Montreal, a busy busy life!

So since I've next to no time to update, here's some of the many activities I've been up to:
— Went to Tadoussac and whale watched (yay for belugas, mink whales, and fin whales, but I didn't see the blue whales or killer whales or dolphins although there are some in the area).
— enjoyed the sand dunes
— went to club 737
— observed the city from the top of the Olympic Stadium aka the tallest inclined tower in the world
— went to Chez Mado (a drag queen club complete with show)
— ate at a great Vegan restaurant
— ate lots of poutine, sweets, yummy food, walked tonnes and generally enjoyed myself
— played badminton
— saw the botanical gardens
— did homework
etc.

Anyhow, I gotta run… gotta catch the Grand Prix Festival with friends tonight. If I don't get the chance to type sooner, I'm heading to Quebec city for the weekend (it's a long weekend because of la fete Nationale) after the parties in town.

Montreal Adventures continue… Mmmmm the poutine!

So Beth asks me today what I've been up to… and I answer that I've been trying to keep this lj updated with what I`ve been up to. Well — I haven't necessarily been doing an incredibly great job of updating you all (not that my life is REALLY all that exciting, I mean I am in class for 3.5 hours each morning and three hours each afternoon, even if the afternoon classtime is often fieldtrips and the morning's classes do include activities. In any case I'm not pleased that the Oilers lost last night (yes I watched — I pretty much caught the last half of the game, being that I was eating poutine at the best place to eat poutine in Montreal during the first part of the game, walking back during the first intermission and stopping at Champs (the best bar to watch the game apparently) and walking back to rez during the first part of the second period (our group was tired and wanted to watch the game at the rez)).

What haven't I mentioned? The shopping is of course amazing here, the culture is superly weird — how often do I get pick up lines from anyone let alone strange guys from Paris on a daily basis in Edmonton — but really I love it. Yesterday's trip to the market was awesome (and of course so were the fruit and crepes we had there). Did you know that Montreal is all World Cup crazy? Walking in Little Italy during the game means dodging the crowds outside of the restaurants and bars trying to look in and watch the game — they`re even spilling out onto the streets… very crazy, but also fun! The evening included a wonderful walk up St. Laurent with our excellent French (from France!) tour guide telling us all the wonderful history of the area and of course our stop at the end at the poutine place.

Tonight there`s pedal boats/quadricycles, and beaver tails… so more funtimes! Fauza and I are thinking of catching a French film at a really eccentric cinema which should be a great time as well!

Anywho… I send you all great thoughts of good food (and if anyone knows it, excerpts of La Bottine Souriant's song 'La tourti├¿re').

Remember I can be reached by email if anyone has tips, hints, advice, requests, or just wants to get in touch (or to get a post card!). The offer still stands for those who want to get in touch while I'm in Montreal — please please drop me a line! Sure I don't have tonnes of free time, but it's certainly not as if I can`t make the time!

Montreal and Mont Tremblant adventures continued

So, if you were wondering, I haven`t had the computer time to catch up with you via friends pages on lj… I`m barely updating this thing as I promised and at that I`ve not been doing a great job. Anyway, Les Francofolies de Montreal is an excellent festival… I`m even wearing a dress from the souvenir shop there. Very cool, all things considered.

Classes are going rather well… I`m learning a lot.

Yesterday I was rather frustrated to have missed the Salsa event that I really wanted to be at (oups!) because I had the time wrong in my head. Instead I used the sports center for the first time which was really great. I`m looking forward to using the machines more, and generally having a great time. I love the francophone music that is found everywhere here. Very great!!

On Saturday we went to Mont Tremblant, which was good, but would have been incredible had it not rained and rained and rained (it`s an outdoors paradise… but indoors it`s really not as cool as a resort town). In any case I went swimming indoors and outdoors. We watched the game in a rez common room which was fun after we returned. Sunday I went shopping at Simons (and I will certainly return: a better department store would be hard to find! Not for those prices anyway).

Anywho… I ought to jet… we`re going to March├⌐ Jean Talon this afternoon with class and I don`t want to be late. Later this afternoon we`re catching the World Cup match while in Little Italy.

Oh and did I mention that I really like the Metro system here?

Update from Montreal

I don`t have much time online to update everyone… but the whirlwind that has been the last few days has really taken off. Unfortunately we have not been speaking as much francais as I would like (yes, I fully plan on inserting French words on occasion). That said, we are doing it more often (as a group) than before.
Sunday`s arrival was pretty great. Some guy helped me walk my baggages from the Central Station (right next to the Berri-UQAM metro station) to our residence on the corner of St. Laurent and Rene Levesque, which was really nice. Although I sleep on a really uncomfortable cot, my roommate is awesome and we`re lucky to only have two people staying in my room… this means a great view, convenient location and of course space if anyone who`s in town needs somewhere to stay during Kiwanis ICON (email me, really! As much as I don`t check other things, I certainly check email when I can). My roommate`s even okay with that idea. And wow are we ever central! Kind of nice to be able to get EVERYWHERE so easily! So in these past few days I`ve been placed in a class (level 5 out of 6 levels… we`re mostly ex-French immersion students and international students or people who actually have recently moved to Montreal), toured Montreal, toured campus and visited both les Francofolies and Nuit Blanche (I can`t remember the actual name of that festival I visited last night. Unfortunately it was raining, so the paintings were getting smeared).

In any case yesterday I also accidentally dropped my camera (which isn`t broken although it`s not as pretty) and determined that I forgot my battery charger (so had to buy batteries), and also visited Atwater market (which was really great: Heather was right, the strawberries are excellent!).

This weekend I`m going to Mont Tremblant, this afternoon I`m visiting the cineroboteque.

It feels odd to be using this keyboard… but I kind of want one (although with the break in the middle) as it`s easier to type the special symbols inherent in the French language.

Anywho… I`d better run… gotta get some food before my afternoon field trip. Honestly, I`ve been rather lonely on occasion (not that the people here aren`t great but it`s just not the same as having you here), although I`ve been trying to get out. The problem is of course partially because I don`t drink like a fish (which seems to be all that some people want to do) and because I can`t stand smoke (and when people want to party in a small room with smoking in the other residence I really can`t be bothered to deal with the consequences — I rather like breathing!). Although there`s those problems, I`m getting out and doing stuff and having a great time. I`m certainly really enjoying it here, and the next month will be a real blast especially with all the excursions and so on!!

Oh and I hope that the Oilers do much better in the next game (win!!) the last one was rather disappointing to say the least.

Quick Party Recap

Thanks for everyone who attended my potluck/going away party! I'm going to try to update people on my LJ on a semi-regular basis while I'm in Montreal so that should help.

As for attendance, I would say that the gathering was remarkably successful. Food evened out nicely with lots of snacks and whatnot for everyone's enjoyment.

We played 'party games' where some people got picked on worse than others… I was attacked by flipper frogs in our game of Cranium Family Fun (which is remarkably fun people! Less academically stimulating than Cranium perhaps, but more crazy stunts and certainly more teamwork! We totally have to play this more often!) Trivial Pursuit 90s edition again beat us into submission (none of us are very good — I blame it on us all being either a)oblivious b) too young in the 90s c) too old in the 90s or d) a combination thereof to do terribly well at that game — it was fun however!

Anywho… since a remarkably large portion of the group consists of LJ nerds… especially ones I didn't know about… LJ will prove even better to keep in touch with people. Now, I've got to return to my laundry and packing and jet outta here ASAP… (yes I've plans) But I fly tomorrow, so we'll see how it goes. I'll try to stay in touch in any case! Take care and au revoir!

0h and many thanks to everyone who sent me tips for my trip!

Going Away Party Reminder!

It's tomorrow, at my apt at 6pm and you're invited! A true potluck, with catching up, potential for games or other silly fun times and of course goodbyes.

Just a reminder everyone! And if you haven't RSVPed yet, feel free to attend anyhow… call me or email me if you need more info.