I have been so sleep deprived this past week I am having trouble processing the fact that I have been in Montréal for half of a month now. My apartment is now fully furnished! I am just waiting for drapes, which my mother is sewing, and that is the final touch!
Yesterday (le 5ième septembre), Nadia and I went to Ikea, the land of funky chairs and meatballs! We ate some lunch in the Ikea cafe, and started going through the maze. We lucked out and made eye contact with a van taxi driver the whole way across the parking lot after, and he drove over to pick us up. I was really amazed by how many stuffed human-sized dogs were in the kids section. Look at all of them!
Afterwards we had a furniture-assembling party, and built my new chairs, table, bed side table, storage baskets, and chest of drawers. I also picked up my parcels from the Greyhound station that my parents shipped to me. Everything is complete; I almost feel like I need a holiday now!
Today (le 6ième septembre) I walked over in a monsoon rainstorm to go see Chinatown Montreal with Nadia. I now know, if I ever get homesick really bad for Vancouver (which seems to be every second day right now) that I should go there! It is literally like Victoria drive, except with a few added standard Chinese architectural archways. Plus I must say that speaking French in a Chinese supermarket to the cashier is one of my weirder cultural life experiences. We found this amazing grocery store. They had cinnamon sticks the size of paper towel rolls, enough chicken feet to recreate a dance scene from Thriller, and some really spectular frozen dim sum items. I am going there again tomorrow to buy the boneless pork shoulder for the pulled pork I am making for dinner for Thor and Nadia, to thank them for helping me move in.
Afterwards we went for a mile-high pile of vermicelli noodles, hot and sour soup, and rice, for $5.50. I love the prices! One of the restaurants we looked at before that had an interesting item on their menu. Think you know which one I mean?
It was a very amazing visit to Chinatown, despite the on and off rain squalls all morning. I found a giant soup pot with a removable steaming tray, a bamboo steam basket, bright red place mats, and – a tea pot! (Pictures to follow!). It was dubbed, “Lucy,” by the fair Nadia. Lucy is perfectly plump for holding approximately 4-6 cups of tea, and a deep Prussian Blue colour. I love her.
Walking home in the rain along Parc Ave I was delightfully happy. I saw squirrels leaping like cats on springs across the fields of the park. They were evidently enjoyed the reduced temperature of the rain as much as I was. Two were playing awfully close to the road, and then one squirrel ran across to the divider in the middle. I prayed he would sit still there, but he didn’t. He panicked when the traffic started coming, three lanes wide in both directions and madly ran into the flow and perished. I will never forget the look of panic in his little body, and the moment when a car touched him, and his tiny legs tumbled over in the air and then he lay still. I looked away before any more cars could go passed him. I felt horrified. I still do.
Rest in peace, petit écureuil.
After thinking about the écureuil for some time I came home to find my shoe full of blood. I apparently had ripped my leg open on something and was bleeding down the street like a stuck pig. I bandaged myself up, feeling very disturbed between the écureuil and the blood (le sang). I did Pilates again for the first time in months, went and bought ingredients for the pulled pork tomorrow, watched almost 2 whole seasons of “Luther” (a crime show on Netflix -thank you Janet, Kieran, and Natalie for the recommendation!), and made the first real dinner in my new place – with a proper cup of tea!
One last note: Minks Chocolates in Vancouver has just won the best chocolate bar in North America award for their Mermaid bar. Whoever sends me one in the mail gets a pie in December when I am visiting Vancouver!