So, despite the drama getting here, I’m in Montreal! Yay! I got here around 2:30 yesterday, and Dan picked me up from the bus stop and we came back to his apartment to drop off my stuff.
Once that was done, I cleaned up a little (I was feeling pretty gross after 20 hours of travel) and we went out exploring a little bit. We went through what’s known as the “underground city” some, which, despite the awesome name, turns out to just be a really large mall. I mean, granted, it’s underground and it’s got zillions of stores, most of which I had never even heard of, but it’s still just a mall.
We also went to Montreal’s tiny but cute Chinatown, which is really only a block. We went into a Chinese pastry shop and got doughnuts, which were definitely nothing like Krispy Kreme, but were delicious nonetheless. We were planning on walking with our doughnuts, but between the time we went into the shop and paid, it had started pouring. So we waited it out inside and then explored some more.
We got dinner at a burger joint that liked to pretend it was all fancy. It was quite odd and I had a lot of trouble with the menu. Although he gave us the English menus, there was a enough French on them that I had absolutely no idea what half of it said.
After going back for some much needed rest, we went out to the QAC, which is the alcohol store here. I was seriously tempted by the Kahlua, but they only sold it in really large bottles, and as I can’t bring it back (I traveled carry-on), it would’ve been a waste of money. Instead I (legally!!) bought a little bottle of Bailey’s, Dan got some gin, and we went to the grocery store and got ice cream.
Back at his place, I had Bailey’s milkshakes (not as good as Kahlua milkshakes (I know, I know, I have cheap tastes)), and Dan had gin and tonics and we watched Clueless. It was fabulous.
Brief background story before going into the next part of this: over the summer on my trip to Alaska I made friends with this guy Suresh who goes to McGill. I told him I had a friend here, but he said he didn’t know Dan when I asked. A few weeks ago they just happened to meet, so now they know each other, which makes my life easier).
So, after Clueless, Suresh came over and we all went out to The Factory, which is a bar here. I didn’t really dress up, because I didn’t realize that it was going to be more like a club than a bar – there was a DJ and pretty much everyone was dancing. Seems like a club to me. I had a lot of fun people-watching. I was simultaneously grossed out and amused when the guy near us straight up started fingering the girl he was dancing with. To my amazement, she didn’t stop him – it went on for several minutes! I mean, his hand was up her skirt. Seriously, people?
Today Daniel and I went to the old city, which was really awesome. I’ll put up some pictures later. We went into a maple store, where I got a piece of maple candy and a maple latte. They were both amazing! Also, we went into a super touristy shop so I could pick up something for Jack and I got him a shot glass that has the “Canadian triathlon” on it. It’s got a little man running from bear, swimming away from a whale, and climbing a tree to avoid a moose.
Montreal is really awesome. It’s pretty European, but as I’ve never been to France it’s really unique to me. I knew it was francophone, but I thought the English influence was greater than it is. Most things aren’t translated to English, and as I’ve only ever learned Spanish this makes things difficult at times. Luckily, Spanish and French are close enough that I can read a decent amount of the French.