terça-feira, 4 de dezembro de 2012

Journey to Utopia: Day Nine

I woke up when the first people were also waking up and going to the toilet. The sun was on my face, so I inverted my position but I was not able to sleep anymore. Stephen was sleeping on the couch across from mine and he had put a sweater over his head to avoid the light that was coming into the windows.

People started to go about, the floor squeaking and I decided to get up. I guess it was 9 or something like that. Some people were having breakfast and I joined them. I had some fruit, bread and coffee. A lot of people were walking and talking and Stephen was still sleeping. I envied him. I got ready to leave and I was planning to get to the old part of the city and when I got there I'd see what I could do. There was a market my friend Anne had told me about, and I might be going there. However, plans changed when Stephen said he was going to spend the day walking around. He wanted to go to Mount Royal. I had been there the day before, but it would be nice to walk with him and talk instead of going by myself.

We walked a different direction therefore we saw different streets and alleys from the ones I had seen. We got to the statue. We proceeded going up and there were a lot of people as you can see in the background of the picture. It seemed we had taken less time than the previous day but I guess it was because I  knew the way beforehand (and there were no shortcuts). It was nice because Stephen didn't know anything in French, so we would get to places and I would teach him some words or he would guess (he was a fast learner).

After going down, we started walking toward the old Montréal. The only odd thing that happened is that we were passing by a stadium and there was music and noise of people cheering. We went closer to the entrance and we were trying finding out who was playing what, and a guy approached us and gave us a ticket. He insisted we should go in. We said, "hey, we are two." And he said, "no problem, they'll let you in." So sketchy. We pretended we were going in but we just decided not to.

I asked for directions and we were heading the right one. We walked some 20 minutes, I believe, and we got to the part of the city where there were more beautiful buildings.

The old part of the city was a bit colder. I walked around always looking for the sunshine. In the shade, it was so cold! The were some carriages and people could pay I believe 20 dollars for a ride. We just took pictures of them. The architecture of the buildings was more classical and there was a church and some official buildings.

(I love to take pictures of flags waving )

We were growing hungry and I told Stephen about my desire to go to an Indian restaurant. He didn't have any preference. We had seen a Greek restaurant closer to downtown but it was pricey. The ones we found at the old town were either closed or were too expensive. I told him we could go somewhere else. We didn't have to stick to Indian, necessarily. When we were almost giving up, we found the perfect place. It was empty so we asked the guy if they were open. He said yes. And during all the meal, no one came in so we had the restaurant pretty much to ourselves. As usual, I got more food than I should have but I only took picture of the main course and not of the appetizers. We talked a lot. It was an awesome lunch.

After we left, it was almost 3 pm. Time had flown. I was not sure if my bus would leave at 5:30 or 7:30, but I had a strong feeling it was 7:30. Anyway, we decided to walk back to the Coop. We saw this rue near the Indian restaurant.

We also saw this weird square, it could be a square or something else, we didn't really understand what. I had a déjà vu because there was a place similar to this one in Tallinn, when we got there.

A château?

And this neighborhood, which reminded me of Paris. It was still strange sometimes that everyone was just normally talking in French on the streets and it was not Paris.

I remembered my librarian friend here and thought she had been there, as she had already visited Montréal and she always go to the libraries around the world - wherever she goes.

As we got back to the Coop, I had a shower and started packing. It was not very difficult since my things were already inside the bags. I checked and saw that my bus would leave at 11:30pm. So I still had some time to have conversations with the Coop people and Stephen.

(Here you can see the brown couch where I slept and my computer on it).

As I was organizing things, the guys asked me if I could help unloading a truck and bringing things upstairs. I would gladly help those people who had been so kind to me. I went downstairs and started to take up sacks and boxes. Apparently, some local farmers had donated some food to the Coop. I remember we were about 8 or 9 people helping bring things up and I had to go downstairs about 5 times. So, it was a lot of food. There were vegetables, there was leaves and fruits. Everybody started to help somehow. The girls were sorting things, the boys were washing things in the sink.

We even started to pose for pictures with the vegetables.

A funny moment: they asked me to help peel and sort a small yellowish fruit. If it was green I should throw in one container with the peel and if it was yellow, I should put it with the others. I did it for ten minutes and then I asked, almost whispering to Simon: "what fruit is this?" I imagined it would be a berry, because of the size. He said he didn't know and asked everyone at the table what fruit that was. I felt embarrassed for not knowing but I was not the only one. A guy, Marcus, said they were gooseberry. I had only read about them. It made sense. Juliette was hanging some parsley to dry. Everyone was so happy and excited. All that abundance of food. Recipes were being conjured, plans of what to do with this or that.

And in the middle of all that, I had to leave. My heart was saddened because I felt I hadn't spent as much time with those extraordinary people as I should have but I still had a very important thing to do, so I had to go, also looking forward to what was yet to come.

It was not difficult at all to get to the bus station. We had walked past it in our way to the Coop earlier and I was just a little confused because there was no direct connection from the subway to the station, you had to get out of the subway, climb stairs and go by the street until you reached the entrance to the bus station. There was a line already and we still had 1 hour and a half for the bus to leave.

This time I sat beside an elderly man but we didn't talk during the journey. I was tired so I slept most of the time.
When it was about 3am we had to cross the border. Everyone had to take their belongings and leave the bus and enter a kind of room. There were two officers and they were calling one by one, asking for documents and asking questions. Four people were taken to the back, through a door. When it was my turn, he asked me if I hadn't bought anything in Canada and I said, no. Of course I had some snacks and the medicine for my sore throat. I said no at first and he insisted: "You have bought nothing in Canada?" I contradicted myself but I was expecting he was asking me about electronics or other things and I said: "Well, do you count the snack I am eating during the trip?" He signed the visa and told me to go back to the bus. He was in a good mood, I guess. After that, I only woke up again when the people were preparing to get off. There I was: Boston.

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