We’ve been in Montreal for almost three weeks now. The heat wave is over – it’s currently a gorgeous 67 degrees out, and I sit here with the windows open and a fresh breeze blowing in. I can hear the church bells ringing from down the street! I wanted to give a “random thoughts” update about what’s been going on here in French Canada.
- Braden and I are both set up at co-working spaces. Mine is housed in the old Royal Bank building downtown – it’s actually closed this week, because they’re filming a movie with Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler. They have it set up as a library, and the scene involves a bunch of bookshelves falling down like dominoes! So zany.
- Our apartment is pretty great. We’ve had a few issues with cigarette smell from our neighbor coming through the walls, but our Airbnb host, Steven, has spoken to him for us. We accidentally locked ourselves out the other day, but Steven was there within about 30 minutes to rescue us.
- Speaking of the neighbor, he used a broom to reach over from his patio and tap on our window the other day. I had been emptying the dishwasher, and he wanted to let us know that the noise from shutting the kitchen cabinets carried through to his apartment. Meanwhile, he listens to EDM for about 4 hours every afternoon with the bass turned way up! 🙄
- My foot is a lot better. I ditched the boot and have been in normal running shoes for the past few of days. It still hurts if I get more than about 10,000 steps, but I’m definitely on the mend.
- We live just off Ste. Catherine Street in Montreal’s Gay Village. There are lots of homeless people, drug addicts, and male strip clubs interspersed among the tourists, bachelorette parties, cafes, and grocery stores. Braden has seen several people get arrested, and we witnessed a brawl the other night. On the other hand, we stepped outside the other day to find a street-corner concert by the Montréal Gay Men’s Chorus. One evening, we stumbled upon a square dancing class in the park around the corner. Despite the “liveliness” of our neighborhood, it is quite clean and we feel very safe.
- Parking the car sucks, there’s no other way to say it. Even if you find a good spot, you have to move it every week. Last week, I tried to game the system by waiting for the street sweeper to go by, then parking in a zone that says no parking between 9:30 and 10:30 on Wednesday. I got there just before 10:00, and sat in my car and hoped for the best. At about 10:15 a Mobilité Montréal car pulled up in front of me and three official-looking people jumped out. I panicked about the impending confrontation – but they just issued a citation to a neighbor who’d left their trash out on the wrong day. It wasn’t worth the stress, so we purchased a parking pass at a city garage. It cost about $160 CAD total, and it’s pretty far away (but close to a Metro stop) but now we don’t need to worry about it.
- That being said, we haven’t actually needed the car for three full weeks – the Metro and bus system here is fantastic. We set a goal to visit every Metro stop before we leave Montreal.
- We binge watched both seasons of Kim’s Convenience on Netflix, a charming show about a Korean-Canadian family that runs a convenience store in Toronto. “Okay, see you!”