Over the last weeks I have been settling in to, and loving, life in Montreal. I’m getting used to the structure of the classes and the ways in which we are expected to work, and I have to say that so far I love it more than the style at home. There is a lot more room for discussion, interpretation and free thinking. The ‘10% of the grade is participation’ is really helping my confidence and will only improve my learning style and help me get more from my university courses at home.
(Although I will admit that when my professor told me I could do a presentation and essay on any part of American culture I wanted, because ‘anything goes as long as you can justify it’, I did have a little panic.)
Now on to poutine! OHMYGOSH I LOVE IT.
Poutine is essentially cheesy chips and gravy, but it is also so much more than that. It’s not the prettiest looking dish, but it’s very rich and filling and something that everyone told me to try. The place we went to is called La Banquise and it is widely agreed to be the best poutine stop. It is open 24 hours a day and there is often a queue out the door! I don’t doubt that I’ll be enjoying more poutine before my time here is up.
Ok, so by some brilliant luck, we found out about Montreal comiccon not long before the event and there were still tickets left! We went on the Sunday, as we also bought Matt Smith photo op tickets. He unfortunately had to cancel, which was a shame, but the day was awesome nonetheless! So many amazing things were there, beautiful crafts and artworks created by talented people, the TARDIS and Daleks, a DeLorean and so many cosplayers! We dressed up as Hipster Doctor Who and Amy Pond (long story, but the idea originated due to lack of costume pieces), and we had a great time meeting people who enjoyed the same things as ourselves. The whole day was a relatively cheap day out too, with tickets only costing $25(plus tax).
You know, that’s the one thing I’m still struggling to get used to, is the adding tax on to purchases. I still don’t quite understand why anyone would prefer to use this system over one where the taxes are already added into the price, so you pay what’s on the price tag. But it’s just something that is part of the package of living here! I’ve only been here for just under a month, so maybe when I return to the UK I will stop expecting to pay the price that’s on the label (or maybe not!).
Some other little adventures I’ve been on in my first three weeks here are a trip up Mont Royal at night and an afternoon of shopping in a shop called Eva B. My previous post includes pictures of the view from Mont Royal during the day, and as you’ll see it’s spectacular. However at night, there is a different kind of magic to it. Everything comes to life and the city out shines the stars. It truly is beautiful, but as I only have my phone camera you may have to imagine some of the atmosphere!
Now Eva B is a treasure trove of clothes. It is a thrift/vintage shop which sells everything you never knew you wanted. When I went there were endless rails of leather jackets, most of which were price at $20(plus tax) and everything has so much character to it. Upstairs in the more thrift less vintage part of the store, I found a pair of fleece lined gloves, a black coat and a letterman jacket all of which came to just over $25! You have to use your imagination, and not be in the market for anything specific style or design wise, but the bargains are everywhere.
Okay, so I’m going to sign off before this post becomes far too long!
All photos are authors own.