Thursday, July 29, 2004

Monkeys! Monkeys everywhere!

I really like this 12 Monkeys idea. But then, I love monkeys.

July monkey: Describe your first impression of Montreal.

Bridges. Lots of bridges. There was a bigness and bustle, a smirk and a twinkle, that made me fall in love with this city. Just like that. At first sight.

That image of bridges is indelible, though I've never been able to recapture that precise view, find the same frame, when our bus came rolling into town.

I first visited Montreal the summer I was 15.

(Years earlier we drove through on a class trip to Québec City and toured Olympic Stadium, but I don't remember much about it, except for the cyclists going round and round and round and round. I don't think that counts.)

I was staying with my big sister in Ottawa for a month or so, and she planned this little excursion for us. (I love my sister.) So we took the bus to Montreal for a few days, stayed with her brother-in-law in a very cool downtown apartment, took in the Picasso exhibit, and hung out. Croissants and café au lait for everyone!

It represented all that was romantic and cultured, French and exotic, free and far from home (but closer than Paris).

And, oh ya... We went to Foufounes and I had beer. (Maybe it allowed a tad of teeenage rebellion to play itself out too.)

I vowed to live there someday.

Life didn't quite work out as planned. My application to McGill was accepted, but my mom thought Montreal was too far away for a 17-year-old to be moving to, and in a flash it dawned on me that maybe I wasn't cut out to be a civil engineer (bridges!). Maybe I should be exploring metaphorical bridges instead. So I moved to Ottawa, a safe little town where I had family.

As it happened, many years later I fell in love with a man who heralded from Montreal. So we moved to Montreal and had a baby.

Voilà. (The bridges are now hyperlinks.)
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