13 June 2012


Ever since I received a large sum of money for graduating college, I have felt very stuck. It's strange--whenever I get a small amount of money, I can't wait to go and spend it, but $2,000 in my bank account made me freeze. However, life requires money and I watched sadly as my account was drained slowly. Ben and I decided that the best thing to do with the remainder of my money was to go on a trip to somewhere I'd never been and make a few memories.

There's a couple different med schools Ben has been looking at and McGill in Montreal is one of them. He actually considered going there for his undergraduate, but was freaked out about moving to a big city. We thought it would be fun not only to go to Canada for my first time, but see if it was somewhere we might want to live after we get back from Japan.

Montreal was a lot different than what I expected it to be. Everyone spoke mostly French and that freaked me out a bit. I was grateful that Ben spoke a bit of French, but I was definitely not anticipating being in such a foreign like country. The hostel Ben and I were staying at was in The Village (the gay neighborhood of Montreal) so we spent most of our time there because it had the most restaurants and bars within walking distance. We did explore a good portion of the city though during the day, especially Old Montreal which was beautiful. It really was like stepping into Paris or Prague. I loved it.

However, I wasn't so sure I'd ever like to live there. It was incredibly expensive and the people were not very nice. The waiters demanded tips and that made me feel very uncomfortable (especially since at the restaurant I work at the other waitresses told me they have a big problem with people from Quebec coming down because they never tip). I certainly have a greater appreciation for America now and Ben and I have let go of that idea about moving to Canada for our future!

Another fun part of the trip was on our last night we decided to check out a casino. Neither of us have ever been to one and it's been something I've wanted to do for awhile now. It was a very surreal experience, I have to say. It took us awhile to even figure out how to play the machines! We lost all of our money in the slots pretty quickly (only about $20 and I have to say, it was fun trying to win!) and then went up stairs to play one of the tables. The dealer at the craps table called us over and explained the game to us so Ben tried his hand at it. He was doing pretty well and was up to $40 when he placed a poor bet and lost all the money in a matter of seconds. It was still really fun to watch, but I was secretly hoping he would use his genius skills and win us thousands!

After Ben lost the money and we were walking away, the dealer called after him and said, "At least you still have love!" I don't know why, but it was just such a sweet moment and nice thing to say. I'll remember it forever and we did leave feeling like we had won a million dollars.


**One of the security men at the craps table walked past us and said something to me in French and smiled. I asked him to translate it and he couldn't exactly, but it was something along the lines of I was a happy girl. Being at the casino was a bit depressing because everyone there (it was like 2 a.m. by the time we left) looked all sunken in and dead. Ben and I really were the only ones laughing and playing and having fun with our small amount of money. Sad place for some. 

The top of Mont Royal!

Mont Royal Cemetery

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