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Monday, April 9, 2012

Part 3: My first night in Toronto and the beginning of the NDP convention the next morning!

Part 3: My first night in Toronto and the beginning of the NDP convention the next morning!

This is a continuation of where I left off.
And now to continue the adventure:
I returned to my suite at the Sheraton, which was where the entire NDP stayed, to an empty room after staying out until after midnight in Toronto that first night – it wasn’t because I was partying in Paul Dewar’s hospitality suite the whole time. No, no, nothing could be that simple on my very first trip as a proper 27 year old adult in a city I’d never been to before. You see, rifling through my suitcase to prep for the gathering at Paul Dewar’s suite, I realized that I had forgotten my makeup. All of it. On the other coast of Canada. Whilst that may not seem like a big deal, when you are very aware of the fact that every news station in Canada is going to be at a convention you are participating in, you want to look your best. Hell, even the men wear makeup! So, I mingled for a few hours and met with many lovely people, including Paul Dewar, who remembered me very well from Vancouver (which flattered me – I am still young, after all, and social democrat politicians are my heroes), the adventure took me to several drug stores until I finally got some cheap makeup just before midnight. All together, I had to spend about $100 on the cab fare, the makeup (why didn’t anyone tell me Toronto was so expensive?!) and the two key-chains I bought to cheer myself up for having to spend that much on makeup exactly one day after I’d splashed out a fair bit of cash on some designer makeup. In my world, designer makeup is purchased for weddings, funerals, or in this case, a political convention.
I’m a fitful sleeper and I fully regarded the next day to be one of the most nerve-wracking days of my life, but I somehow managed to fall asleep in a skirt, panty hose, high heels, and a sweater above the comforter in my hotel room. Passed right out and slept until early the next day, when the startling ring of the hotel’s wake-up call I’d ordered the night before awoke me from what was quite possibly the best sleep I’d had in months. Considering I had just returned home to BC after staying on a cramped sailboat in Florida not that long before I left for Toronto, I was practically in heaven. And considering my pre-convention nerves, when I realized exactly where I was, I didn’t feel like I was in hell. In fact, I was so excited to begin the adventure.
David Murray and I headed to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to crowds of people with various signs supporting their chosen leadership candidates. We gathered our delegate identification placard as well as press passes, and headed over to the Dewar suite. It was there where I spotted my roommate for the first time! She had flown in early on a red-eye like the amazing wonder woman that she is and was already diligently at work as a devoted member of the Dewar Team. I was immediately at ease around her, as she wasn’t all that much older than me, exuded both confidence, a down-to-earth persona, as well as a certain brand of coolness that would have made me gravitate toward her even if we had met under different circumstances. Needless to say, she was an amazing roommate for the rest of the trip, taught me so much, and best of all, was a blast to get to know outside of the political sphere!
Dewar gave us a pep talk beforehand to tell us that we needed to go around the convention centre and try to bring people onto our team, as all candidates instruct their campaigners to do. Except we all knew that it was of utmost importance, as Paul’s campaign was completely grassroots and not funded by big unions like some of the other candidates who shall remain nameless.
Dewar, as always, was a class act.
This was the scene before the candidates and their teams entered the  convention part. And that’s where I’ll leave this post off for now! The more season political veterans may chuckle at my Toronto series thus far, but I know for a fact that  all the under 30 year olds in attendance know how I felt. :)

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