blarg?

November 19, 2007

Bon Voyage

Filed under: hate,travel,work — mhoye @ 9:12 pm

I’m in Montreal for the next two weeks, working away. Not a lot of late nights at the office ahead of me, I think – they lock the place up tight at six – so I might get some walking-around-the-city in evenings, once I can figure out how to get somewhere interesting from the airport.

Getting around Montreal is always exciting. Every time I get here, I revisit an old idea I first concocted years ago, that the reason Montreal is such a diverse, broadly multicultural city is that it takes less effort for the average visitor to find a job, meet, court and marry a spouse, raise a family, put down roots, integrate into the greater community and finally assert your own unique voice in the greater urban discourse than it does to just get into a car and figure out how to drive away. I’ve said this before, but I’ve never seen more concrete poured with less forethought than the city of Montreal.

My accomodations are a little, er, vulgar. Harmless enough, but clearly trying to strike a balance between bulk-purchase costs and being reasonably inoffensive to people who’d rather be somewhere else.

The ratings for the hotel seem to depend a lot on which side of the building you’re on; options include “runway-facing”, “highway-and-industrial-park-facing” or “parking-lot-facing”, though I seem to have found some fortuitous balance by being tucked into a notch in the U-shape; the only geospatial shortcomings of my room are the icemaker and the hallway windows that afford passersby a broad view of my sleeping area.

I could though, as always, be worse. It’s an airport next to a hotel, which puts it on the same karmic plane as the off-strip parts of Vegas; won’t be good, could be OK. Could be bad, though, and all you can really ask for is to leave with the same diseases you came in with.

It looks like I’m going to get that plus a complimentary continental breakfast. So, you know, go me. Did they call it a “continental” breakfast out of some ex-pat fear that everything else would make you incontinent? I am prepared to believe that.

I’d like the record to show that I miss my wife very much. Are we agreed on that? Very well, the record will so indicate.

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