Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Observations from Montreal

Pardon. Observations de Montreal.


I found a computer at my hotel here (l'hotel de Quebec s'appelle Clarion) which has an internet connection, so what better to do with it than give you my obersvations about the plane ride and Montreal so far?

1) On the United Airlines plane de Honolulu a Chicago (which was 8 hours flying time, 13 hours with time change), my "RightBite" meal had a Gouda package. In big letters at the top, it says GOUDA. Then in small caps below it, it says, "Pasteurized Process Cheese Food - Gouda Type." Mmmmm... Cheese Food. Is that different from cheese? I am happy they didn't give me cheese non-food. On the back, we have, "Ingredients: Cheddar Cheese."

2) One movie on the airplane was Failure to Launch with Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew McConaughey. I didn't listen to a word of the movie, but I watched large portions of it on the screen. Here is my synopsis based on that: fun-fun-fun-fun-emotional blow up!! - sit-sit-sit-wait-talk - sit - friends finally do something (not the heroes) - talk - reconcile - something at the very end with a dolphin that seems outrageously far-fetched but perhaps slightly touching. My understanding is this is exactly how not to construct a screen play. Sitting and sitting and talking and sitting and doing nothing, when this is supposed to be the climax of the movie.

3) It turns out I still am afraid of flying. I don't think I've flown in five years. I used to drive from Nashville to Toronto to avoid it. Anyway, I almost didn't make it. When I got on the plane the panic button went on and I almost walked back off the plane, saying, "screw it; I just won't go and I'll be out $900, but whatever." I managed to calm myself and get in the chair. And then I discovered the secret to getting over the fear of flying. Calming your mind? Breathing slowly? Thinking of gentle waves while sitting with my lovely family? I'm sure that's fine and all, but, no, the answer is humor. Instead, you re-enact the scene from the movie Airplane, pretending you are the main person in the scene. Ahem:

"I can't take it anymore!! I've got to get out of here!!" "Calm down; you've got to calm down!!" SMACK!!!. Long line of people getting ready to knock the crap out of you.

That works. Yes, incidentally, Airplane is one of my favorite movies of all time.

4) To tease N publicly, when your husband is afraid of flying and you want to get his flight info, don't say it like this: "Make sure you send me your flights and times, so if a plane crashes, I don't have to worry about you."

5) Montreal isn't a great place to practice French, because everyone switches to English as soon as you give a little blank look. They are largely fluent, so why do they want to struggle through your French 101 crap? They don't.

6) Just like Europe, there's more sex on TV in Quebec on Saturday nights. It's not like the hardcore porn that's on hotels in France, but you do get softcore stuff. Wonens' tops come off, legs go in the air, and a guy's butt moves up and down. Not that I watched enough of it to make such a comparison. I was shocked. Shocked, I tell you! Where's that backspace button?

7) Despite the comedy of errors which was the board meeting for our journal, which is a post all its own, I think I will still have my job when I get back to Hawai'i.

8) The World Cup seems to be bigger than the Stanley Cup here. In the hotel bar, there were people sitting around a TV watching game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals, but there were more the next day for some soccer match. When walking home last night, Brazil had just won a match, and there were people covered in yellow and green screaming and honking horns and waving flags all up and down Rue St. Catherine.

9) There are a bunch of white people here! Montreal is quite multicultural and there are lots of other people too, but this ain't Hawaii. I'm used to being a minority.

10) A way I am Hawaiian now is that I entered my hotel room and immediately began shivering. The air conditioning was turned off before anything else happened, and it hasn't come back on since. 68 degrees is the temp for a cold winter night in Hawaii, not a pleasant setting for your bedroom in the middle of June.

Well, I should have more to say about Montreal, but I've spent most of my time in the conference hotel and my own hotel. I'm going to walk down a few blocks now for crepes for lunch. I will report back later.

1 comment:

kristybox said...

Ah, N is so caring. ;) I do the same to Alan as he boards planes.