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Robin des Bois and Dieu du Ciel

Once again, I used pickuppal.com to quickly find a cheap ride to Montreal: $20 return! Abdul was a little late at about 5:20 p.m. picking me up at the Rideau St. LCBO, closer and more convenient than the Greyhound that's for sure.

While I was waiting I saw some guy walking around looking like he was waiting for something so I asked him if he was waiting for a ride too, and he said, "No I'm on the streets, got any spare change?"

"Uh, no, sorry"

Then a lady who worked at the LCBO asked me if he was harrassing customers and I said no, not really, it looks like I'm the one harrassing people around here.

A couple minutes later, another (this time very nicely dressed) guy looked a little lost, so I asked him if he was waiting for Abdul, and he said yes. His name was Tamsin (sp?) and we chatted a while about my cats and working at Nortel, and before we knew it, Abdul was there. Apparently he was stuck in traffic on the other side of the city.

OK, so we go off. The drive to Montreal was uneventful, it was spent listening to early nineties dance music in Abdul's tiny VW Golf, pretty hilarious. I'm short, so I was placed nicely in the back seat, kind of far away from the conversation.

From what I could hear, Abdul has had quite the interesting life, he moved from Nigeria, to Chicago, then to Saskatchewan and finally, to Ottawa. Now he is contemplating going full circle and moving back to Nigeria to work for the bank he left so many years ago. He says he'd be making $200,000 per year, so he would use that money to pay off his mortgage and then come back to Canada all set.

We arrive at Peel station in Montreal, and Abdul says he'll meet us at this exact spot (Peel and Maisonneuve) Sunday at 6 p.m. So that is awesome.

We all say goodbye and I'm sure will have fun stories to tell each other on the way back home.

Earlier in the day, I got an email from Alana, telling me that she had fallen on the ice and totally screwed up her face and knee! Oh no! So already, I am a little worried about her and feeling sorry for her (aw)

It's about 7:30 and I can't decide if I should meet up with Alain, the guy who bought me my Morcheeba ticket or go to Alana's house to talk and settle in.

I decide to head straight to the Robin des Bois, a really cool restaurant (with horrible service) where all the workers are volunteers and all the money they make goes straight to five different charities. If you're in Montreal, I suggest you check it out. But make sure you have LOTS of time for dinner, because you never know when they'll bring you your meal.

I told Alain I'd be there at 8 p.m. and when I ask at the door about the Couchsurfing table, the lady said it wouldn't be until 8:30. Alana lives close by, so I went over there to see her. She had said earlier that she wouldn't be able to walk all weekend, so that's why she couldn't come to dinner.

As expected, she hobbles down the stairs and lets me in, makes me tea, and I munch on the tofu wrap thing I made to eat on the way to Montreal. So much for dinner at the restaurant...

We talk about what we've been doing since October (I went to see Tori Amos in the fall with her and it was also awesome)

She tells me of her boyfriend Greg, and how, at strange times would bring up unwelcome kinky sex ideas, including giving her two pairs of previously opened (!!!) really hardcore handcuffs for her birthday and then running away (!!!) after she reacted with a horrified expression.

After this, they only saw each other once in two weeks, and she was mulling over what to say to him in an email about the "inappropriate" gift for that entire time, when suddenly, she gets an email from Greg's brother, telling her that he has died in a car accident! Very very strange. Alana's life is like a crazy sitcom sometimes.

She's also planning a trip to Iceland this summer, which I was pondering tagging along for before, but no, I decided I want to see Canada first before the rest of the world. So I'm sticking to the plan from now on.

OK, so back at the Robin des Bois, it's 9 p.m. and everyone's already there. I meet Alain and he gives me my ticket. I also meet the famous Tina from Germany, who pretty much started our Couchsurfing group in Ottawa. I had thought she was leaving Montreal for Ottawa tonight, and then I wouldn't get to see her. BUT it turns out, she is staying in Ottawa for TWO WEEKS starting tomorrow, so we will definitely see each other again later.

The waitress asks me if I want to order and I say, no I already ate, I'll just have this funny sounding beer, Belle Geulle (sp?) ... nice (derogatory) mouth... OK whatever, it wasn't that good. So blah blah blah, everyone is talking and having a great time, eating and I'm drinking my beer, then everyone is done and out comes the dessert menus. I order this awesome sounding brownie dessert with banana cream, and pepper (!!!) caramel sauce. How could I resist? Then the waitress comes and brings EVERYONE ELSE their dessert except me! I'm the only one who ordered the brownie so I guess they just didn't have it, but STILL she should have said that and apologized, don't you think? I neglected to mention, that before this, I had stood up a few times to let people out to smoke/go to the bathroom so I was standing and chatting with people a bit. Both times, she said to me "Are you leaving???? Don't forget your bill!!!" and both times I'm like, "No, I'm not, and when I leave, trust me, I'll remember to pay!" Psshaw, definitely do not go to this place for the service.

OK, so it's like midnight or something when this dinner is finally done. After the excessively complicated payment system, we go to this bar called the Dieu du Ciel, (God of the Sky???), a place that brews its own beer right in the front lobby. I quickly decide to order the maple syrup beer and it is DEEE-licious, then I proceed to have a two HOUR discussion about the problems in Haiti vs. the problems in the Dominican Republic with a guy who lived in Haiti as a child. Can't remember his name. By this time, my sore throat has become a raging FIRE IN MY SWOLLEN GLANDS, and I can barely talk over the excessively loud indie rock music blasting all over. So we take a break from our intense political discussion and I just watch the younger-than-me crowd absolutely hammered and staggering. A pile of three little blonde girls simply WRITHE on top of each other. The Haitian man says, "They are drunk and craving human touch". .... Uh... you think...?

"Let's find a guy who needs an unforgettable night out..." He looks around, apparently finds no one, then shrugs and settles back down into his unbelievably thick stout.

It's 3 a.m. and time to leave, so Alain offers to drive me home to Alana's, it's on his way and not far, so I accept. Alana left me the keys, but it's complicated to open her door, so I jiggle the little mechanism for about 15 minutes in a panic, until finally the door opens.

Then, I brush my teeth, and go straight to bed, cursing my crazy sickness, and feeling happy with the extremely full day, and excited to see Morcheeba tomorrow.

Alain at Le Dieu du Ciel

Alain at Le Dieu du Ciel

Couchsurfers at Dieu du Ciel

Couchsurfers at Dieu du Ciel

Drunken people at Dieu du Ciel

Drunken people at Dieu du Ciel

Empty bar at 3 a.m.

Empty bar at 3 a.m.

Haitian guy and a stout

Haitian guy and a stout

Me and maple beer

Me and maple beer

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada

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