I’m on my way to Montreal and wondering what it will have en store for me this time. There’s always something happening in Montreal. A vibrancy that’s hard to describe. As I check into my hotel, I’m told “you can’t drink the water”. Bottles of water are at the check-in desk and are on each floor. In fact, the entire city of Montreal is under a “boil water” alert. A major Canadian city! You can’t even brush your teeth with tap water! This same day, coffee shops are running out of bottled water and trucking it in from Ontario. A Quebec-er without coffee, or the ability to sit and sip at a coffee shop or patio, well this is serious stuff. Overnight, the problem is solved and its front page news the next day.
The other thing missing on this Montreal trip is a festival. Hard to imagine in this city of Festivals. I’ve just missed the Formula 1 Grand Prix “festival”. And I’m a few weeks early for the Montreal Jazz Festival (the world’s largest with over 650 concerts), the Comedy Festival, and the next festival after that.
What I’m not missing, as always, is that Montreal good feeling. Montrealers have a sense of style. Their fashionable look and cool demeanor. But appearances are deceiving. Because most people from Quebec are very passionate about virtually everything. They love life and have an opinion on everything and anything. Nothing wrong with that. Just be prepared for a full and thoughtful conversation on whatever the topic is.
Come to think of it – a trip to Montreal is always special. It’s the “Joie de vivre”- the cheerful enjoyment of life. The food and beverage is somehow better in Montreal (even at a chain restaurant). Every activity seems a little more interesting and even exciting. A simple dinner feels like a party. A celebration of food, drink and friends. Just like a festival…