The rest of my time in Quebec was, thankfully, fairly low-key. I made a friend on my last couple of days in Quebec City who was actually a fellow Melbournite and was really fun to hang out with. I was, weirdly, able to show her around the city I'd unwillingly gotten to know and we had fun catching the ferry just for the opportunity to take photos of the (already) most-photographed hotel in the world. We did all the requisite things like drink hot chocolate out of a bowl (well, that was me but she was kind enough to take a picture of me) and eat crepes in a cute little cafe. It was nice to spend time with someone who could compare everywhere we went to somewhere in Melbourne or talk about what Oz was like with curious shop-keepers and ticket-sellers.
I ended up in Montreal on a Friday and was, admittedly, somewhat relieved that people there are a tad more bilingual. Not that I didn't adore the Quebecois but I felt like an arsehole whenever I had to ask them to switch languages, it was just making me desperate to learn any language other than English so that I'm no longer a walking traveller stereotype. But Montreal was nice, I stayed with Cheesecake Friend and her sister and they were amahzing hosts. Saturday night we went to see OK Go at this tiny, beautiful, shabby venue and they were incredible and fun. Sunday I got to see the city's seriously well-put together Botanical Gardens and much-hated Olympic Stadium, plus Old Port and the raccoons and view (both great) at the top of Mont Royal. Monday I wandered Plateau- Mont Royal and shopped like the bad traveller that I am, and was then taken to get cheesecake which was fun for old times' sake. Tuesday I went downtown to see a truly interesting city and got to spend some time in the Chapel where Celine Dion got married. Because that's very, very important to me. Wednesday I got on a bus and came here.
Where is here? Ottawa. Everybody told me I'd be bored but I find it wonderful. Goodness knows I'm not interested in living here, but I've figured out that I'm pretty much only interested in living in Melbourne so that's hardly something that sets this city apart. The National Gallery is seriously impressive and some of the buildings are stunning and make for a really nice skyline. I'm staying in a hostel where my (thankfully private) room is a jail cell and there's a kitchen so I can cook mountains and mountains of kale and pretend that eating vending machine breakfasts and cheap diner meals for the past five weeks hasn't ruined my body and my taste buds forever. Tomorrow afternoon I get the bus to go see my favourite farming intern in the whole wide world who, I hope, can help me get my Glee fix for the first time in months (it's genuinely hurting me to go without).
I head to NYC from TO (again) on Sunday night and in a bit over a week I fly home. I've got to be honest, I'm counting the days. If not for the friends I've made in Canada, I would already be so super-keen to come home that I would sneak into somebody's luggage (I picture one of those horrific over-sized, wheeled suitcases. Probably black or bright pink. Comfy.) just to get back to Melbourne faster. But the thought of seeing my maple syrup-drinking, snow-indifferent Ontarian buddies is enough to keep me happy for a little longer. In the meantime, I should probably go take a squiz at Canada's national parliament, just to keep me occupied. I'ma do that now.
It's not a perfect metaphor.