far too much writing, far too many photos

Yesterday: arrived in Montréal after a drive that morphed from Vermont rustic bliss to border-crossing interrogation to Québec farmland/small towns to city traffic hell, Montreal style. Arrived at the B&B, a brownstone on a quiet street not far from the foot of Mount Royal Park. Walked in, realized when I saw the expressions on the young Quebecois couple who own the joint that I’d more or less just committed a home invasion. A moment of groveling apologies seemed to produce forgiveness (”We are used to eet”), the she of the couple then ushered me into a teeny, comfy bedroom, talking in distractingly, appealingly accented English.

Called a friend, arranged to hook up with him this evening, headed out into fine July weather to find an ATM machine. Which turned out to be trickier than expected. Not that they’re not strewn around the city with joyous abandon the way they are in the States, just that they were either out of service or disapproved of my ATM card. One finally relented, spat out cash, I headed to the Metro to join the happy Friday evening commuters.

My first impression of the city’s people: wild variety of looks and nationalities, blending together in the streets and Metro in seriously pleasing fashion. Interesting-looking people everywhere, French being spoken all around. A tantalizing place, reminding me of Madrid in the way life seems to take to the streets, restaurants and cafés everywhere, people out enjoying themselves.

Blah blah blah. I’m sitting in a geek-oriented internet joint along a busy street in one of the city’s French-speaking neighborhoods, all windows covered with shades, heavy-metal music playing at low volume, pale-skinned, wild-haired nerds planted at various ‘puters, looking blankly serious. My bod wants food and sunlight. I must obey.

Updates will follow as possible. Later.

This afternoon — corner of Pins and Ste. Lauren, Montréal:

Madrid, te echo de menos.

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