Sunday, November 04, 2007

We just returned from Montreal this evening, and Molly has about 25 phone calls to return tomorrow morning, along with a few emails. It's going to be a bit hard to get back into the swing of things and cease being a tourist. This was an enjoyable visit, as all the other times that Molly has visited Montreal have been (four times in the last 40 years). Now, Molly hasn't visited every major city in Canada. There's still Toronto, Halifax, Quebec City and St. John NB to go, but of those that she has visited Montreal holds pride of place. is more pleasant than either Vancouver or Victoria. It is not as different as St. John's NF, but has the sort of cosmopolitanism that such a place lacks. It is also incredibly safe as compared to our cities out here in the West. Much cleaner in a litter sense as well, even the subway. Montreal, with 3 1/2 million people in its metropolitan area, has tiny itsy bitsy "combat zones" that don't hold a candle to such places as Winnipeg, Edmonton or, worst of all, Vancouver. I also appreciate the fact that I can practice my French down there. Little opportunity here in Winnipeg. Pretty easy to read it. Slightly harder to speak it, but people are almost universally patient with my efforts. Much harder to understand the spoken word which is not the "academic" sort of French that I know. Une autre fois, s'il vous plait, mais plus lentement. It's a good phrase to know.
As far as my limited experience carries Montreal is definitely my favourite Canadian city. It has a history that can only compare to Newfoundland or Quebec City, a history that a person could spend years exploring and still have things yet to see. It has distinct neighbourhoods which, unlike here in Winnipeg, are not defined mostly by crime rates. It has a cultural life, of many different hues, that no other Canadian city can equal.
So...yes I enjoyed it as usual. More on the trip later. Back to my regular blogging soon.


opit said...

Especially the "Lentement, s'il vous plait" phrase, Molly. I can't keep up and everything runs together - even if I did have a working vocabulary, which is not the case.
I lived in Montreal the year after Expo 67 for a few months: an eye-opening time to be young and free.
I was back down this summer east of Montreal halfway to Drummondville at Ste. Hyacinthe over a three day weekend riding in a tractor pulling twin trailers right through the heart of the city ( over those shaky overpasses ! )
No English whatsoever on cautions and advisories for truckers coming from all over the continent. Foux!

mollymew said...

Personally I wouldn't even think of driving in Montreal, though I might give it a thought outside of the city. I can easily see how the signs would give pause to a trucker from elsewhere, though I don't find them very difficult. They really should, however, post them in English and put safety ahead of principles. Some signs in Greece, of all places, are bilingual in English. Another place I wouldn't think of driving. What scares me is the freeway system in Montreal, as well as the confusing maze of one way streets and mergers of same. The drivers in Montreal use LESS horn and more signal lights than here in Winnipeg, and are generally a less aggressive breed. Still, the layout of the streets would make me uneasy. I've never tried to drive on nay of the 4 times I've been to Montreal.