In Montreal

I really like Montreal. It’s a fun place to be. There are way more restaurants and bars than Toronto, despite the smaller size of the city. I think that really speaks to Montreal’s culture – to me it seems much more European than other cities I’ve visited in Canada (Quebec City excepted).
Like all rest days, my day started with a sleep in. Of course, since I had time off in Pembroke and Ottawa it wasn’t a much needed sleep in, but I still enjoyed every minute of it. Then I had some breakfast, care of the hostel, and watched some YouTube videos on the hostel’s wifi, because I could.
I finally got my act together and went outside. It was a beautiful morning and I started walking down rue St Denis. As I left the hostel I realized I did not have a map, but then decided that I didn’t need one. Good idea? We shall see.
I wandered down Rue Saint Catherine and soaked in Montreal. At one point, when I started to see more sex shops, I thought perhaps I had ventured into the less savoury area of the city and should turn back. But then I remembered that this is Montreal, not prudish Toronto! Of course it’s acceptable to have a sex shop next to a men’s suit store, or a family dining establishment. Why ever not? Gotta love this city.
I eventually found myself climbing up Mont Royal. It was beautiful at the top but inundated with tourists. I don’t like tourists.
Back in downtown Montreal, it started to rain. This was logical – I am in Montreal, therefore it must rain in Montreal. It started as a sprinkle but grew to a downpour. I took refuge in a cafe, but it didn’t look like it would let up any time soon. Since walking around in the rain didn’t seem too appealing, I decided to see a movie. I went to a French theatre and saw “Le Wolverine”. I believe that translates to “Wolverine”. It was cool seeing a movie in French again (it’s been a while), but it was difficult understanding the characters who spoke French with a Japanese accent. Let’s just stick to one language here, shall we?
When the movie was done it had stopped raining. I went back to the hostel to regroup before going to meet a friend for dinner. I met my friend Neda at a vegan restaurant downtown, and we had a lovely meal. Someone needs to invent a vegan beer – that place could use it. It was the kind of place where the servers were all super skinny and the male servers had ponytails and attitudes. It was a good meal but perhaps not as much protein as my 5000 calorie a day diet would have preferred.
Back at the hostel I was watching Orange is the New Black on my phone (awesome show that I am now addicted to) when something strange happened. This very soft spoken French guy struck up a conversation – apparently he had been watching me yesterday. There’s no possible way to make that sound less creepy. My French is pretty good, but apparently not quite good enough to understand what was happening. It reminded me of when I was in Italy an the men were very (very) open about their feelings. This is not how things normally go down in North America, and it threw me off. We are Facebook friends now, but I honestly could not tell you what the conversation entailed – I will have to phone my friend Emily, who often explains confusing social situations to me. For real.

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