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Vive le Montral

By Clarissa Stark

Section: Arts

April 28, 2006

Sometimes, a girl just needs to go to Canada. Enter Passover break and what was quite possibly one of the least planned and best executed trips of all time. Mere days before leaving, I finally looked up hostels online. It seems that, at least in Montreal, hostels frown upon you actually calling them, but if you like to hear harried French men, I recommend that you give it a try. Thus, with a simple click of a Submit, I and my deux amies finally had the impetus to actually start planning the trip – sort of. Im sorry to say that our work habits apply to real life: we pulled an all-nighter the night before, packing our bags and looking up things to do.

The next morning, we pealed out of the main gate and bid Brandeis adieu. Only five hours, two states, and a province later we were in the vast wheat fields of Quebec, looking at the Montreal skyline. Not too shabby.

After a few tries, we found our cozy little hostel, which was located in the Plateau Mont-Royal, a.k.a. the trs French part of town. As one of the hostel employees said when I checked out, after politely begging for a good online review, Its not the Ritz Carlton, but its cheap and convenient. If the fact that it was just a random unlabeled building doesnt sound sketchy enough, there was also a small child sitting outside the door and no one was at the front desk. A sign taped to the window reminded us that we couldnt check in until five oclock and so we took to the streets. Although Ive never been to France, I get the impression that Montreal is like Frances little brother. All of the people were more attractive, slimmer, and better dressed than people you see in American cities, not to mention the fact that everyone speaks to you in French.

And speaking of the ear candy that is the French language, Pierre the hostel worker deserves a special shout out. Thanks for being there, friendly, and French.

Im sure theres many things to do during the day in Montreal, but we didnt plan that well, so we took to the ever popular hobby of shopping, as well as sunbathing in the many pretty little parks. I actually came back from the north with a tan.

Of course, we also hit up the fact that in Canada, those of us who arent yet twenty-one are actually legal. Thus dinners of famous Canadian pizza and beer, and Sangria, and you get the idea.

And speaking of Canadian pizza, if you ever happen to be in Montreal at the corner of the Boulevard St-Laurent and Rue Villenueve, I recommend the twenty-four hour pizza place. Not only can you get good pizza at four oclock in the morning, but you may also get to have a dance party with the management and other random night owls to some hot Arabian music.

Not that we were entirely uncultured. During one afternoon, we went to the Muse des Beaux Arts, which allows guests to view its permanent collection for free. The scary thing about the museum is that they have an exhibit with electronic devices from our childhood like those Mac computers we used to have in elementary and middle school. Hopefully they were being ironic.

Montreal also has a pretty good nightlife, even on a Wednesday night. But, a little like Vegas, what happens in Montreal stays there.

So to find out you should go. Proper footwear required.

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