The Montreal Chronicles: Eat, Pray, Love Run from hobos

The following photo montage is a testament to the awesome weekend I had in Montreal. Trust me, this time it might be better if you see pictures instead of reading about me ramble on about how I loooooooove Montreal. This is not to say I won’t have SOMEthing to say about it. Anyway, let’s begin with the begining.

I got to Montreal by the Greyhound. The Greyhound may not be the most humane way to travel, but it is definitely the cheapest. After an all night 8 hour bus ride, I finally got there at around 9am and checked into a little Bed and Breakfast. I had the cutest room at the BnB, HANDS DOWN. Not that I saw anyone else’s room but seriously…how cutesy is this!

You cannot tell from the picture but this room is actually on a pretty crazy slant. Tres charming!

There was no better feeling in the world than passing out on that bed after a long night of the inhumane Greyhound night bus. And what’s more, my awesome host Natalie treated me to a three-course breakfast. I didn’t know three-course breakfasts even existed.

Anyway, on with the adventure:


Lots of unhealthy eating was definitely done.

At Nickel's which is a restaurant chain owned by Celine Dion. Not even the song "My heart will go on" in the background was going to deter me from devoring the deliciousness on this plate.


Montreal's finest poutine. Just a quick explaination of what that styrofoam container contains for non-Canadian readers: that delicious heart-attack over there is french fries and oodles of gravy topped with cheese curds.


I haven't been to all the places in the world but Montreal quite possibly has the best almond croissants in the world.


Solo getaways are also great for getting in touch with your spiritual side. There’s nothing like not having your friends to stay out with till 4am and dissolve your troubles in tequilla shots.

The majestically towering Notre Dame Basillica

Notre Dame Basilica. One of the most gorgeous, peaceful and soul-stirring churches I've ever been in.

St. Joseph's Oratory. The Oratory is sitting on a hill behind the statue of St. Joseph in the Montreal fog.


If you ever go to Montreal, you may or may not notice the population divided into three categories.

1) Normal people: These are people dressed like you and me. Regular Joe’s and Josephina’s going about their daily business of being French. If you are not a normal person and live in Montreal, then chances are you belong in one of the following two categories.

2) Hipsters

3) Hobos

One of the first things that happened to me when I got there was a fellow that looked like he had been living on locusts and brambles his whole life  came chasing after me screaming “Mademoiselle! Mademoiselle!..” followed by a string a French words. He could have been asking for sex or he could have been asking me for a chapstick. Who the hell knows. He even started talking to me in English to get me to talk to him. It was clearly amusing to everyone, including my iPod which actually quite appropriately started playing the song “Howling for you” by The Black Keys.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that since the culture of Montreal seemed to be predominantly hipsters and hobos, it might be appropriate to let you in on some tricks on how to be able to tell the difference.

The main reason why you would even confuse Montreal hipsters and hobos with each other is because: 

1) They both usually have beards.

2) They both wear mismatched clothes and don’t care.

3) They’re both bilingual.

However, here are the subtle differences:

1) Hobos will talk to ANYONE including you, animals, buildings, inanimate objects and themselves. Hipsters only talk to the latest version of the iPhone.

2) It is very easy to get a hobo’s attention. Just the mere fact that you exist in Montreal means a hobo or two will find you and chase you. You wouldn’t get a hipster’s attention even if you were dressed like Lady Gaga riding a giraffe holding a giant rubber chicken.

3) Hobos smell like urine and cigarettes. Hipsters smell like Starbucks and indifference.

And if you are still unsure, I drew you a picture that you can print out and take with you if you ever go to Montreal:

Now you know the difference. You're welcome.

All jokes aside, Montreal is absolutely gorgeous. Even after being chased by hobos. Here are some of my favorite photos:

Old Montreal.

Rue St. Catherine. The shopping street where I spent the rest of my time when I wasn't eating, in a church or being chased down the street.

More of cutsey Old Montreal

Surprisingly there were no couples trying to take cheesy photos near the LOVE structure. Guess I was the only cheesy one there.

Horse-drawn carriage ride along the cobblestoned streets of Old Montreal. Pretty freaking romantic if you're unfazed by the constant overpowering smell of horse poop


And that’s my little Montreal photo album for you. The weekend was way too short for everything I wanted to see and do but the whole experience still has me on a high. I’m already planning my next getaway and what I’m going to cover. I have a feeling there will be plenty of more Montreal Chronicles in the future. Until next time, have a happy Monday (about as happy as Monday could be).

Letter to Canada

My dear Canada,

This is my honest and sincere bid to make my case and convince you of why I belong in this wonderful country forever:

1) I speak English and appreciate correct grammar. That’s right. I’ll be the first one to tell my friends that their… they’re lucky to be Canadian. I’m not a big fan of people who take they’re …their citizenship for granted. And I’ll take all the English tests to prove it.

2) I am very polite. I understand that this is a Canadian stereotype, but it’s the most positive stereotype to have. In fact, just the other day, without even thinking I apologised to my toilet when I accidentally dropped my earring into it. And then I apologised to my earring.

3) I hate the weather here. But what you need to take from this point is that I’m honest, that the shitty weather is not your fault and that without frostbite weather, no one would have been compelled to invent fluffy socks and that  brain cell-murdering holiday song “Baby, its… it’s cold outside”.

4) I listen to and support Canadian musicians and artists that no one has ever heard of. And not just because they are far more attractive than their American counterparts.

5) I know the words to the Canadian National Anthem better than I know my own country’s. And just like a true Canadian Torontonian, I mumble along through the French parts.

6) I support the use of “Zed” and think that “zee” is just alphabetical propaganda. And much like how thousands of Canadians signed a petition to give Ryan Gosling his rightful title of “World’s Sexiest Man”, this wannabe Canadian will start a petition to change Jay-Z to Jay-Zed.

7) I proudly sewed the Canadian flag to my backpack. Then I remembered I’m not actually Canadian and politely apologised to my backpack.

8 ) My initials are the same as that of the ultimate Canadian delicacy: Kraft Dinner. You may think this is a silly reason but my Canadian friends will beg to differ. Especially the ones still in University.

9) I once tried to pay for a double-double at Timmies with Canadian Tire money. If you are Canadian, you will understand that it doesn’t get anymore patriotic than this. If you are not Canadian, that gibberish I just spewed out means I once tried to pay for a coffee with the second most respected currency in Canada.

10) I pronounce the word “Saskatchewan” correctly. I also pronounce the word “Regina” correctly. For my non-Canadian readers, Saskatchewan is not a brand of maple syrup; it’s a province in Canada. And Regina is not the name of Celine Dion’s pet moose; it’s a city in Saskatchewan that’s pronounced like “vagina”.

At the end of the day, I can think of a million more reasons to make the case for why I belong in Canada. But in reality, there is only one reason that really matters. I love living here. And I’m not just saying that to get what I want. I love this country no matter what the outcome of my immigration case will be.

While Canada undoubtedly has its flaws (high taxes, cold weather, longest grocery store lineups in the world, overdone political correctness…), it still remains the one country that taught me independence and a sense of appreciation and gratitude for the little things. Most importantly, it harbors some of the most decent and loving people on the planet. People that I have the honor to call friends.

Aside from this sentimental bullshit, I have also fiercely defended the nutritional value of poutine, beaver tails and funnel cake with my parents and non-Canadian friends. And I have done this as a health care provider. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.


The future recipient of the “Best Canadian Citizen” award.