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Aux Vivres, Alain and Valerie

I left for Montreal at about 5:30 p.m. on Friday night. After beer o'clock, I walked on over to the Petro Canada on the corner of King Edward and Rideau, a really busy spot at rush hour. I stand and wait near the convenience store, and find someone waiting for a ride there too.

"Are you waiting for Adjim?" "No, I don't think so, I'm not really sure." "Well, if he is coming at 5:30, he's probably your guy." "Is his phone number 532-5492?" "Um....no, it's 424-3234." "Weird, well I'm not in the mood for playing games, my driver better show up." "I'm sure no one's playing games, we'll just wait and if either of our drivers show up, we can go with them." "Yeah, I guess."

Wow, OK, this guy obviously needs to chill out a little bit. So I leave him alone and continue to wait.

Uptight guy's ride shows up, but Adjim is still nowhere to be found. I ask the ride guy if I can come with him and he says yes, but I decide to call Adjim first to make sure he's still coming, just so I don't ditch him. Yep, he tells me he's actually at the other end of the busy busy parking lot. I say thank you to uptight guy for letting me borrow his cellphone, give it back, and hurry over to find Adjim.

We still have to wait for Chloe to show up. A young student who has family in Montreal that she regularly visits. She shows up soon, and we head out. The weather is gross rain and snow, but we plod on, ending up in Montreal a little late for my meetup with two North Carolinian Couchsurfers.

I hurry over to Aux Vivres and try to find them. I don't find them at all, but I do find Alain, who I went camping with this summer in BC! I'm totally surprised to see him there with his Russian friend, Alexei. The place is packed, but I'm not very hungry. I order a delicious coriander carrot soup and end up getting a soy milk chocolate smoothie later. This is such a great restaurant, I can't help it. It's always busy and today is not an exception. Alexei leaves for some salsa or tango dancing, and Alain and I talk about his future travels for a while. He's got a whole bunch of trips planned, and since he's a successful real estate agent, there's no reason for him not to take off and go like that all the time.

I must be at Valerie's house by 10 ish, so Alain offers me a ride there. It's not far, and also on his way, so this is nice. I say goodbye, and promise to try and make it to a birthday party tomorrow night, but I'm pretty sure I won't have enough time. When we pull up to Valerie's house, she's waiting in the doorway for me. I bring all my stuff upstairs to her place, and then we immediately go to the Cheval Blanc for some microbrew. This place is the original Cheval Blanc, a while ago, they sold their recipe for a white beer, and you can now buy it in stores, it's called of all things, "Cheval Blanc". So they have a bit of money and have just recently expanded their pub to twice its original size. Fascinating I know.

Anyway, I meet a couple of Valerie's friends, Christine, Wai-Yin and a few of Christine's brothers and friends of her brothers. I excuse myself to go and call my mom and Keith, because they are worried about my rideshare tendencies. My mom gave me a number to call, but it doesn't work from the payphone I guess. I try a bunch of different things, and nothing works. So I just give up.

Christine is very quiet, but her brothers and their friends are rowdy. Wai-Yin is interesting, she's a Chinese/French/English interpreter who just moved to Montreal, so she's meeting a bunch of local people through Couchsurfing a lot.

I'm a lot more tired than everyone else here, so I ask Valerie if I can just go back to her place around the corner, try and call again and sleep. She says of course, so I try to call and call, but nothing works. So I send an email instead. Then I go to bed.

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada

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