First Impressions

Trip Start Nov 12, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Canada  , Quebec,
Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Couldn't sleep a bit the night before Montreal because I was way too excited, I ended up getting up every ten minutes, propping up my backpack at a different point against my bed, going to bed, and then waking up and peeking at it again.

I woke up at 6:20, noticing the roof of the barn looked particularly white again, I'd made this mistake before, but still jumped out of bed and noticed this time everywhere WAS actually covered in snow!!! It was so crazy and beautiful looking and I was thinking about the panic and rush that would ensue in England if we had this much (it was 2cm, which is not alot, and still nothing in Canada).

During my lift to downtown Ottawa most of the updates were on road traffic accidents, with updates starting with "well.. it's only 2cms, but that's apparently enough for people to forget how to drive, another accident on ___ street" and the sun was really bright so alot of the snow around the highway was disappearing.

Getting the Greyhound went amazingly smoothly, I was late picking up my tickets but they didn't question it all, I got a good place in queue, a good seat, there was a baby on board that didn't cry the whole journey thankfully. I was still in bit of a headachey haze from lack of sleep but the bright sun on the snow was burning it's way through that. I started listening to Deftones' self titled as that's a morning favourite of mine, and after getting way too sleepy tried to wake myself up with Lostprophets - Weapons. 

Since a gig I wanted to go to here was cancelled a couple of weeks ago, I had an internet hunt to see if anything was worth viewing, and ended up writing down a venue to look for and see if they still had tickets. I asked the receptionist to recommend a good half a day walk and the direction of the street I needed. I thought I'd look for the venue first. Despite the walk to the hostel, this was my first time out in Montreal, mostly, I could see run down shops and dodgy meat vendors, then at the end of the street I stopped to try and read a sign in the bright sun and a lady ran over my foot with her pram and proceeded to shout at me in French. Good start.

I walked down St Laurent street which was nothing too special, eventually found the number I wanted to find it wasn't the venue I wanted. I hid in a cafe with internet trying to find it on google, to discover it was sliiightly behind, so I went in, asked if there was still tickets, some keen queuing fans pointed to a restaurant across the street where you buy the tickets, I asked there, they said they were on door now. So after accomplishing what I thought was a small mission, not having seen alot of Montreal, I was determined not to put my efforts to waste and found somewhere to kill time nearby until doors. I hadn't eaten for the day yet in my rush, and walking down the street the doors opening and closing of meat smoking places was making me feel very ill and it's surprisingly hard to find anything I was confident was vegetarian. As if answering my woes, I found a vegan restaurant so ate there and made myself very comfortable with my map all over the table, highlighting buildings I wanted to see in Vieux-Montreal and drawing myself a route along with adding interesting facts.

Single Mothers, Pianos Become Teeth and Title Fight were all pretty great, it's always nice to see how universal appreciation of live music is as it was identical to back home. As well as curing some homesickness it caused some as I missed my friends. It was still great fun, these were bands I wouldn't normally go out of my way to see but I was glad I went. Just when the day had caught up with me and I felt pretty tired Title Fight closed with "Secret Society" which turned out pretty explosive live and i think the entire front row ended up on stage.

The walk back felt pretty long, I walked down Rue St Denis since St Laurent Boulevard hadn't been an enjoyable walk up, it was abit nicer. I got into the hostel and thinking I was going to be the douche of the 8 bed dorm that woke everyone up, found one person fast asleep, and one friendly American apologizing if she woke up in the morning leaving for her flight to Florida. I'm convinced the heater is actually blowing intervals of cold air so I woke up chilly a few times. I didn't set an alarm cause I wake up early anyway, so was pretty shocked to roll over and find it was 9am. 9 AM! That's the latest I've slept since I've been in Canada. Anyway, I woke up hoping Montreal would change my first impressions and that's when the next blog comes in.


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