Rohit's Realm

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May 04, 2010

Thoughts on Montréal

Old Montréal

Redemption, alas, is not as easily achieved as it is written about. My lofty goal of approximately a month ago—finish two books for fun prior to the end of my Spring Break—was a calamitous failure. Indeed, even today, I have not managed to complete that second novel. (Choosing a dense and lengthy Russian novel as my second book might have been ill-advised.) The result should not come as much of a surprise to long time readers: woeful inadequacy, all consuming and everlasting, is as much a part of my (necessarily futile) existence as dark hair and emaciation.

Such failures have not, however, stopped me from continuing onward in the meaningless drift toward ultimate demise. The last weekend saw me in Montréal, Canada, and I recount my impressions and experience below.

The trip originated randomly. A friend, J-Slice, had ferreted out a deal on American Airlines, and I had both miles to burn and a vague commitment from earlier this year to visit Montréal while I was still in Chicago. Before long, I had a flight booked for an open weekend—one of the few in which I was not committed to one law school event or another—and this past Thursday, J-Slice and I, along with two other friends, Sleazy-E and Luda,1 left for Canada.

Apparently, four dudes headed to Montréal means trouble. From the moment we landed, the operative question was whether we were here for a bachelor party. (We were not. But maybe we should have been.) I guess Montréal's reputation precedes itself.

In sharp contrast to my two most recent vacations—Japan and the United Kingdom—sightseeing was not a particular emphasis. There are probably a lot of reasons for that, not the least of which is that I was with a group of friends rather than just one person or my family. But at least one independent reason also stands out: Montréal, at least to me, seemed to be much more a cultural experience than a tourist one. There are places to see, of course, but the emphasis seems to fall on restaurants, night life, and the like, not old churches and natural beauty (like in Europe or Asia).

That is not to say that any of this is a bad thing. In fact, with fewer sights to see, I actually managed to relax and take things in rather than obsess over itineraries. One morning even saw me sleep in until 11:30 am! (For any who have had the serious misadventure of traveling with me, such a notion is likely preposterous, but I swear it is true.) The presence of one of my college friends who now lives there no doubt helped: had we been confined to the tourist area that we had the misfortune of visiting on Thursday, the trip would not have been nearly as fun.

All in all, it was a good trip. We tried several good restaurants, saw most of the important sights, and sampled at least a couple pretty cool bars. My only regret is that I did not have a chance to make it out to Québec City, but there is always next time. Perhaps more than anything else, it was nice being away from school, even if for only a weekend. Photos, by the way, are here. Until next time, dear readers.

^ 1 Unlike most pseudonyms on this blog, this one is chosen more for personality than alliteration.


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