But little things do change. My favorite chocolate shop, J.S. Bonbons closed down two years ago. They had the best hot chocolate I have ever had - it was made with their truffle ganache. It was so good, I would take visitors there on hot summer days for it. Victoria College now has ramps and outdoor shelters; I knew my department's common room had been renovated, decades of dust and detritus cleared away with new carpeting.
I have forgotten how to cope with so much ambient friendliness. The streetcar drive who meant her 'thank you' when I showed her my transit pass; she complained about the kids who had thrown maple syrup on her car, wryly, without swearing. The waiter who paused for a real answer to his initially 'how are you?' greeting. The cheery smiles on the faces of the hotel staff; it's part of the culture of human interaction, unforced. I used to take this gentle, non-aggressive friendliness for granted. (I never took the obnoxious forced, in-your-face friendliness of some American restaurants for granted because it's wearing. I don't want to be that excited about ordering generic-brand condiments at a chain store, and I don't need anyone else to be either. This isn't that kind of friendliness.)
It's good to be back.