It was a year ago exactly that Lucy and I finally reached Montreal after a fine car ride full of excitement, anticipation, and Boston Pizzas.
One that began in Powell River, 120 km up the coast from Vancouver, and about a million miles from Montreal in almost every other sense.
I had retired from BC Ferries, about to begin an entirely new thing with Classic Auctions in Montreal, and now suddenly, like the snap of a finger, it’s been a year already.
Classic Auctions, if you’re not aware, is the world’s biggest and best hockey historical auction house. My job is to write descriptions of the auctions pieces and go on about players and teams related to the pieces.
When we got to Montreal we didn’t have a place to live and spent a week in a hotel until we found one. It was stressful. I like hotels but when you feel you might be stuck in one for weeks, the novelty wears off.
In Montreal, apartments don’t come with fridges and stoves, which I think is unusual. And it didn’t help that we didn’t have any furniture.
Wherever I’ve been in the past, apartments have been labelled as one bedroom, or two bedroom etc. In Montreal, and I suppose throughout Quebec, they’re called 2 1/2, or 3 1/3 etc.
I still haven’t got it perfectly straight. I think a 3 1/2 is a two bedroom. I could be wrong about that. (update – I just learned from a waitress that 3 1/2 is a one bedroom.)
We finally found a lady looking to rent her furnished condo, she happened to be Russian and her and Lucy chatted away, and now it’s where we live.
About 12 minutes to the Habs rink in Brossard.
I’m not getting as lost now. My French has improved only slightly. Traffic sucks and my middle finger is getting worn out.
If some drivers knew what I was saying about them, I might be sleeping in a shallow grave right now. Tailgators, stop the madness. I already drive over the speed limit. What more do you want?
Often I think about how much I’d like to live in downtown Montreal with a cafe on the corner, but can’t because I work on the south shore and the traffic on the bridges is completely insane.
And there’s the thing about affording to live downtown which I never really considered.
I’m thinking I won’t be living downtown.
It’s been exactly a year of adventure. Hard to believe. It seems like just a few weeks ago we were packing up the car and heading to the ferry where I used to work but now was traveling on for the first leg of a long journey to a completely different job.
Maybe you think it’s unusual for me to do this. Just drop everything and move across the country. I think so too. I could be retired. I could be living on the coast where it doesn’t get very cold.
But I think those who know me well aren’t all that surprised.