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ReportsFriday, 11 April 2003
Montreal, Quebec, Canada (day 2) The 11th day of April became a day where I stayed another day with Mark Burwash. However he still had to go to work, he took me along to his computer store University Bytes at the grounds of the McGill University.
While he worked at his office, I walked around the university and walked through those imposing historic buildings. I suddenly wished I was studying here.
The weather was great. It was one of the first really warm days and I could already take my winter jacket totally off and actually join the students on the grass lawn in front of the buildings.
For most students it was the last day today, next week a period of exams and report writing starts, so everybody was very happy and relaxed to get over this college period.
“Have you seen the university is in the middle of the city! Imagine what the grounds are worth here? It must be a lot,” Mark told me. And indeed, the campus was totally surrounded by the high rise down town centre of Montreal.
When I approached Mark around lunch time again, he was very busy with phone talks and arrangement he had to make with clients. He gave me ten dollars to get myself something to eat in the student café in the William Shatner student union building (yes, it’s named after that Star Trek-guy) and with wrappers, juice and coffee I nested myself between some foreign science students watching The War Channel on a big screen television to get the latest news.
After 4pm Mark had enough of his work and as the manager of the store he could just take his coat and say goodbye to everybody. “We need a beer,” he said, and he took me into the city centre.
Still I was amazed to see how everything is mentioned in the French language. “Every sign is in French, English is not allowed by the Quebecois government.” Really? It just felt very strange to enter Le Vieux Dublin, while The Old Dublin would definitely sound better for an Irish Pub, if you ask me.
While staying at Mark’s place, I was still in the Anglophone part of the city. With Mark living on Rue du Parc, only a few blocks further runs Rue de St Laurent, which is apparently the language border line. East from this line many people will be francophone and the French language will dominate. I am still at the west side now.
For dinner Mark had invited a lot of friends of his and his flatmates Sascha and Tan (who live on the 3rd floor of the same building) and Mark had organised a small barbeque party.
So I met up with many yuppies (I can consider myself one too) who took along some meat and drinks of their own and had some fun conversations with some of them.
The night ended pretty fast when two guys started to make B52’s shooters for everybody. Now these drinks make the alcohol flow go pretty fast. And I learned what a concrete mixer is: lemon juice with Baileys, which you mix in your mouth. Believe me, most people found it pretty funny when that mouth got emptied in the bathroom...
Time for a good mouth was here!
Good night Montreal!