Solitary confinement

Wow - it’s almost two weeks since my last post. While that’s not too unusual for me, I was hoping to be a bit more active while in Canada. A lot has happened…

We went to Saint-Donat, a small village north of Montreal, the weekend before last and stayed with friends who own a chalet up there. This was the weekend of the big ice storms in Montreal. I had my first poutine on the Saturday night, and it was delicious!

The week days since my last post have been spent in near solitary confinement, and I have to admit it’s starting to affect me a little. We’re staying in one of UQAM’s residential apartments in the centre of Montreal, and I’m working 9 to 5.30 (or thereabouts) every day. I wake up here, I have breakfast, I get to work, I have lunch (occasionally going out), get back to work, S gets home and we have dinner. Evenings are a little easier - we’ll meet with friends/colleagues, go to a pub, we even went to see the Elvis Story at the theatre last Saturday. But in general, I think I’m going slightly nuts. More nuts that usual. I can’t wait to work from the office again (after some proper holiday, of course!).

But back to happier subjects, we’ve been trying the suggested eateries and l’Etranger was great. It looked like a road-side diner, but the menu was awesome. Took about 10 minutes to read the thing! We both went for the soup of the day (broccoli), I had a Yo Lurvely!

My French is improving mildly too. I went to visit a friend’s office last Friday and on the way back to the Metro, started talking to a born-in-Montrealian who’s never left the country, but aspires to some day. While the conversations were simple and basic, we managed to converse in excellent Frenglish (franglais en français!).

My confinement will be temporarily lifted tomorrow, as S and I will be going to Ottawa for two days. I will probably take the laptop and work on the bus (2.5 hours each way) to keep on track, and will probably end up working a few of my official holiday dates to make sure I’ve actually done three weeks of work during my stay here. The end is now in sight - the 19th is my first day of holiday, and I’ll probably work that day to catch up and then I’m free until the end of January :-) (Note to boss - not that I don’t enjoy my job!)

Well, S should be here any minute for lunch, so (there’s the knock at the door!) so I’ll sign off for now and try to be more active before leaving for Guatemala.

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