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Showing posts from July, 2012

The Montreal Diaries III

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July 9
8:30 am. The room feels cooler, it is cloudy outside and there is a cool breeze making its way into the apartment like it lives there. I get out of bed but for all my usual sadistic penchants for ruining people’s sleep, I feel bad about having to wake them up when we fell asleep so late.
I eventually do, and when I walk into Kate and Reem’s room I am taken aback by the beautiful view (not of Reem and Kate a-slumber) – we can look out over the city, with a green hill, Mount Royal, ahead and McGill University sprawled at the foot of the hill. The apartment feels much better. “Guys,” Kate begins in a voice that indicates she has some worrying news to share: “I’m hungry.” The menu is in French. This is troubling. “You should have listened to those French tapes in the car,” Reem is smug but she translates and it seems to match up to the pictures so we order away.
I have gotten so used to English as the primary language, I feel a little displaced. Language can be such a handicap. I thin…

The Montreal Diaries II

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July 7
I’ll tell you a secret. For a couple of seconds, we were all asleep in the car – except Kate (I hope), who at that moment was driving. We knew the last stretch from Kingston to Montreal was going to be difficult: we’d been up before dawn, on the road and about, and we had eaten a great meal at Reem’s surrogate parents’ house in Kingston. We didn’t really need to be in a lateral position to fall asleep.
It was, however, part of our unwritten code to stay awake together while we were in the car. And I had the smug pleasure of realizing first that we had all dozed off. “Reem!” I poked indignantly. “What an awful co-pilot!”
And as usual, the GPS fucked with us when we were most vulnerable: fifteen minutes away from our weekend home and visualizing our beautiful beds. A wrong turn here, and another there, we almost ran over some enthusiastic night bikers. I don’t know if it was our almost-delirious states of mind, but it seemed like we were driving in a surreal town where the road st…

The Montreal Diaries I

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June 27
When I was six, my only role in preparing for a trip was to say goodbye to all of my toys and make sure I wasn’t going to forget my giant Minnie behind. It moved to bringing clothes and shoes to my mom while she packed everything meticulously and dad walked by complaining about heavy bags and fines. Finally I was allowed to pack my own bag (which in the beginning my mother would always repack, of course). This summer, I think for the first time in my life I did everything myself: applying for the Canadian visa, buying my tickets – more importantly, using my own money to buy the tickets – coordinating with friends and family, planning the itinerary and spending hours searching for ‘fun things to do in – ’.
It required intense budgeting, tweaking and tweezing and the usual last minute ‘did I pack my passport’ panics, but it was so worth it. From making airy plans with Hera and Reem to keep ourselves happy during exam weeks, the trip to Canada – Windsor, Kitchener/Waterloo, Toron…