Wednesday, October 22, 2008

La vie à Montréal

I didn't have school today and I celebrated by staying in with a good book and spent quality time on my laptop hanging out with the boyf (on webcam). I have become such a homebody here and I'm loving it. Back home I usually fly out of the house by noon (on non-work days.. and okay, also on work days. flexi-time really works for me), and get back at around midnight. I rarely have time to veg out in front of the tv, much less read. So now, I catch up on my much neglected past-time and read up. I go out once in a while too explore the city too, which brings me to my very first tag.

I was tagged by the very adorable The World Is My Catwalk some time ago, and now here goes,

here are the rules:
(1) Link back to the meme creator: Caz
(2) Link to the person who tagged you: The World Is My Catwalk
(3) Link back to the originator of the positive SA movement (as this is how this all started): Cheap Thrills
(4) List five reasons you love your state
(5) Tag five people

My roots are in Manila, but I currently reside in Montreal so I decided to talk about this very interesting Canadian city.

1. It is so charming. Montreal is a city, but within it are idyllic communities where it is mostly quiet and slow-paced. I really enjoy how laidback it is in Ville Mont-Royal, and especially how it has community parks and centers in close proximity to my house! We have a community center where residents can sign up for sports, exercises, and other activities like arts and crafts, etc. I was so delighted to find they had Pilates classes and at reasonable prices (for community residents) too! And one of the bestest things is the library, which offers a wide array of books/ magazines/ videos/ audio cds and free membership for townspeople. (I make that sound so small town, don't I?)

2. The busy downtown streets. The days I do go out of the house, I head for Ste. Catherine, Blvd. Maisonneuve, Sherbrooke, and that whole area. It is the busiest of streets and it's where most flagship stores (H&M, Urban Outfitters, AA, The Apple Store), museums, and restaurants are located. It is a picture of busy shoppers, employees, students who flit the shops on their spare time. I revel in the energy of the streets and really feel the rush of adrenaline when I step into the throng after spending a couple of hours shopping in a huge store.

3. Everything French. Of course, it's not really French French, nevertheless I find it alluring. It's really different listening to Europeans speak Français, but I like being able to use my very limited knowledge of the language when I can. I like seeing all signs in French, it makes me feel like I'm not just in a western country. It adds to the appeal, I find. There's a place too called Old Montreal where the surroundings look and feel like the streets of Paris. They really preserved that old country charm, and there's even some cobblestone streets in that area.

4. Colors. All my life until now living in a country comprised of only two seasons (dry and rainy), I am really enjoying the seasonal shifts here. From the summer blooms to the warm, burnt colors of autumn. It's really beautiful and it makes me enjoy the outdoors. I especially love how there is no air pollution here. You can take a deep breath and not choke on the acrid fumes of vehicles. The air is cold, crisp, and clean. Oh plus the seasons allow me endless ideas and inspirations for dressing! I can actually layer and wear long coats and all that thermal garb, so much fun :)

5. Safety, discipline and independence. For the first time in my life, I am a commuter. I take the bus and metro on a daily basis. And for someone who has never been on a bus (except on school trips) nor has seen the inside of the MRT along Edsa, it's really a big change. I don't just drive anywhere nor depend on people to drive me anymore, I just up and go. And the feeling is just so liberating, knowing I can take the bus and walk along dark alleys at nearly midnight without worrying about getting mugged or kidnapped. I might be making Manila sound way worse than it is, but it's really not that bad (click here). I've just had a very sheltered life, where everything was available to me and I was given the comfort of convenience and protection. And now that I'm here alone, basically left to fend for myself, I'm really basking in the feeling of independence. Like for the first time in my life, if I get lost, I will have to figure my way out myself instead of instantly calling my Dad or the boyf. Wow, I'm growing up.

Oh and by discipline, I meant drivers' discipline on the roads. When I drive, I don't have to be aggressive, having to claim my right of way on the road: drivers give way. Plus I can actually bike without the fear of getting run over. I really love biking, I have to say! It feels so eco-chic :)

Now I pass the tag on to:

1. Qin At The Disco
2. Daisy Chain Dreams
3. Mwah Fashion
4. Modern Guilt
5. Decadentt

...and just because my heart will always be in Manila, I will also mention a few reasons why I love it.

1. My family, friends, and loved ones are just a drive away. Plus my room.. which is also my sister's room, which also means that I inevitably see her everyday, which as it turns out is perfect for my sanity.
2. The endless choice of cuisine! You could never run out of places to eat.
3. The sense of tradition. You could always feel Christmas time roll around.. with the warmth the cold air evokes, the smell of yummy bibingka and cinnamon sweets, the parols (special lanterns) blinking on the streets, Christmas decor present everywhere, and the re-appearance of Starbucks' Toffee Nut Latte
4. McDonalds' 24-hour Drive Thru (and delivery)! Self-explanatory.
5. One brown-eyed boy who makes everything just a little bit sweeter.


ashleigh said...

ohh such a cool read :)

*~The World is My Catwalk~* said...

Thanks for answering the tag with so much love!!! You do write very well... and may I say, those pictures with you riding a bike are just ADORABLE!!!!!