Canadian Tour – I

Right now I am in bus from Quebec (city) to Montreal, so I have a lot of time to compose.

Let me start from beginning. I woke up early in the morning yesterday, and in a few minutes after I was ready, Lylia came. She is a Russian and was very nice to talk to. She is doing chemical engg at dalhusie (2nd year). It took 45 minutes to reach airport. At airport they confiscated my deodrant. :(

On reaching Montreal, I wasn’t sure which way to go. I took a bus for the downtown. There were very few people in the bus. Suddenly, a lady on right window seat asked me, is it ur first time? This is how our conversation started, and we chatted for the rest of the journey. She had that definite french accent and gesture, with s pronounced as z. I was taken back when she said on 4th July fireworks, “ya, americans r crazy about it, my Girlfriend in Seattle is so much excited to see it today”. She was born and brought up in montreal, and came to see an old friend after 5 years.

I took a metro to Mont Royal and arrived at my hostel easily. The guy at hostel is very cool. The first thing he asked me was, “u found this door open?”, “yes” I replied. “Funny?! Eh!”, he said. I took a short nap coz I slept for just 2 hours the last night. I woke up, and left for Biodome.

I walked for around 40 mins to reach Biodome. Its a very huge thing. I took a pic of it from aeroplane and thought my cam zoom is so awesome. But, when I reached here, I realised, no the place is tooooo huge. In the periphery, there is insectarium, observatory and olympic stadium (where I clicked a swimmer practising). The most interesting thing in biodome were penguins. They are just too much agile. They would plung into water, go deep, swim fast and come out of water like dolphins. They will keep repeating this process very quickly. And they r smaller than I thought. There I clicked some beautiful pics of flora and fauna. I also took ticket for observatory, which takes u to the montreal tower. It was a good experience. And my Dalhousie student card helped me save a few dollars on tickets.

I went to downtown on metro. Montreal is hosting the International Jazz Festival this year. In my 9 weeks I didn’t see so many people as I saw here. It was very crowded, and the performances were cool. It was not just Jazz. Somewhere body art was done, a few dancers were there, and I was lucky to find a female acrobat performIng on a high rope. I bought a pen there for raju mama, which I later realized had a childish led lit feature. I literally lost sense of directions after exiting jazz festival, and chanced upon an Indian restaurant.

There was a female Indian waiter in the restaurant (who seemed to have a get up of an Indian sex worker). She came and started speaking french to me. Its incredible, u go to an Indian restaurant, and u r greeted in french. She also said, “should I help u with the menu?” I said no, I know what these things mean. I ordered just a chicken biryani, to which she said, “only a chicken biryani?!!!”. The prices were out of the world. Its not a bad idea to start a chain of Indian restaurants in Canada, the demand is good here.

I came back to the hostel and slept early. These days I am leading a life of a true musafir, with limited iPod charge, limited cam memory and limited information. Everything but money is limited :D . iPod touch is a perfect travel companion with music, movies, games and wifi features.

Today I woke up at 8 and left hostel at around 9:30. I knew the location of bus stop on map, but the map doesn’t have info on a lot of smaller streets. I was again lost, and went to St Lawrent street. There were loads of XXX shops, brothels and strip clubs. I thought of taking pics of the shops. I took the camera out, and was focusing on the shops. I took 3 pics and suddenly found a girl in front of me. She didn’t say me anything, just gave gestures to come with her. I didn’t say anything. She again said in gestures/indications, “ok, u wil miss great thing, come with me!!”. I immediately turned and left for another street. I couldn’t believe, it was 10 in the morning, most of the people wouldn’t even were awake. I was alone in the street. Let me tell u frankly, for one moment I thought of checking out what happens inside, no one would ever know about that, but in the next moment I came back to senses.

I asked a person for the bus terminal and reached there at 10:10. I bought the ticket, and packed my lunch. The bus was at 11. There were a lot of people going to Quebec, one bus wasn’t enough to carry all. So, another bus came. I was one of the first ones to enter the second bus, so got a window seat. In a few minutes a girl came and asked, “can I sit here?” I said, sure. Her name was Christina, and was a native of Canada. She had a book in her hand named “Life of Pi” which is a book on an Indian boy. What can be more exciting to her, she is reading a booker winning novel on an Indian boy, and an Indian is sitting just besides her. She knew a lot about India (Canadians r rarely good at this) and she was eager to know more. She said she will visit India once. I played good Indian classical music on my iPod, and she enjoyed a lot (when I played Ravi Shankar, I was amazed when she asked, “is this sitar?”)

Quebec city is 3 hours from Montreal on bus. We arrived at downtown Quebec. Christina had to catch another bus. I left for my expedition to the Royal Quebec City. Quebec city is one of the oldest cities in Canada. Here in Canada the cities are quite young, like Dartmouth, just besides Halifax is just 2 years old. I have been there, and was amazed to see so much development in just 2 years. Quebec city is the capital of Quebec, but its not the biggest city in Quebec (montreal is the biggest one). Its an extremely beautiful city. Its like the city of Jaipur with royal architectures, Chateau and Gothic structures in this case. Lots of people come to visit it, that too in summers. The place is full of street performers and a lot many appreciators. I saw performances, which I earlier used to watch on youtube. They were just incredible, but unfortunately in french. I took a lot of pics, but very few pics of myself. Quebec’s beauty can’t be described in words. Just come here someday and appreciate it.

After arriving Montreal, I shall take my dinner, most likely pizza, which is readily available, revise my schedule for tomorrow and go to sleep.

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