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Another breakfast like yesterday's, with Sara off for her conference at nine.

Determined to solve my Phillip K. Dick problem, I tried a google search that found me a science fiction bookstore well West of us on Queen street. They didn't open till 11, so I hung out at the B&B for a while, then took a roundabout route there. I enjoyed looking at the nearby neighborhoods. A lot of them are these old duplexes, with a fine line up the center (often splitting a little peaked roof down the center) dividing the two halves. Often the two halves had been painted two different colors. I found the effect kind of comical.

The bookstore was small and their selection had some odd gaps, but they rashly shelved their Phillip K. Dick right there where anybody could get to it. The price for my book was a little steep--the Canadian prices seem more appropriate for exchange rates of a few years ago--but I took a copy anyway.

My next "plan" for the day was to walk to a French-language bookstore across town and get lunch along the way. I don't think I'd realized quite how far it was. But I stopped in several parks along the way, read several chapters of "Flow my Tears", and enjoyed the sight of a statue of a grumpy Winston Churchill with a seagull perfectly perched on top and droppings running down his forehead.

There first part of the walk was stuffed full of restaurants, and I was kind of picky, assuming there'd be many more choices, but then they thinned out dramatically. The downtown part of Queen is a little sterile, and east of there it seems a little economically depressed. But then a few blocks from my destination I saw a little place called the "Berkeley Café" on a side street. It had a few contented-looking customers but wasn't too busy, so ordered a sandwich and settled in with my book. The sandwich was yummy and came with a nice salad, and I had an even more yummy pecan tart for desert. Nobody seemed to be in a rush, so I stretched the whole thing out over at least an hour and got a lot of "Flow my Tears" read.

The French bookstore was large but had kind of an odd selection. Among other things it shared the dismal publisher-based arrangement of fiction that I saw in bookstores in Paris. Does anyone actually walk into a bookstore saying "I think I'd like a little something from Gallimard today?" Am I supposed to know who published Queneau's "Dimanche de la Vie"?

The only things I found that I was really interested in were a few comics which were on the expensive side, so I chose just two of them and started the leisurely walk back. This time my main reading stop was a little park in front of a church that had a nice carillon concert going on and a bunch of marginal-looking characters intent on their chess games.

I went into a big mall downtown on Yonghe for a bathroom break and a drink, then admired a little plaza with a nice labyrinth in the pattern on the stone--a simple, circular, and (to the extent possible) relatively symmetric pattern that nevertheless managed to be just a single line with one entrance and exit. I copied down the pattern in a notebook. Then I went and sat at a bigger public square across the street, read some more, and did some work on my laptop.

I got some crêpes on Queen street for dinner. On my way back to the B&B I lingered outside a jazz club with some lovely-sounding big-band music and thought darn, I should have gone there. But my crêpes were pretty good, so I couldn't really complain.

Sara was already at the B&B when I got back.