Tuesday, 8 September 2009

A Sunday Smile

Let's see, this weekend... the weather has been amazing. And this weather coupled with Montreal being the sort of city it is means that there's been so much to do. I'm starting to realise how much fun it will be (how much fun it already is) living here - there isn't just one shopping street, with the same shops every time. We went down St Laurent on Saturday to go vintage shopping and found some really interesting one-off stuff. There's this place that piled high with so much stuff, a bit like Unicorn in Oxford but actually with some rails, and one room was empty with some chairs around the edges, a mound of junk in the window, and a really out-of-tune piano on which someone was playing La Dispute from the Amelie soundtrack. We kept on down St Laurent and got a massive craving for burgers and milkshakes, so we went to this really tacky diner called Nickel's that was actually very fancy. The sort of place with paintings like The Last Supper with Marilyn Monroe and Elvis instead of the disciples, and dogs playing poker. On the way home, we found exactly the same poster lying on the pavement, so my off-campus friends took it for their apartment. In the evening, we went to a rockabilly concert. It was the best fun!! The support acts were seriously country, so there was much fun dancing, and then the main act was these people:


It was the sort of music I've never seen live, I've pretty much only heard it on the soundtrack to Grease and Back To The Future and stuff, so it was amazing.

Sunday was just more hanging out... we went to the tam tams again, and stayed longer this time, just lying on the grass. Then we went to a grocery store that imports things from Europe and I bought some chocolate hobnobs :D It was some big festival day for the Portuguese church (my off-campus friends (I'll capitalise that, it's becoming more of a moniker, O-CFs) live in Little Portugal) so we sat on the balcony and watched the brass band pass. In the evening my housemates held a party, which was fun once it got going. About midnight we went across the street to hang out on the deck, and the chain on which I had my room key snapped, and fell through the crack in the deck... so I had to sleep on their couch. And in the morning, I and a girl from the house made a paperclip chain and spent ages trying to pull it up. The other girl finally managed on her turn. She had it balanced on the paperclip hook but we didn't know if it would fit through the crack, so I went to get tweezers to help. When I came back the deck was empty, I couldn't see her, but I heard her shouting 'I've got it!' from downstairs so I looked and she was waving a key at me while being hugged by various members of her extended family, who had just arrived. So I pelted down the stairs and must have looked very odd still in my borrowed pyjama bottoms got my key. What a saga. So I'm going to bake her something because I was very happy! I went back to my room, had a shower, a nap, got bored, and went around to take the philosophy course outline back to an across-the-road friend (ah-ha. An A-T-RF). She was just sitting around reading Aristotle, and she texted the other friend, who came down saying 'Why did you text me? I was in my room!' and I said 'we should do something. Let's go for a picnic'. So we walked up to Parc La Fontaine. On the way we stopped at the O-CFs' place but they said they'd only just got up (it was 3:30pm) and needed to do laundry. So that was dull. We walked up this beautiful street Duluth, which hardly looks like a road because the pavement and the street are paved the same way with little red bricks, and the houses are so colourful and there are hardly any cars. We bought sushi, olives, hummus, pistachios, limes and tonic water, and all this coupled with my pitta, leftover Boursin and gin made an amazing picnic. We sat on the grass by the big pond watching the fountain, feeding squirrels pistachios, trying to chase away the seagulls and reading Nicomachean Ethics. Another girl joined us - we met her on Friday and she's started hanging out with us a lot, which is great because she's really lovely - and we sat around until about 6:30pm when we walked back. We stopped by the O-CFs and had impromptu vegetable chilli which was delicious.

Then we went out to study at a coffee shop. This is what I really love about Montreal, that everything is always open. In England, I'm not sure you could find a beautiful independent coffee shop reminiscent in decoration to the Grand Cafe that's open until 1am on Labour Day, with free wifi that's actually easy to connect to (without faffing around with BTOpenzone junk). We stayed until closing time, half-studying, half-watching infomercials for sunglasses and razors and the SlapChop! without sound. I got a moccacino, it was yummy.

I'm off bike-hunting today! I looked on Craigslist and have found some very promising bikes. I'm meeting two people today (or, maybe only one if the first meeting is successful), it's very exciting. I'll put up photos if/when I get one :) I'm really looking forward to cycling more, it's such a great city to cycle around and there's so much more to see by bike, you can go further. Although I've enjoyed walking a lot too. The problem is, it's all on the right here, so I'll have to practice a bit first on quieter streets.

I've got class in about 40 minutes so I'm off now to get some breakfast. I have no groceries...

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