Postcard from Montreal

14 Oct


Over Labor Day weekend I was in Montreal for a couple of reasons: to officiate at the WFTDA D1 Playoffs and to visit the Olympic sites for my Olympics blog, The Feverr.

I hadn’t been to Montreal in over ten years, so suffice it to say, I didn’t remember much, although a few places jogged my memory, which was nice. But even though Montreal’s surely changed in the last decade, I’m not sure it’s changed so much.

Montreal’s one of those cities that doesn’t have a je ne sais quoi; it has a je ne sais meh. There’s definitely something special about Montreal, and you can see that in the way design matters. So many times I turned a corner or walked out of a Metro station (like the one above) and saw something surprising, cool and unique. They make the city exciting, you want to be a part of that creativity.

On the other hand, while design matters, other things clearly do not. Like clean streets. Or urgency. At the tournament, one of the skaters had a bad accident and needed an ambulance. The ambulance was on its way, tournament staff was told, and they’d get there soon, unless, of course, there was a stabbing or something that they needed to go to first. Maybe translation and Franglish comprehension was bad, but it sounded like there was only one ambulance on the island on Sundays.

Twenty, thirty or so minutes later, one shows up. No rush, no big deal.  One of the women on ambulance watch thought maybe the delay was a Canadian healthcare thing, but one of the locals set her straight: No, no, no. It’s Montreal. Why the rush? Meh, you’re not dying.

And maybe that’s the reason I waited so long between visits. Why the rush, Montreal? You’re lovely, but eh, there’s the rest of the world too.



2 Responses to “Postcard from Montreal”

  1. DavID October 15, 2016 at 11:11 pm #

    Both the sudden appearance of striking buildings and the stressing wait for emergency services remind me of another Olympic city; – the only city I’ve lived in. But in the case of Melbourne, Australia, I don’t think the common delays and perhaps laidback approach to minor emergencies are different from the rest of the country.

    In the case of Montreal I can imagine an Oz resident from Northern France that I used to know attributing it to the influence of Southern France in contrast to the dominant influence of British colonials in other parts of Canada. I don’t know enough about Canadian history and demographics to speculate why the now very multi-ethnic ex-British-colonies of Canada MAY, (if they do), seem different from the very multi-ethnic ex-British-colonies of Australia but if so my admittedly stereotyping guess would be the same as when comparing different parts of large countries or continents. The climate!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. DavID October 15, 2016 at 11:36 pm #

    If the style of the building shown might be thought of as super- harlequin, (Harley Quinn perhaps), then it has followed the rule you tweetvocated with some of it’s footings. (Now colo(u)r in the doors & grill Metro, or street graffi-artists will likely do it for free.!)

    Liked by 1 person

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