An actual, realistic countdown can now begin. Now, since I've finally been issued my visa.
Since finally getting my act together on that front (ie sending every original important piece of information that can get me out of this country) I've been waiting on tenterhooks. It took a little longer for them to issue it than their guidelines had stated, but at least I didn't have to face the horror stories of being issued my visa two days before my flight, or, worst of all, not being issued it at all.
Pretty much every day this week I've anxiety-dreamt that I hadn't gotten it on time, and then woken up anxious at ungodly hours. Luckily my friend P. G. Wodehouse through the medium of Jonathan Cecil could lull me into a presentable state (as that pair often does when I need to be distracted from unpleasant thoughts or feelings), and my glorious week visiting Montreal and all wonders contained within helped too.
I started my visit quite splendidly. I was able to leave Ottawa sooner than I had thought, and thus showed up on Megan's doorstep earlier than she had thought. She was lost in the depths of THE NICEST neighbourhood, so I cannot blame her for not being home when I came a-knockin' at her door. I was just a block away from my cousin's res (she had just moved to Montreal the week earlier), so I paid her a visit in her new digs. We then met up with Megan and Eric, went on an ill-fated trek to the Salvation Army, and finished the day with one of the lovliest dinner parties I've, ahem, been party to in a long time.
The next day took me to Tams with Emma (my cousin), Lilly, Nathan, Josh, Eric, Ian, Irene, Bora, Alex, Erin, and Kate. After being amazed by the ageless fellow who was a marvel on the devil yo-yo (we couldn't agree on what they were called and I think this is probably conjures up the most sinister and hard-as-nails picture of a day in a park) a small group of us then trekked up to Jean-Talon Market to meet Emilie. We meandered around sampling the goods of the local fruit-and-veg-scene, catching up, giggling, and other things pseudo-hippies are prone to do in markets. I had another lovely dinner with Megan and Candice and then moved house to my most permanent location of the week.
I want to live on Hope Street. It's a squibbly little thing with a park dividing it from Lambert-Closse, lined with buildings filled with some of the greatest people I know in Montreal. Our labour day festivities with blankets, bubbles, music, cards, chess, and boys running about with no shirts on made for one of my favourite days in Montreal. That night I found out something pretty jarring that put me out of sorts off-and-on for the rest of the week, but my great friends were SO there for me that I was able to weather it pretty well.
The rest of my stay on Hope Street saw me through many things that have defined my Montreal experience over the past year or so: visiting friends, dealing with McGill admin, Java U, sleeping at Meaghan and Emma's, pot-lucks, the whole lot. Nearing the end of the week I recreated much of first year with wine and cheese with Ottawa ladies, baking at Emilie's, and drinking on Crescent (while saying goodbye to the kindest, funniest, most wonderful group of people that I am privileged to call my friends).
Returning to Ottawa was bittersweet. I'm terribly excited for Bristol, but as I've said to lots of people, Bristol right now is only the absence of Montreal, and if that city is going to be as good this year as it was for me last week I am going to be sorely missing a lot.
Also, Ottawa right now is kind of lonely and is slowing descending into mountains of lists and clothing (to be fair, not the whole city but at least my bedroom). My departure is fast approaching, and in my estimation, cannot come too soon. Although, judging from my recent trip, is coming altogether too soon indeed.
Your Friend Lina