Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Amour = Montreal

"Words... they'll try to shake you. Don't let them break you. Or stop your world from turning. When words keep you from feeling good, use them as firewood and let them burn" - Words by Train



Going through my Canada trip pictures, I realized I only took three pictures of myself: one was in the science museum (and it looks like it can be in any science museum in the world) and the other two made it looked like I was visiting Beijing, China instead.



Hahaha. Oh well, what important is the memory I bring back, right? (and what a memory Canada turns out to be. Montreal, you will always have a special place in my heart... cewahhh)

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I did not get to do any research on Montreal before I got there, except to learn that the taxi from the airport to the hotel will cost me 38 Canadian Dollars. Before traveling, I will usually do extensive study on what to do in the area and how to get around.

Well, I was just too busy this time around to google things up.


But just like life, when you do not put up any expectation at all, that’s when you will enjoy it the most, right?



Montreal is such a charming city with a mix of personalities. It has an European air about it. French is the main language. All signboards and menu, among others, are in French, and people are most likely to greet you “Bonjour” instead of “Hi”. I indulged in greeting people in French, because it sounds so cool, hahaha, but of course when they started to continue the chat in French, that’s when I’ll have to sheepishly explain that my vocabulary does not extend beyond hi and thank you. They’ll just smile and switch back to English, but I noticed that throughout my many travel people warms up easily to you if you make effort to speak in local language.

The Canadians are superfriendly too. Once, we were standing at a corner of the street just figuring out where to go next – we’ve been walking randomly with no fix destination – and a guy greeted us and ask if we need any direction. We didn’t answer directly because we don’t have any particular direction in mind, but the guy thought we didn’t answer because we don’t understand English, so he asked again in French… lagi aaa blur kitaorang. Because he was so nice, I asked him the way back to our hotel, eventhough we totally know where it was.

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I totally love the European feeling of the French quarters, particularly the buildings and cobble-stoned street. My favorite thing to do here is to stroll among the narrow alleyways and visited the little shops and boutiques. Too bad the shops closed so early (6 pm, okay?!) and the conference schedule was really full that I don’t have enough time to fully explore the area.


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The other parts of the city do remind me that I am actually in North America, and I was immediately transported to cities like Minneapolis and the quieter street of New York. It does remind me of my four years at the States, and coupled with the crisp and cold almost-Fall weather, well, it was really easy to get a little bit nostalgic of my college years.


And of course – Chinatown! It’s everywhere in the world, right? It was so weird that one turn off the street and suddenly I was bombarded with signage in Chinese promoting dim sum, acupuncture and Chinese herb and Chinese music being played on the speaker. Sue and I went here almost daily to get our fix of bubble tea since Chinatown is just next to our hotel.


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Rue Ste Catherine is the famous shopping area where numerous shops and shopping complexes lined the road. Too bad that it was a bit far from where we were staying, so I did not get to shop much at all. My eyes were spinning like crazy looking at all the clothes and shoes. Rugi, rugi… (kedai-kedai tu la yang rugi. They lost one potential shopaholic!)

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But my favorite thing about Montreal is how bicycle friendly the city is. They have special lanes for bicycle, lots of parking space for bicycles and this…


This rent-a-bike facility was set up everywhere around the city. You can rent a bike from one point and return it to any other point. The rate is 5 Canadian Dollar for a day, if I am not mistaken. The lovely thing is, people actually use the bikes. I’ve seen people biking them everywhere. Kan best kalau KL macam ni.


5 comments:

  1. Pegi tak quebec city, dalam 3 jam dr montreal, lagi cantik dr montreal dan chinatown pun tak da :)

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  2. hi chibi! (cute name :p)
    i wished i could stay longer. really wanted to go to quebec or visit the national park for a hike. oh well, the more reason to come to canada again in the future, i guess?

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  3. Phat, kat Beijing pun ada Chinatown ok... hahahaha. nice pics!

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  4. bestnya....french speaking part of canada....the friendliest country in the world..~sigh

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  5. the pix tells everything...
    ps: sambil mengeluarkan asap dari idongnye

    ReplyDelete