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Thursday 6 Dec 2007
Montréal, Canada

Montreal beer

mmmm.. fresh Montreal croissant smothered in Nutella. Best combination ever!

My regular breakfast these days is thus.

Incidentally I forgot to mention in my last entry, Quebec is a brewer's paradise with such an immense variety of locally-brewed beers at a fraction of the cost they would be in Ireland.

I frequently indulge myself with a bottle of Buelle Guelle, or the apple-flavoured Ephemere, not to mention the many tasty varieties of Boreale (which is on tap at Le National as well.. yummy!). Even the commercial beers by Molson like Molson Bleu are a delicious accompaniment to a Mexican fajita (at my local fav Mex restaurant).
And being Quebec, the beers are a far higher percentage than anything you get at home.. 6% to 8% are the norm.

Nice way to get toasted if ya ask me... I'll end up with a beer-belly before the month is out!

...added later...

I've just been to see Broken Social Scene play Le National... it was an incredible gig, although I did notice the audience were still pretty reserved as they are in Toronto.. I was one of the few giving it loads (I guess it must be a Canada-wide thing, to not punch your arms into the air at gigs)

There were around 12 musicians on stage and they played their hearts out at full volume.. which consequently had the downside that I think I ruptured my left ear drum Blue .. (I'm actually typing this the morning after.. and I still have only about 50% hearing in my left ear!! ffs!).. hope it's only temporary.

Ah the many dilemmas we ageing rockers have to face.

Walking on the way home though.. it occurred to me that I haven't commented on one of the most ANNOYING things about Montreal: the traffic lights.

Pedestrian's share the same traffic lights as the cars, (there aren't separate Stop - Walk signs) so when the green light goes on for the car, it means that you are clear to cross as well .. of course this means that you have to take your life into your own hands and hope that the driver is observing people crossing (if he's turning right at the light that is).

Another problem is that when the light goes Red in one direction, it Immediately goes green in the other direction (no pause to allow pedestrians to finish crossing - which is quite normal).
Plus the yellow light only lasts for about 1 second.

So basically it goes a little something like this:

- You arrive at an intersection and the green light is good for you
- You begin to cross the large 4 lane road (cars perpendicular to you ready to zoom off at the first sign of green)
- You get halfway and the light turns yellow.. you panic since you have 1 second to travel the remaining 10 metres
- It turns red a second later and green for the other road at the same time
- Cars beep you since you are essentially in their way!

This is a nightmare when the road is slushy in the snow.

Imagine how bad it was when I was trekking across on my first day here, with 4 bags in tow!

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Canadiana!

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