Wednesday, November 3, 2010


the fleur-de-lis, on Quebec's provincial flag
 when we first drove into Montreal three months ago, we were assaulted by all the sights, sounds and city that Montreal is. Our brains felt tired by the evening by reading all the French language everywhere and not really understanding any of it. 

We sat on the floor of our hotel room eating pizza, late at night, after having looked at a couple potential places to rent. It seemed a lot. Were we crazy? I remember texting my sister saying I felt overwhelmed, I've done a lot but this seemed to be too much. She replied back by saying that in a couple of months I would probably really enjoy Montreal and that she thought I was brave. I didn't feel brave. I felt scared and small. 

It's been a couple of months now. We go home to Alberta next month. And I felt it was high time to write a bit about this city that we're calling home. 

My first impression of Montreal was a big, sprawling city. Like any other city of the world. I didn't see the charm that everybody always talks about. I felt jaded. Jared would come home from his lessons all excited about the charm and culture of the city and I didn't understand. I didn't see it. 

But then I did. We took a day and toured Old Montreal, walked along the waterfront, whispered in Notre Dame Basilica Cathredral, stepped our way along crooked cobblestone streets. We ate fresh bagels from one of Montreal's famous bagel shops. We heard lots of French being spoken around us. We saw many black iron spiral staircases leading to people's homes. 

notre dame basilica cathedral

Montreal is more than all that though. It is made up of people. And people are the same the world over. I see our neighbor behind us in her kitchen preparing breakfast and dinner for her family at the same time I am preparing meals for us. I see our neighbor across the street take his little daughter for a walk, all bundled in her snowsuit and stroller just like I do with Kilmeny. 

French is the prevailing language here just like English is back in our home province of Alberta. But most people are more than willing to speak English, except for the poor man who had a horrified expression on his face when I started apologizing in English that I didn't speak French. In fact, some people prefer to speak in English as one clerk told us. The people are overall friendly and welcoming, especially when we tell them we're from out of province. 

a lamp post in old montreal

I'm glad to have lived here. To actually experience some of Montreal more than just passing through. It's helped me to understand people a little more, the sheer humanity that we all share, regardless of language or race. 
But I'm also very excited to be going home. Next month. I can't wait.    

Where would you live, if you could live anywhere for a few months? 

photos credit of my husband  


  1. That cathedral is amazing!!! Is the picture of the inside or outside??

    Hmm, I'd want to live somewhere that's packed with history, but not necessarily somewhere that's rat-racy and over-filled :-P

  2. I love this post :-) I can identify with a lot of it! Its exciting to live somewhere new once you get past the initial 'shock' of it all. But looking forward to home is almost worth any discomfort it may have caused ;-) I've loved Taiwan, but home is calling!

  3. Breanne, your words make me want to visit! I love to experience new cultures and meet new people and here new languages. It does makes us feel appropriately small, and our Creator, huge. I have friends in Alberta, but I have never been there to visit. I hope to someday. Thank you for this beautiful post! And I love the name, Kilmeny--I have never heard it before.

    Blessings on your move!

  4. Just LOVE the picture of that flag. :-) Brilliant lighting!



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