My goal is to raise $9,490 for breast cancer research - a dollar for every day my mother, Lorraine Raimondo, battled breast cancer. I'm driving across the country raising funds for every mile I drive.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Old Montreal

 Bon jour! Je suis a Montreal! Ok, that's enough French. So, Montreal. I arrived around 8pm and drove into Old Montreal where I would be staying for the next 2 nights. I was pleased when I looked around at the french architecture and cobblestone streets thinking, ah, a bit like Paris. This happy state was immediately squashed when a man who was walking past my car gave me the finger. And then to be sure I knew what he meant he said "F*#k you!." Hmm, what was that about? I wondered. What did I do? And then it dawned on me. My license plates, he's not fond of his neighbors south of the border in the USA. My evening didn't get much better after that.
I checked in to the Auberge Alternative du Vieux-Montreal Hostel on Rue St. Pierre. It's an old wharehouse with an eclectic decor. I had made a reservation for a single room. However, when I arrived they had me booked for a bunk in one of the dorm rooms and that's all they had left. The Rose Room to be exact. OK, whatever, I'll save some money. I hiked up to the top floor (that would be the 5th floor) where my bed awaited. Now the Rose Room is a small room, oddly shaped with 3 walls each with a set of bunk beds against it. Only a top bunk was left. I took the advice of one of the women in the room and chose the one closer to the fan. This was important because it is really, really hot and humid out. And on the top floor it's really hot. Add to that the fact that I'm on the top bunk about 2 ft from the ceiling and well it is hot! Another less desirable aspect of being on the top bunk was my pretty bad fear of falling. Plus, the beds were more narrow than your standard twin. I eyed the gap between the bed and the wall. Hmm, 5 inches - I could possibly slip through that. On the other side were a couple posts that I guess would at least make my fall less impactful. I figured I'll just hold on all night. I then wandered on down to the common room to take advantage of the wi fi internet connection and make some food.
 
At one point I headed upstairs to get my headlamp so I wouldn't wake anybody up later by turning on the lights when I decided to go to sleep. Well, someone had already went to bed. I'll call her Nicole - because her name is Nicole. All our names are on our bunks. cute. So Nicole is sacked on a top bunk and another cell mate is getting some stuff. As she leaves she nervously tells me to turn the light off when I leave. "No problem, I'm just getting my flashlight." Well, not a minute passes and Nicole huffs and reaches over and turns the light out. Now, she just heard me say, I'm just getting my flashlight. Plus, it's not even 11 o'clock and she's got to be in her 20's. What the heck is she doing in bed anyway? I just laugh it off and leave. When I do eventually head to bed there is now a mattress on the floor making it now 7 people in this small room. Plus, Nicole has rigged the fan so that it only fans her. Some of the other women rearrange it so it's more communal, and then Nicole jumps down and puts it back on her. She never says anything, just huffs. Another woman comes in (now everyone is being very considerate, going to bed in the dark or with a small light). Anyway, this woman is quickly and quietly getting into her bed and Nicole starts snapping her fingers as if to say "hurry up!!!" The woman responds, "Are you snapping at me?" And then adds, "And don't you think it's selfish to have the fan all to yourself?" Nicole just huffs and snaps and I'm just giggling in my top bunk, hoping a catfight breaks out. I then drifted into a very sweaty nights sleep.

Anyway, back to Old Montreal. The main street everyone strolls down is Rue St. Paul. It's loaded with cute shops, restaurants - many with live jazz at night - and galleries. You can take this road down to Rue Jacque Cartier for some street performers and cafes.   Posted by Picasa
I don't get these people that act like statues. It seems like such a boring way to make a living. And exactly how much dough are these "statues" raking in anyway? I mean, I understand the street musician who really loves to play. Or even a juggler. But really, please explain the statue people? Plus, this guy has a sign that says "free hugs." Ok, then what's the bucket for if not for cash? On top of that the last person I want a hug from(ok maybe not the last person, but not in the top 500,000) would be some guy that decided to spend his life as a statue.
OK, sorry went off on that for awhile. I guess, I have to admit, I'm not really digging Montreal. I don't know, I say just go to Paris for the real thing. Ouch! Sorry. OK, I'm hot and tired, and I've only been here for 24 hours and only in Old Montreal. I'm sure it's a great place and you should come here often. But if you can make it to Paris....

4 Comments:

Blogger Sophr1 said...

Well, "Je suis dans Montreal" is correct, it would mean, exactly, "I'm in the heart of the city". So, not quite like Paris, mhhh... Though People get crabby there too. Anyway... Enjoy the rest of the Trip. Milan says "Bonjour Lowi", actually in French (getting fluent at his French school).

12:32 AM  
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