Friday, March 31, 2006

La belle province, part I

The last time I visited Montreal, I was 18, and it was March Break. Although I told my parents I was going to see what McGill was all about, the real reason I wanted to go was to drink. You see, the legal drinking age in Quebec is 18. (Is it still? This was, gulp, 17 years ago.) The legal drinking age in Ontario? 19. So two of my best friends and I hopped on a train and spent three days sleeping, eating, hanging out at the Peel Pub, and making frequent trips to the depanneur for Wildberry coolers and (gasp!) peach Durangos. (Ugh. Peach flavoured beer. I know they don't make that crap anymore. Good thing too. I once got a wee bit hammered on Durangos -- probably three -- at a bush party and ended up kissing a guy in a field and then desperately tried to ignore him for the rest of my last year of high school. That was the same bush party where I spotted HS for the first time from across a blurry campfire and thought "Garwsh. He's cuyoot." before heading off into said field.)

But I digress.

Needless to say, I've been taking advantage of my legal drinking status for many years now, so even though I no longer look at Montreal with the boundless energy and salivatory anticipation of an underage drinker, I felt it was high time to go back for a visit. Sober. For the most part anyway. And since Montreal is only two hours from Ottawa (despite what Mapquest says), it only made sense that when March break rolled around this year, my sister and I should go for a quick shopping trip, sans le bebe.

It was so much fun.

We arrived around lunch, so we beelined it to Schwartz's for some tasty smoked meat sandwiches. There was a line-up out the door, but it moved quickly. And here's a tip: don't get the lean smoked meat. This is no time for diets. Go for the full-fat, or if you must, medium. Such savory goodness! And less than $5! We also had the Cott's Black Cherry Sodas, because I thought That Is What You Do at Schwartz's. I'm sure there are people out there with a taste for such things, or perhaps fond childhood memories, but really, byech. Carbonated cough syrup. Sort of like a virgin Wildberry Cooler.

Then we went for a stroll down St. Laurent and some shopping. This was my favourite store. Such flirty, fresh clothing! So many pretty dresses! With shoes to match! So perfect for spring! But did I buy anything? Sadly, no. You see, whenever I go shopping, I want to buy Clothes For The Life I Do Not Have. I have no need for a cute, flowery Ben Sherman shirtdress because, realistically, I'll wear it once and then it will be fall. Shopping these days depresses me, so instead I buy for Charlie. But this trip I promised my sister that I would buy something spring-y for me. And I found the perfect thing here. I tried on a buttery soft, thin, chocolate brown leather jacket. It was as if it was tailor-made, it fit that well. And I looked good, if not somewhat chic. ('cause, damn, Montrealers are terribly fashionable. Does everyone in this city get briefed by Lucky magazine? I even saw someone totally rocking the tricky leggings look that is all over the mags this season.) But alas, although I had found the perfect item for me, I could not justify the $750 price tag. Not with the balance on our line of credit.

Wow. This post is getting long. Still more to say, but I need to finish my freelance work. Part II to come soon, I hope.

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