It's been far far far too long since I last updated. Sorry. Following on from where last post stopped...
I have a bike! It's blue. I found it on Craigslist for $65, and the brakes were rubbish. So I took it to Santropol Roulant bike collective - you pay $5 and you can use all their equipment and volunteer expertise to fix your bike, and they sell supplies too. So I now know how to replace a brake cable. Genius.
Two weekends ago was (oh never mind. I'm using names because I'm sick of establishing clever acronyms) Emma's birthday (Emma being the girl who joined Blair and Emilio (the across-the-road friends) and I at Parc La Fontaine last post). Emilio's friend was supposed to be throwing a party, but we never heard details, so we just went to Gavin and Sheehan and Clio's (the off-campus friends, sometimes called the Clarks because of where they live and their names being a bit of a mouthful, but it's not really sticking as a nickname) and before we knew it it was 2am. We wanted noodles. So we walked down St Laurent until we found a restaurant selling them out of their window, and ate them on the curb as Emma turned 19. Then we were advised to move along by community officers... so we went to a bar until closing time (not for long, because closing is at 3am). We were about ten yards from the apartment when these two crazy Quebecers jumped out of a car and started screaming at us to go away because they thought we were kicking their friend's Bentley. Then they insisted we had dented it, and 'called the police'. So we had to hang around trying to reason with them (or just shut them up) because every time we tried to go home they followed us. The police never came, obviously, and some time about 4am they disappeared. By that time there wasn't much point in going to bed. So Clio, Emilio, Emma and I decided to climb the mountain to see the dawn. Dawn came too early, so our dawn view was th ground-level view of the Montreal skyline:
(Blair took this)
It was chilly, we wrapped up in a blanket and climbed onto the roof of my house and lazed around there for a bit, then went to a breakfast restaurant called Chez Cora's. They have breakfasts for under $5 before 8am, I had french toast and bacon and hash browns and it was so good. Then I slept.
Last week passed so quickly, I can't believe it. My classes are settling into routine. We watched a hilarious video in Environment and Culture about hunting in the Northern Kalahari. Some men spent an hour of video time hunting one giraffe (occasionally killing a chameleon on the way, at which the narrator said 'the chameleon makes its best speed... but it is not enough' while the chameleon's foot moved about half an inch, very slowly). Finally they found the giraffe and spent a while throwing spears at it point-blank. Another jewel of narration: 'if the men are tired, it does not matter. For the giraffe is more than tired. It is already dead.' And the giraffe keeled over backwards. Sheehan and I were the only ones laughing, I think... or at least, suppressing hysterics.
I bought some bananas really cheaply (they were slightly green) and kept them in a dark cupboard for two days, and they went mushy and brown. Perfect excuse for banana muffins! Emma, Emilio, Sheehan and Gavin came round and we had a muffin picnic in my room.
The weather has been very wobbly. I always dress wrongly... yesterday was so hot and muggy, but it was raining in the morning so I wore a coat and tights. By the afternoon it was unbearable, so when I went out again (to Saint Laurent and St Catherine to help Emilio research a newspaper article for the McGill Daily) I wore shorts and a tshirt. Then it tipped down, heaviest rain I've been in for ages, and we got so soaked. We ran into a cafe and dripped on their floor and bought the cheapest kind of coffee and dried off with paper napkins. It was movie-watching weather, so we bought snacks and made pasta and watched Skins and The Fall with Emma. Clio came around (without Gavin and Sheehan, who were back home inventing a cult called Celestialism) and we stayed up very late doing not much at all.
Today was my second day volunteering at the Midnight Kitchen - a student-run vegan kitchen that serves pay-as-you-can lunches to 'combat the spread of consumerism through chain restaurants on campus'. It involves lots of chopping vegetables, and the people are great. The food is yummy too, but it always needs salt. They make the most amazing cakes from whatever fruit is donated by grocery stores.
This weekend will be busy - I have a paper on Aristotle due the Monday after my birthday weekend, so I want to get a good start on it. And I'm doing an article for the culture section of the McGill Daily, part of a sequence on bike tours around different parts of the city, so I have to go to the Town of Mount Royal. I'll post the article here as an explanation, once I've done it.
I hope that's a satisfactory compensation for almost three weeks of silence... :D