All my life I had been under this impression that Lake Ontario empties into Lake Erie, but, woe me, it is the other way around. How was I able to survive all these years, knowing I had my geography wrong? As I stood at the edge where millions of gallons of Erie dumped into Ontario all I could think was:
Those cunning Canadians! They flipped Niagara around!
I would then duck my tomato-head back inside the thick jacket and ask for the next Timmy’s.
Timmy, you see, is my new religion.
How could it not be? Tim Hortons represents everything that is warm and fuzzy and filled with coffee. Not to mention the cold-cuts. And the doughnuts.
And the soups! Oh good grief, the soups! I’m not worthy!
Fortunately they have their places of worship on every street corner in Canada and my daily pilgrimage ends in the prayer uttered to the cashier as “One extra-large French Vanilla Cappuccino, please.”
By the way, did you know there is a place on Ottawa hailed as the Number One Elvis Sighting Central In The World? It’s a tiny diner cramped with people and Elvis memorabilia and the promise that “you might just spot the King.” No King in sight, but the waitress swears she ain’t seen him either, ever, never.
A subtle word on the temperature.
Montreal (pronounced, if you wish to remain alive among all them Coons, Mo-real) has less of the temperature but more of the culture, and I don’t just mean Ile des Soeurs (gay central) or St. Catherine (XXX). It truly is a modern city and very high-tech. Even the men’s stalls have video surveillance (which is not something a guy wants to know when he’s standing there doing… you know).
Speaking of famous eateries, Schwarz’s in downtown Mo-real is frequented by the rich and infamous, so I was taken there as well and we huddled around the beergarden-style tables and chomped into smoked meat sandwiches with pickles and fries and guarantied kosher. No celebrities to speak of, but I can guarantee Zoolander-sightings after my visit.
The subway… erm… metro, is fairly easy to figure out. Even for a conchofied and publico-wise person such as myself. The ticket system was a bit quirky to me at first, the turnstiles spinning up a storm every time I passed through. But the train are warm and cozy and float on wheels as opposed to rails and the lights don’t flicker as bad as in NYC.
Again I am floored by the French influence in everything. Everyone assumes I speak it, and everyone wants to speak it. My line when someone talk to me in French is “I don’t know what you just said, but it sounded beautiful.”
Of course, the line only works provided the person is a female Quebecois. But it breaks the ice (another great thing to say that breaks the ice is “fat penguin”).
Anyway, this here adventurer is off to Timmy’s for his morning worship. As Dundee would say: “That’s not a cup of coffee. THIS is a cup of coffee!”
Correction. I was just informed we are to pilgrim to Subway, the shrine to sandwiches.
As you can see, my trip has been a religious experience so far.