Punk is not dead (in Montreal)...or cheese curds

Trip Start Jul 03, 2012
Trip End Dec 16, 2012

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Flag of Canada  , Quebec,
Sunday, July 22, 2012

I arrived in Montreal tired and hungry and most of all dehydrated from my 7 hour 'Mega Bus' ride. It felt more like Mega starvation ride by the end! They didn`t allow us off once, and although I had brought bottle of water and bananna but it wasn`t enough to stop me from getting hungry..

By the time I was able to get off the bus I was feeling light headed and in a bad state of mind for my first day in Montreal. All I wanted was a bottle of water and some food. I was not in the mood for the hustle of the bus terminal or decoding the language to try and buy sandwich.  I guess it was a culture shock I wasn`t prepared for. I had believed the city would offer a mix of spoken languages but French was clearly the preferred dialect! 

I had decided to walk to my hostel as it was only a 15min walk. So ofcourse, the pavement was uneven and I had to walk up a massive hill! On arriving at the hostel I was greeted by a yellow spiral staircase, followed by another long flight of stairs. On conquering the stairs and entering the hostel I was somewhat concerned about the ultra relaxed set-up. The top floor was covered in makeshift beds that were segregated only by sheets and towels hanging off string lines. However, the staff member took me down to a lower level which had a door and a lock and I was somewhat relieved. Although, when I was shown my bed that was pretty much hanging just below the ceiling, I was again little worried. Even as I lay here now it`s hilarious, I have about 30cm from my head to the roof!! 

As it was still only 5:00pm I attempted to investigate the local area, but my heart wasn't in it. I only wanted to find an ice cream shop and eat gelato (great ice-cream!). I decided as I was clearly not in the right state of mind to go to bed, and then slept for about 15 hours! 

After such a long sleep I felt more energised, my mood was improved and I felt more prepared to take on the challenges before me. I began the day with a little retail therapy. The clothes here are amazing and there were some great bargains to be had. A walk took me through a park filled with people wearing black with shaved hair and mow-hawks... Lots of people in the city still seem to adopt this look. Punk is still rocking on in Montreal!

I had fortunately taken my phrase book with me and could remember some words but still struggled with the language barrier. Particularly in the hostel where everyone speaks in French. Apparently I can say Bonjour like a French person. I was pretty proud of that, however the downside is it makes it more awkward when people start talking back to me in French and I look at them blankly!! 

Yesterday consisted of mostly walking; though Montreal's Latin Quarter, Historic Old Town, Notre Dame, China Town and the Ports. the city was alive with multiple festivals.. An African Nuit Festival and also a Huge outdoor Comedy Festival with street performances, etc. Unfortunately my Camera battery died and I was unable to get photo's at this event, which is a shame because the photo's would have been fantastic! I walked into a unique and extremely entertaining act that had mimes dressed as snails ( i think) who were wearing vacuum cleaners built into their costume... ridiculous but funny! That night I headed to a local Jazz bar which was playing around the corner, the band had a bit of a latin influence and played very well.

This morning took me to the Mount Royal park, where they have African drummers playing on Sunday morning. I spent most of the day walking (Again). I also went to Lafontaine Park and walked around the lake, however watching the couples around the park made me think of someone at home, and miss him! For dinner I tried Poutine; a Canadian cuisine consisting of chips, gravy and cheese curds. I can't say I was a fan of the cheese curds, so to wash it down I had a 'Moosehead' beer (pretty good), and a Campbells chunky vegetable soup.
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rachel on

Did someone say cheese? :P

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