It’s been two months exactly since arriving in Montreal, and you bet it’s been a big change. Coming from a city of 20,000, up the coast from Vancouver, where I could bomb around town, stop at the grocery store, get some gas, go to the dump, stop at the license bureau, make my dentist appointment, and buy socks at Walmart, all in an hour or two.
That’s not the case in Montreal. We’re talking a couple of days for this kind of thing. It took me most of one day just to get my driver’s license and new plates here.
In Powell River, traffic jams mean five cars at a traffic light. Montreal isn’t quite like that. Not by a friggin country mile.
You hardly ever see a detour sign in Powell River. In Montreal however……….
I used to get upset with slow drivers on the Sunshine Coast. In Montreal, I want to slam my brakes on the next person who tailgates me when I’m already 20 kms. over the speed limit, get out and pound his or her windshield with a crowbar.
Montreal has sports talk radio, which is the first such thing I’ve heard since I moved to Powell River from Calgary 18 years ago. I listened to CBC in Powell River.
It was 99% English there. I’m living in St. Hubert now, which is 99% French.
Most Powell Riverites cheer for the Vancouver Canucks. In Montreal, it’s another team.
The view’s better in Powell River, with the ocean and Vancouver Island just across the way, with fishing boats and tugs going by. However, if you’ve ever seen some of the Montreal women walking around, you might ask yourself what’s better.
From my deck in Powell River I could hear sea lions barking. I’ve yet to hear one sea lion in Montreal. Although I saw a deer on Cousineau Boulevard recently.
More often than not, strangers walking past each other in Powell River smile and say hello. Not so much in Montreal.
I’ve noticed that some shopkeepers in Montreal aren’t overly friendly. Then I remembered that some in Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, and yes, even Powell River, aren’t either.
I’ve yet to see any loggers or fishermen in Montreal.
It would be ridiculous to compare smoked meat between the two places. But the prawns in Powell River are sensational.
Beer’s slightly cheaper in Montreal, but taxes are higher.
Montreal’s downtown is fabulous and I’d love to live in the heart of it. Powell River doesn’t have a downtown. Just some shops here and there. And of course the Walmart in the mall, which isn’t really the downtown but probably is.
Luci and I grew palm trees in our yard in Powell River. Ain’t gonna happen in Montreal.
Everyone in Powell River talks about not being able to live away from the ocean. I can, and the St. Laurence suits me just fine.
Montreal gets some serious winter. Powell River dips a few degrees below zero, but it rains non-stop for four or five months. I’m not afraid of Montreal’s cold and snow. I grew up with it in Ontario. And I drove semis in it for 20 years.
The bottom line is, both places are great. I have an excellent hockey-related job. And I’m living in the home of the Montreal Canadiens, the team I’ve loved for about 57 years now.
Maybe Luci and I will end up back on the West Coast, in beautiful Powell River. But right now I’m focused on my job at Classic Auctions, which is a big learning curve to be sure, and also on living in Montreal, which I’ve wanted to do for much of my life. And Luci is embracing the whole idea.
You might ask yourself, why would he do this at his age, leaving a tranquil place with everything pretty well under control, and just take it easy instead? It’s because I’m restless, always have been, and if I turned down a chance to work at the best hockey auction house on the planet, I’d regret it for the rest of my life.
Two months now in Montreal. I can’t believe it.