Montreal — Shopping malls and lost sunglasses

It seemed the whole day was spent under the fluorescent lights and wide walkways of supermarkets. No, that’s an exaggeration for effect but the first half of the day we spent shopping. Jenny loves seeing foreign supermarkets, the fullness of the fruit and veg ails, the weird, different items and the weird, different packaging of familiar items. We stocked up on Canadian groceries, bought sunglasses for me and then gave poutine another shot.

The weather was sticky and hot. Sun bearing down on us. I wore shorts for the first time since we went to Alicante last spring. We knew there was a thunderstorm brewing, the interwebs had predicted it and it explained the humidity in the air that made my t-shirt stick to my chest.

The poutine place was not shut and it delivered in spades. We each got a poutine dish and a beer. Jenny reveled in her gluten-free beer as they are few and far between. The place was a brightly painted diner serving poutine, burgers and hot dogs. I got the Montrealaise which featured a pile of smoked meat on top of the fries, gravy and cheese curds as high as my eyeballs. Jenny decided on the bacon, peppers and onions. She said I won the ordering game. I gobbled mine up in about five minutes and had to wait for my stomach to catch up with me while I sipped on my IPA, slowly.

We were on our way to a nearby swimming pool when Jenny spotted a pet store. She was adamant that we look in and find our beloved cat Nessie something to play with. The store was relatively spare, dog food and dog toys had taken over most of it. Jenny’s eyes widened as she saw what she’d been talking about for, basically, the entirety of our relationship. It was the sought after “Kittenbjörn”; a little bag that hangs on the front of a crazy cat lady looking for scornful looks and judging eyes while her kitten hides in shame. She didn’t buy it but I expect another trip to that store shortly.

Next up was the pool, which in accordance to our trip so far was of course closed. Apparently, June is not swimming season in Montreal. Sat at a nearby bench we decided to get practical and sort our phones out so we could get Canadian phone numbers. That meant a trip to a Canadian specialty: The Shopping Mall. On our way we made a pit stop at a café and I got a coffee.

The phone store was inside an underground shopping mall so vast you couldn’t go round it on a bicycle in a day. Just the food court was about the size of Reykjavík City Hall. Cell phone plans are eye-wateringly expensive in Canada but the lady assisting us was worth the price alone. She tended to us while texting someone, showing us pictures on her phone and singing along, cheerfully, to Never Forget You by Zara Larsson. She said Jenny’s accent was like something she’d heard on an Australian mermaid TV-show called H20 while waiving pictures of young actresses dressed, poorly, as mermaids. Jenny probably should have, but didn’t, take exception.

As we left the shopping mall I noticed that my crap superpower had taken control of my actions at some point during our trip. I’d lost the sunglasses we’d bought just earlier in the day. I’m the Superman of losing sunglasses. We retraced our steps but to no avail. They were gone.

We walked around downtown Montreal and picked up museum passes for the next three of days (you guys can expect some wild and crazy stories from Canadian museums in the next installments) before heading back home and preparing dinner.

That’s when I sat down with a glass of white wine on the back porch and wrote the last post. I’m always a day behind, letting the events ruminate in my head before I get them down on the page.

Now, there’s a Canadian beer with a polar bear on it by my side and the smell of delicious bolognese fills my nostrils. Soon we’ll be off to watch the Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Golden State Warriors at a pub somewhere. That’s a basketball game we’ll watch on TV’s, not some weird gang fight between gangs that like colorful names.