I've been having fun just watching home shows on TV and going to the supermarket to see how big everything is. Everything comes in a big size!! It's a bit overwhelming, and everything is quite expensive with the tax, and tipping in restaurants. I think in the end, living in Tokyo is cheaper, despite the city taxes and apartment fees. I still love the fresh and affordable fruits and vegetables, and I've been subsisting on salads and huge quantities of fruit. I love eating greek yoghurt every morning, I'm hoping to find something similar in Tokyo. I also like how you can eat breakfast at a cafe from 7am! Tokyo, please take notes…. breakfast starts well before 11am.
I've been shopping a bit, and I was so disappointed. I guess nowhere compares to Tokyo. Montreal is really lagging on international brands, even though local Quebec designers are fantastic. I'm glad I spent my shopping budget beforehand in Tokyo, there is nothing I want here, as far as clothes go. I was also shocked at the way most stores display their items; unlike Japan where everything is carefully packaged, folded and clean looking, things are in disarray and sometimes even dirty. It doesn't make you want to spend money, unlike in Japan where shopping and customer service is such an experience. As much as I complain about the waste in packaging and the overwhelming customer service in Japan, I do love the attention to detail, and how special it feels to just buy a lipstick or nail polish. In other words, it's more fun and rewarding to spend money in Japan.
I felt sad to see St-Laurent boulevard- what I remembered as a trendy, happening street now looks so dirty and run down, with lots of closed shops. What happened there? I much, much prefer Old Montreal and its narrow cobblestone streets and wonderful cafes and boutiques. I'm so glad I'm living in Old Montreal for the next few weeks!
I still feel like a stranger in my own home, I go between being completely in awe to frustrated with small things, like how complicated it can be to buy a train ticket and this whole tipping thing. I love the space, I love the friendliness, I love how people hold doors open, I love how complete strangers smile at me, I love doing laundry. However, I do realize I couldn't live in Montreal anymore, especially not after Tokyo. Maybe it's too quick to say that, but I feel like I'd be suffocating here. Yet, I think the quality of life is higher here, especially compare to the cramped, polluted and crowded quarters I live in back in Tokyo. I wish I could get the best of both worlds.
It's been wonderful to spend quality time with family, try new restaurants and go to summer festivals downtown. Nothing has changed with my friends, it's just as if I never left. We still talk and joke about the same things, and it's so comforting. I think that's what true friendship should be like.
|Best breakfast ever at Le Cartet|
|Mega sized coffee|
|My friend has a parrot|
|Brushing the cat|
|Square Victoria, metro gate gifted from Paris|