We also had bagels at the Montreal landmark Fairmount bagels, along with smoked salmon and cream cheese, and coffee at Olimpico in my old neighbourhood, the Mile End. Thank goodness we climbed Mont Royal for a view of the city and burned some of those calories. I feel like we've just been eating, eating, eating, but walking so much (and hey, I'm not considered fat in Montreal, which has been a nice mental break). We went to Tam-Tams at Mont-Royal, the Sunday gathering of dancing hippies and whiffs of weed.
Montreal is now filled with hipsters, and the Mile End is 'trendier' than ever. I almost felt out of place without tattoos, a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and a huge beard. I also love how naturally beautiful girls are in Montreal, as opposed to Japan, where every girl is impeccably manicured and doll-like. In Montreal, girls have bed head hair, fresh faced makeup (or none at all) and a hint of red lipstick, and they're gorgeous as is. It's been so refreshing to see other kinds of beauty.
I've been reminiscing with friends, and it feels so good. It seems like 5 years apart never happened, even though I missed weddings, babies and job promotions. My friends are all so successful in their careers, and I feel so proud of them; they're doctors, pilots, actors, stylists, business owners, nurses, engineers and bankers.
Last night we we had (one of many) outdoor BBQ dinners, complete with bubbly and rooftop fireworks. For the first time in my trip I felt incredibly sad I don't live here, and incredibly sad I have to leave next week. I miss my friends and family back home, and somehow it felt so normal to just be drinking and having fun with them, and suddenly I wanted that to just be a regular thing.
I also walked by my old apartment on rue Hutchison, steps away from Mont-Royal Park, where I used to go running regularly. It made me feel sad about my life in Tokyo, my shoebox apartment and lack of green space to run near my house. It's silly as I was itching to leave so much when I was living there, but looking back I envy and miss that lifestyle, it was so much healthier than my current lifestyle. I think that's what I feel about my life in Tokyo now, even though I love my job, friends and exciting city life, it feels so stressful and unhealthy.
I feel like I'm faced with tough decisions for the few years to come, but in the meantime, I'll enjoy the rest of my visit.
|Enjoying the park|
|I used to live there|
|Recovering from 5 years in Japan|
|Boris Bistro terrace|
|Strangely endearing Olympic Stadium|
|My Quebec drivers' license|
|Brownies at Olive + Gourmando|
|Japan meets MTL|
|Dirty chai and lemonade at O + G|
|I love this shop on Mont Royal ave.|
|Maple syrup + snow = tire sur neige|
|Quebec's traditional belt|
|Suite 701 at Hotel Place d'Armes|