Monday, September 26, 2016

Where I Don't Talk About Cake

Canada has never been a melting-pot; more like a tossed salad. – Arnold Edinborough
So, I'm super-conscious of the fact that my last two blogposts had cake in the title. I feel the need to clarify that I do not actually eat cake all of the time, but when cake presents itself, one must partake with modification... or with gusto, depending on how many hills you've walked up that day.

We're in Montreal this week. I have a week off work and we're spending that time exploring this city for the first time. We arrived late on Saturday night after a long enough flight to watch three episodes of Downtown Abbey and to get a bunch of knitting done. We stayed in a hotel near the airport, then moved to an Airbnb apartment yesterday afternoon. So far, it's been a pretty nice visit:


I think it's interesting to visit other parts of this country. Each place feels different, and I'm not just talking about the climate. Winnipeg, Calgary, Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Regina, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal all feel distinctly different from each other: different people, different atmosphere... like different little countries all of their own. Montreal is in Quebec, where French is spoken more than the other official language of English. One of the reasons I wanted to try Montreal was because I had a feeling it would be like visiting France without the exchange rate, and with people who don't get as irritated if you don't speak perfect Français. So far, I think that's a pretty good estimation of the place.

It's enough like Canada to have people who care passionately about hockey, to have maple syrup in every tourist shop, and to be amazingly (and wonderfully) multicultural, especially in its city centres.

It's enough like France to have cafes that serve perfect cappuccinos (i.e. not piled to the stratosphere with fluff), pastries made with real butter, and to stick up a middle finger to non-smoking signs.

I say that with a smile.

We went out last night to a nearby grocery store get a few things for breakfast and snacks, but I got distracted by this:


... but again, I am determined not to talk about cake again, so instead, I focused on interesting architecture that we saw today:



And quirky features:



We walked up several steep hills around the Mount Royal area, and took a break by the little lake there, that I think must be turned into an ice rink in the winter time:


As evidenced by these seat/lockers I found in the building at the end of the lake:


After that, we decided to try to find the Marché Jean-Talon (Jean Talon Market). I am always so happy to find a market wherever we travel. I delight in the colours and scents, and it reveals so much about the people who live there:


On Vancouver Island, we're lucky to have so much local produce. This region is also blessed with a long growing season, and therefore, so many beautiful fruits and vegetables, even late in September:






The fall veggies are in full swing. I watched jealously as a woman paid for one of those lovely pumpkin squashes and put it in her bag. They're a bit big for the ol' carry on bag, but I'm thinking I'll need one get one when I get home:


I am not a cauliflower fan, but have you ever seen such psychedelic ones? Did you ever think cauliflower would ever be so interesting? Did you ever think you'd see "psychedelic" and "cauliflower" in the same sentence?


And do you think they'd look at me weirdly if I wore a strand of garlic on the plane ride home?


With some chilli pepper earrings?


Needless to say, with all the hill-walking and after being around so much delicious food, I had to partake in an egg, ham, cheese, and potato crèpe (French) with a side of maple syrup (Canadian):


The thing is, there were cakes everywhere:



And, well... I did walk for hours today... including all those hills, so...



Sigh. It's just the way things are, I guess. There's no point in fighting it.

At least I'm almost done my knitting project, so the NEXT post will be nothing about cake. Really, it won't. I don't think so. I think...

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