Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Arrival Plans

74 Degrees today on the American Left Coast.

As I begin to edge closer to my stay in Montreal, I'm doing that Cultural Immersion Ritual Thing. French podcasts, Sur La Route (Eeky French pop music) on XM Radio, and, I hate to admit this one—Rants And Raves on the Montreal Craigslist.

People, people....All that stuff I wrote about this good and wise nation is reduced to schoolyard bullying and a really astonishing level of anti-everything? I mean, can we all get along? (Does that joke work in Canada?)

I mean, I know America takes the cake, and the candles and the frosting, when it comes to this group hating that one, ...but....Jeez Louise. Guys, your city is pretty small, and the Metro is kinda crowded. Be cool. I guess it's just the Quebecois/Anglophone dynamic bubbling quietly just below the peaceful surface, but I gotta say, I expect more from you.

Now I'm coming to realize the difference between visiting a city and thinking you know it, and actually living in a city. Seems like I don't know Jacques about the Montreal everyday.

What if someone from Montreal moved to LA and wrote about it in a similar blog? Some smartass who thought he had all the answers and looked at my city with this weird combination of wide-eyed and jaded.

Sometimes that's me, and I would understand if people thought, "Who is this Wingnut who is going to tell me about where I live?"

But I'm working on it. Like I said before, I have a plane ticket, a guitar ready to pack, a MacBook (Don't start with me) and people who know me in the second-largest French-speaking city in the Western world.

So I'll see you at Springsteen, and I'll be at Sherbrooke Station. Or maybe afraid to leave my apartment because the frozen Montreal GazetteSicle just sailed onto my porch and broke a window. I might be sitting next to the lone hockey fan at Pepsi Center. Or sitting next to you on the Montmorency train. I'll be at the Second Cup on Mont Royal. And tripping onto snowdrifts at Parc la Fontaine. And shopping at the cool Metro on Laurier below St. Denis.

And I'll be right here.