Saturday, June 12, 2010

Hard to Breathe

Montreal vibrates on a frequency all of ts own; pulsating with with enough of everything to assault the senses - in the most pleasant of ways. Aromas from the potpourri of foods cooking filled our nostrils; shrieks of laughter from the partyers intermingled with the urgent strains wafting from the jazz festival. It seemed that the whole city was a carnival and out on the street enjoying the parade of colour, music, and characters. We joined the crush of bodies and soaked up the excitement through our skin.

Montreal has a way of making you forget you are in Canada. Its hold on its traditional language and culture are unique enough to give you a francophone shot of European pizazz. Something else I couldn't help but notice is the prevalence of smoking. Cigarette smoke permeates the air and it seems like more people are flicking ashes than not. I swear I woke up this morning with smoker's cough. The outdoor cafes are filled with chattering patrons, most of who are sucking deeply on their cigarettes. Toronto and many other cities have banned smoking outside building entrances and outdoor cafes and bars so it struck me as odd to see it so commonly in Montreal. I don't think I could live here comfortably, without wheezing. It would be a deal breaker for me.

Don't get me wrong, I love Montreal and its quirky, artistic, cultural vibe - I just wish I could have breathed a little easier.

Tomorrow, it's au revoir Quebec!


  1. I agree about the city, the vibe, the fun ... and the smoking :( I loved our time there, made easier by the translator that I had with me :)

  2. Hi Lyn. wow, your life sounds incredibly full at the moment! I've had a lot to catch up on here! Great news about that dream retreat home, and everything that you are breathlessly busy with sounds incredible! roll on Africa for the two of you...

  3. I have never been there; but now, I may find my way to Montreal, thanks to you.

  4. Montreal was the first real city I moved to when I left Cape Breton.It had a international flavour seldom if ever found in other Canadian cities other than Toronto.You thought the smoking is bad today....back then it seemed that everyone smoked. Other than that it is an exciting place to visit. You said it well. Polar Bear


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