I think I’m getting it wrong.
The countdown is on and I’m 4 weeks away from Montreal and well…I’ve lost sight of the adventure I’m on. Called life.
To be honest, I’m terrified. Or full of dread. Or that thing where I cry daily because I’m no longer so sure that this is something I even want to do. Because I’m no longer sure Montreal is a place I want to be.
I once thought of Montreal as a gold mine of happiness and delight. I had already conjured up all kinds of images of making snow angels and tapping maple trees and that thing where you make candy in the snow (that’s still a thing right?? I don’t want to miss out on that). Sure the rest of summer would be hot and humid and I’d probably have a meltdown or two or
four thousand but at least I would have an apartment to come home to, a sanctuary to cry it all out, bolster myself up and go back out to conquer the day, a place to call my own, a place to breathe deep.
Only, finding an apartment isn’t proving as easy as I thought, and not for (what I deem) a set of logical reasons. You see, it’s not because rent is high or availability is all that low. The problem? Quebec has some illogical fucked up laws and things that are illogical terrify me. Kind of like terrorists. Because you can’t reason with something that is unreasonable.
You see, apparently, in Quebec, everybody* moves on July 1st (which overloads moving companies
who I’m guessing spend the rest of the year twiddling their thumbs?, wreaks havoc with traffic and loading zones, and basically fucks everyone who wants to move in or out at other times).
*Except…I mean…this can’t really be true right?!?! Does this not seem the most insane thing you’ve ever heard??? An entire city moves on one singular day and fuck anyone who’s never even heard of this?!?! Well…not quite.
See there are apartments opening up at other times. There just has to be. It’s just a smaller amount. But the point of mentioning this whole moving day debacle is also to point something else that’s a bit…fishy.
Apparently, Montreal is the land of the lease. You MUST have one. EVERYONE has one. So I mean fuck. Because if I were to get an 8 month lease…super…only nobody gives those. If I get a 12 month lease…well fuck…it’ll be super if I stay in Montreal over the summer because I have some amazingly well paying awesome job…but…fuck me…if I don’t. Then I would have to find someone to sublet the apartment for the summer months. But even then…okay fine…I could kind of deal with those things, I guess.
And then a friend tried to lighten my burden by telling me that it’s no big deal, you could always just break the lease and you’d just lose your damage deposit. Only, that’s not how it works in Quebec (as far as I can tell). First off, it’s not like in BC where when you want out of your apartment, you give 30 days notice. Nope. If your lease is 12+ months you have to give 3-6 months notice! Like who the fuck knows what they’re going to be doing 3 months from now, let alone 6?!? And if you break that, I’m not sure what happens. I literally cannot find any information on the repercussions. Sure I can find out all kinds of info about how you don’t, you just don’t. But no talk of consequences. Which either means they’re magical and non-existent or that you’ll probably end up in court and nothing sounds more awesome than trying to write a master’s thesis while worrying about your fucking landlord taking you to court because the plans in your life changed. Fuck. Me.
So there’s that.
And then we have the selling points. You see, everybody has something good to say about Montreal. The food. The culture. The nightlife. The concerts. The fashion. Though the people can be a bit brusk, a bit harsh, a bit abrupt or even rude.
Only, what if those aren’t the things that sell me on a place. You see I’m chubby and not in need of a billion restaurants (fuck, I still haven’t tried 3/4 of Vancouver’s restos!). And I’m sober (and turning 31) so the nightlife isn’t really a big selling point, unless you mean they have all kinds of bars that wouldn’t care if I sat for hours…drinking diet colas while hot men chatted me up, and I’m fairly certain that’s not what they meant. And while culture is cool…I mean it’s amazing…architecture and all that…admittedly with every apartment front I look at, and google street view I check out, I start to wonder if it’s all a rouse because so far what I’ve seen is desolate concreteness that reminds me of 1970s structures (though I am aware that being somewhere is completely different so I haven’t given up just yet). And while concerts and festivals can be great…I’d be going alone…which is fine in theory…I can do things on my own no problem…but I’m already not huge into large concerts (because…well…non-sober people get sloppy yo). And fashion is great and all (I mean I’m super excited to know that the forever 21 there has a plus size section…so no more driving all the way to south centre just to check out some clothes). But the truth is, I’m not very fashionable. Sure, when I go out for an evening I like to look nice. But well…it’s just not that important to me. I’d rather worry about something else. And then we have the people. Who I’m just hoping (just shy of praying because I think we all know I don’t do that), that the Montrealers, the Quebecoise, the people of this lovely place, are being massively undersold because so far they sold borderline awful. And that can’t be…that just cannot be! Can it? It can’t right?!
Because I mean, I think we all remember that article about how unfriendly Vancouverites are…and I know from experience that just isn’t true! Sure I have some friends from my highschool days…but I also have ones from my University days…and then there are the ones I made last year…and then this year. People I met from Twitter, through my blog, from friends of friends who met through yelp, at parties, at school, everywhere. A young fella recently told me that when a friend of ours has a party…that you own that party, everyone revolves around you. So the possibility is there that I’m an aberration in Vancouver…but I think not. Because what about all those people revolving or the friends that I’ve made. Life isn’t one sided and neither is the friendliness in Vancouver. It’s a group effort. And if a city like Vancouver, which is seen as disastrously unfriendly, can seem so friendly to me…Montreal can hardly be much different right?
And thus, in my signature round-about-lengthy-I’ll-get-to-the-point-and-sum-it-all-up-eventually way…I bring you to my point of the article. About how even though I feel like there are all these downers happening. That I have to find a way, to not let that define this adventure. Because life is what you make it. And mine should taste like maple syrup and look like a smile.
I recently went on a camping trip with a few friends and some acquaintences. And to be honest, it was a total fucking bust. We all had an absolutely miserable time. That being said, there was a moment, there were many moments in fact, where we could’ve stopped the misery. Looking back, I blame myself. You see, what I should’ve done was take my friends aside and said look, we can either pack up our stuff, call it a day, and get the fuck out of here….OR….we can amp it up, put some smiles on our faces and work our asses off to make this the most fun camping that ever was.
And that’s what I need to do with Montreal. Amp it up. Focus on the bright side. Keep my eye on the silver lining.