This week is #JoyAtUofT and with the sun beginning to shine back down on us, there are so many things on campus that help bring me joy. Now, this was going to be a blog about finding the joy in the little things, but I wanted to take the time and share how joy can come from pretty big things too. This is a story about the U of T community coming together and supporting one of its members: a pretty big thing indeed.
Last week a GoFundMe page was circulating through the U of T community groups, and while I usually skip right past these, this one caught my eye. It was for our beloved brown food truck. Everyone knows the one. The smell of gravy wafting through the air as you go up to it, thinking you’ll only order fries… and then you go “screw it” and order that poutine. It is reliable and constant in the sea of inconsistencies we call life.
Well, a fellow student named Ruth Masuka started what I think is one of the best cases of community support in our usually dispersed student body. Ruth decided to set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Hatice, better known as “brown food truck lady,” to travel to Turkey and visit her mother. While this truck might seem like just a regular food truck, for many alumni and current students it holds a special place in their heart. A place so special that it took U of T students less than 24 hrs to exceed the goal of $1700.
I know I, myself, have definitely headed over to this truck many a time to get my poutine fix. Some of my fondest first-year memories were going on food runs from our late night study seshes at Robarts. We would be sitting outside chatting up fellow students while we waited for our food, all of us just happy to be outside after a long day. The best part about the brown food truck is that there are no social cues attached to it. Being on campus and in class all the time can be exhausting: there are always social norms and courtesies that need to be followed. No talking in class, pay attention to the prof, study hard. The list goes on and on. It’s really hard sometimes to find a space on campus where you can just unload from your day. The food trucks are amazing because while they are still on campus they are removed from the expectations of the institution. No one cares if you said the wrong answer in class or didn’t do your reading. Everyone is just there to get their meal and enjoy it.
Joy at U of T is knowing that even though our lives may be busy and hectic, and nights at Robarts may be late ones, we all remember and appreciate how the brown food truck has really been a reliable staple for us. When we are given the opportunity, we do not hesitate to help out someone who may not have even realized the impact she had on our community. If we can be as kind as the brown food truck is consistent, every little thing is gonna be just fine.