Friday, August 24, 2012

past tense: a moment in Montreal

I have wanted to go to Montreal for a VERY long time.  After developing a love for Canada and France it seemed an obvious adventure to be had.  It just happened that my travels from New York City to the Island would require a stop in Montreal.  I was actually a bit disappointed to be stopping there because I would not have enough time to explore it and I would want to share the experience.  

 I packed my bags up on a Wednesday morning and headed to my last day of work at the textile company.  These were some pretty heavy bags and I know I was looking pretty crazy on my subway ride.

My sweet co-workers had a pile of treats for our traditional going-away/special event tea break.  They confirmed an issue I had long since concluded - there are no dairy-free baked goods in the Garment district.  I sure do miss those ladies - I couldn't have asked for better "office girls" to work with/learn so much from.

After work I headed over to the Greyhound station and caught my evening bus north.

The ride took longer than scheduled so I ended up pulling in Montreal just fifteen minutes before my train was to depart.  Being that it was about a mile or so away I had not purchased my ticket I knew that that departure was not going to happen.

After managing to traverse the very well kept metro system I arrived at the train station and attempted my ill-practiced French but gave up in desperation with the ticket agent.

He asked why I would come to Montreal and not speak French.  I responded that my French was very bad and he told me to just give it a shot.  By the end of my purchase we were chums and he made the recommendation for where to drop off my luggage and go check out the city a bit being that I would now have a four hour wait until my new departure time.  I said Merci and heeded his advice.

It was a cloudy day and very early in the morning so the city was pretty sleepy.  Having gotten so used to using my iPhone for navigating the City I habitually would look down at my phone for directions and then remember that I had turned the service off (aside from wifi) being outside of the States.  But I did use my newly honed map-reading skills to navigate.

 There was some sort of festival going on down on St. Catherine's.

 A beautiful church had me conjuring up memories of France.

 I just thought this townhouse was kind of sweet with the geraniums in the windows.

 The juxtaposition of old and new was very interesting.  I really can't wait to learn more about the city's history.

 I love how much greenery this apartment has incorporated onto their small patio.

I stepped into a grocery store (IGA) to pick up some brunch before departure.  I think groceries are one of the best ways to make cultural comparisons when traveling.  Plus it was good practice to brush up on my French in the ingredients lists.

My taste of Montreal was a good one - it only incorporated a few streets but I am looking forward to going back and exploring more.  It was so much like being in France but with such a modern twist.  I will brush up on that French first.

 Before long I was on the train with the Quebec and Ontario country-side whizzing past.  

The ride was short and I used it primarily for snoozing, internet browsing, and reading the Hunger Games.  [My dear friend Lexi loves the Hunger Games series and on my bus ride north she sent me a kindle edition of the book to read on my phone.  I have to say that I was a bit unsure of the story line - kids killing each other - but found there was some really great thought behind the whole story.  I ended up reading the whole book while on the island and the two subsequent books in the week I arrived back in Indiana.]

When my train pulled in the Kingston station Susie was waiting for me and after a joyful reunion we were on our way.  We lunched a Tim Horton's, naturally, and made our way to catch the next ferry back to the Island.

Even in the rain - there is nothing like Poplar Dell.

1 comment:

RARRAT said...

Just a few comments:

1. I could see us being neighbors in Montreal one day.

2. I still think its funny that you got way into Hunger Games.

3. Franglish.