and I’ve made new friends whom I could see myself hanging out with for the rest of my days here. For once, I didn’t feel as lost as I did when I first arrived. I started to know exactly where I was. I’m in the right place, as a matter of fact. I’m finally feeling I am a part of a Torontonian community. Tomorrow, I can wake up with another great feeling to feel happy about. I’m in a good place despite the fact that it could be better. Now my next tasks, as usual, are to: continue looking for jobs and attend any more meet ups. I better get going!