Yeah, OK, I’m sucking at updates. I don’t even have any excuses; I’ve spent most of my time either on some sort of transportation and hangin’ out while my friends worked and/or slept. Yesterday I spent ten hours on the train, and very uncharacteristically spent almost no time in the cafe car, which was the only place WiFi was available. 4g was pretty spotty, even, but the train ride really is gorgeous. Probably hard to top the last/only other time I’ve done this trip, which was in late October, so it was just endless rolling hills of red and gold, but still.
Yeah, my out-the-moving-train photography skills are top-fucking-notch.
I didn’t sleep at all Tuesday night, and managed to sleep for a few hours Wednesday morning to take the edge off, but not a whole lot. Not helped by the two dudes behind me who played their music out loud relentlessly. Not very loud, and the music was decent (if you’re a ’90s music nerd, as I am, anyway), but every few minutes it would randomly blast for a few seconds and jerk me awake.
Also, who the fuck plays their music out loud on a relatively full ten-hour train trip?
Made it over the border sometime mid-afternoon — and man, going through customs is so ridiculously, inexplicably nerve-wracking. Like, I can’t — or at least, I won’t — speak for my past adventures, but I very definitely was doing nothing remotely suspicious, and yet the rapid-fire questions — where are you going? for how long? what are do you do? why are you here? — are goddamn intimidating!
Anyway, surprise, did not get arrested by border patrol. So, score.
Got into Montreal aroundddd 8ish? I guess? And I actually made a friend on the train over the last hour or two of the trip, which is a pretty landmark event considering my particular combination of crippling shyness and self-loathing coupled with exhaustion-enhanced lack of brain/mouth filter — hint: not the dicks playing music — who turned out to be staying in the same general area, so we met up for dinner after dropping our respective piles of shit off.
Or at least, attempted to get dinner, wandering up & down rue Saint-Catherine for a ridiculous amount of time and failing to find anywhere to eat, eventually just grabbing some greasy pizza and eating it in a park, which had some charm in and of itself. And Saint-Catherine is also not the worst place in the world for aimless wandering.
Got back sometime after midnight, promptly passed out — like, in a bed, you guys! An actual bed! — until mid-morning, when I woke up long enough to stagger downstairs for the free breakfast (free food being one of the few things that will coax me out of bed, as with any rational human) and passed out some more.
Woke up again, and took a lazy bike ride around the area, delighting in the reminder of how awesome biking around is when you don’t have fuckin’ fifty tons of shit strapped to your shitty back. I definitely want to go to Parc Mont Royal while I’m here, but La Fontaine Park was way closer (see: lazy), so I just wandered around there for a bit. Squirrels are weird, man.
And the namesake fountain (presumably) was quite nice as well.
Since it seems obligatory to get poutine at least once per Canada, I went to Frite-Alors for dinner, at which time I reaffirmed my sad suspicion that I do not (ducks head) actually like (shuffles feet) poutine.
I feel like I should wait ’til I’m safely off of Canadian soil before I even speak such blasphemy, ‘less I wanna ruin my uneventful border crossing streak of one.
But hey, I managed to make it through the entire meal without speaking English! “Uh, je voudrais cette biere, s’il vous plaît, et le poutine classique!” and “Oui, c’est tout, merci.” I am a linguistic god, basically.
Now I am sipping an overpriced and underboozed gin & tonic in the hostel bar, because why not, and observing the wildlife. And feeling old. Considering the fucked-up state of both ankles, I feel like having a cane to wave around would at least serve a valid secondary purpose as well.
Tomorrow I’m going to head to a different hostel — La Maison du Patriote, right in the middle of Old Town — because why not? It’s right near the river, and especially since the weather should be fuckin’ amazing, biking over to L’Île Notre Dame to le Parc Jean-Drapeau doesn’t seem like a horrible idea.
So, I’m at that hostel ’til Sunday, at least. Sometime next week I’ll probably hop a train to Quebec City — it seems silly not to, since I’ve never been — but when, or how long, or where or what I’m doing (ever, in any sense, at all) is up in the air. Huge shock, I know.
So, y’know. Not dead yet!