Tuesday, July 22, 2008

oh montreal

aleks and i took a mini-vacation from our law jobs (across the street from each other!) to take the train down to one of my favourite cities in Canada. her friend Erica came along for the ride.

Erica and Aleks had never been to montreal before, but i’ve had a mad love affair with the city ever since the first time i took the trip down with my friends at the tender age of eighteen. where else can you see swarms of French hippies, pink horse-drawn carriages, beautiful long strings of French swear words like poetry, danseuses-nues strip clubs standing proudly next to old historic stone churches, ninety-nine cents pizza, more neon shawarma-guy signs than you can shake a stick at, and the finest bottle of wine you can buy for eight dollars at a Mac’s convenience store (or pardon me, Couche-Tard)?

oh montreal. you are the beautifully strange antithesis to Toronto: a true sense of history, down-to-earthly romantic, classy yet coarse, and so so so French.

needless to say, we spent a lot of money there. there were many lessons learned.

things i love about the quebecois French:

St. Catherine Street. the gay Village, shopping heaven, strip club strip, and the church area, all rolled into one glorious street.

their insistence that non-words are words, like “resto”. everything is a resto-bar or a resto-grill or a resto-strip club. for that matter, apparently “danse teaseuse” is a word.

the strange way the nightlife doesn’t pick up until 1AM. this means that if you set your alarm for 9AM for an early start to your day, the streets will be empty. empty, of course, except for silly tourists like you.

Juste pour rire!

The fact that every street is called Saint something. Apparently Catholicism is big here.

the way they masterfully hide their traffic lights in the sidewalks so drivers feel like they have to play where’s waldo to figure out whether they have to stop at the intersections.

the cute dogs that belong to the homeless people.

the bar called “Les Foufounes Electriques” (the electric ass), and the funhouse of a club that is across the street from it, but i can’t tell you about that because my parents read this blog.

Educational cab drivers that teach you French swear words.

Rum with my crepes.

What the Quebecois conceive the “breakfast” in a “bed and breakfast” to be.


so it was a good time, overall, and many lessons learned. like make sure a restaurant is still running before you travel off the island to get there, only to find it’s been closed for reservation, and there’s only creepy guys following you to help you. and remember how in France i swore that my French gets better when i drink? yeah, actually, it doesn’t.

homeless lady: “Excusez-moi, parlez-vous francais?”
me: “…no, sorry.”
“well, do you speak English?”
“uh….no. Djendobry!”