August 21, 2003
Montreal: It's Wasted on a 5 Year-Old (On the Ground in the Garden State)

For the first leg of our brief Canadian Tour, we hit Montreal. I used to live there, but my 9 word description of Montreal is: "Totally awesome, but totally wasted on a 5 year-old."

We arrived in mid-afternoon, and Paul led us to a sandwich restaurant near McGill, that he knows from when he used to live in Montreal (he was older, though). We spent some time trying to convince Etienne that our waiter (who immediately had us picked out as anglophones, and so spoke to us in English) was actually French-as-a-first-language.

After the sandwiches (totally awesome), we decided to swing by the hotel that we had booked on the "we'll tell you where the hotel is after you've booked it" system. On our way, we saw some banners for the Montreal International Jazz Festival; we wondered when it would be, and lamented the fact that we wouldn't be in town when it was on. It wasn't until we saw signs for "Jazz Festival Parking" that we clued in.

We then arrived at our hotel to discover that it was actually immediately adjacent to the festival. If you can accidentally book a Saturday night in a hotel whose pool overlooks the Montreal Jazz Festival, I heartily recommend it. Totally awesome. Before dinner, I got to see "Mountain High... Valley Low" arranged for accordian and electric zither.

We went for dinner at a bring-your-own-wine Greek restaurant, watched some jazz, and conducted an exhaustive survey of the local patios. This survey is conducted as follows in Montreal:
1. Stand on sidewalk facing street.
2. Turn left 90 degrees.
3. Walk 12 steps.
4. Turn left 90 degrees.
5. Enter patio.
6. Drink.
7. Exit patio.
8. if (time > 3h00) GOTO bed
9. GOTO 1

On Sunday, we went for brunch at a courtyard bruncherie (not an actual word) with live chamber music. Totally awesome. We checked out the Old Town, where Shin, who felt unprepared for the upcoming Canada Day festivities bought a shirt with the government style "Canada" logo. We stood around the entrance to the Old Port, trying to decide what the picketers were protesting (something to do with "The Youth of Quebec"), then went in anyway (though as a act of solidarity, we walked in as far away from the picketers as possible).

We walked over to the foot of Mount Royal to check out the tam tam, then climbed the hill and ate ice-cream. We also discovered that the furry creatures on Mount Royal are even more human-acclimated than those at UBC; there was a (fat) ground-hog that would stand up and eat food out of peoples' hands, and chipmonks that would actually climb onto people's hands to eat. On the way down, I cruelly tricked a squirrel into thinking that I had food in my hand; I hope he's learned a valuable lesson about the capriciousness of humans.

On the way back to the hotel, we caught another show at the Jazz Festival. It was a brass band from France who's show culminated in the "Quebec folksong," "Killing In The Name", performed on snare drum, marching bass-drum, trombone, guitar, and bull-horn. Totally awesome.

Loitering by the elevators in the hotel lobby while Paul checked out, I noticed that the guy with dreadlocks waiting for the elevator was none other than super-star Bobby McFerrin. I calmly and quietly indicated this to my companions ("Bobby McFerrin... The 'Don't Worry, Be Happy' guy."), but I think he overheard us; as he got on the elevator, he turned to us and said, and I quote, "Hi, guys." To us. With that out of the way, we left the city, stopping only to buy a dozen bagels at Fairmont Bagels (best bagels ever - the one thing I remember from living there).

To sum up: Montreal. Totally Awesome.

Posted: August 21, 2003 12:46 PM
by: on August 23, 2003 04:03 PM:

wtf is ‘capriciousness’? Do you think we are freakin geniuses out here? small words tim, small words for the UBC folk.

In realted news to not using big words, check this out,

by: on August 25, 2003 04:06 PM:

Whimsy. But not in the fluffy, harmless kind of way. More the irrational, unpredictably cruel kind of way.

by: on August 27, 2003 08:55 PM:

you might also want to change &nbsp for   in your log dates. the semicolon will make a world of difference

by: on August 28, 2003 11:56 AM:

Hmm. Apparantly IE is too permissive for use as a test viewer. Its attitude is of a “semi-colon schemi-colon” variety.

by: on August 28, 2003 01:18 PM:

you have increased my vocabulary tim. I heard capricious used on the radio and actually knew what it meant.

by: on August 28, 2003 02:52 PM:

ahem. i believe the word you were looking for was capriciousosity.


by: on September 2, 2003 04:19 PM:

judging by the effectiveness of a UBC english degree, I think you might want to stick with benf’s advice and go with the small words.

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