Four Years in Montréal

I completely missed it, but I realized this morning that last Wednesday marked the four year anniversary of our arrival in Montréal. It’s quite something to realize how much has happened since then.

The baby daughter that made the move with us is now a little girl. And we added another daughter since the our relocation. We experienced hi-rise living for over a year and are now in a single family home. Both my wife and I have each worked for two different companies even though I never left my original job. We have returned to Chicago every summer to attend a wedding. This summer will be no exception. Within the first two years of living here, traveling for work has taken me to five of the largest cities in the US and Canada (New York, LA, Chicago, Toronto, and Philadelphia). I really haven’t gone anywhere since.

As has been documented here, I’ve really grown to know the city and it’s culture quite well. A good example is that I knew nothing about the political landscape, yet now it gets me as concerned and riled up as the locals. And the topics covered in the news actually make sense to me now. I have a healthy knowledge of the current local pop culture, though maybe more on the francophone side. I know that Pointe-Claire, Pointe-aux-Trembles, Laval, and Laprairie are no where near each other. Though I still have difficulty differentiating between the 36 municipalities and neighborhoods named after saints in and around Montréal (Saint-Michel, Saint-François, Saint-Martin, Saint-Vincent-de-Paul, Sainte Dorothée, Sainte-Dorothée-Station, Sainte-Marie-de-Laval, Sainte-Rose, Sainte-Louis-de-Terrebonne, Saint-Amable, Saint-Basile-Le-Grand, Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, Saint-Clet, Saint-Constant, Saint-Eustache, Saint-Gérard-Majella, Saint-Hubert, Saint-Isidore, Saint-Joseph-du-Lac, Saint-Lambert, Saint-Laurent, Saint-Lazare, Saint-Léonard, Saint-Mathias-sur-Richelieu, Saint-Matieu, Saint-Philippe, Saint-Pierre, Saint-Sulpice, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, Sainte-Catherine, Sainte-Geneviève, Sainte-Julie, Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, Sainte-Thérèse, and Saint-Janvier) And I still have difficulty with the three almost adjacent streets named after McGill University (McGill College, University, and McGill). Could you have at least spread them out a little bit?

I’ve almost completely overcome my fear of following and speaking in French. I can follow regular conversations with only an occasional word that I don’t know. And having reached this level makes it easier to learn more words that I didn’t know before. Though formal speech can still be difficult to understand and my writing has a ways to go. My grammer still really needs some work.

And lastly, I started this here blog. It has been a great place to get things off my mind and try to share them with others. I’ve managed to meet some great people through it who have really helped my transition to this new place. Before this, I had really only connected with a couple people through work. This medium has really expanded the number of great people I have gotten to meet and know over the last two or three years.

Yesterday I even had lunch with a charming man who’s history eerily mimics my own. We both met our future Québecois(e) partners within a year of each other. We both visited Montréal for the first time within a couple months of each other. We both moved here within a year of each other. And now we both share our experiences on our new home via blogs. Richard has well documented how he got here, so I was kinda wondering if my story might interest you. Please let me know and I’ll try to post it as soon as I finish that Bright Lights, Big City series.

In a bit of an odd twist, blogging has in turn gotten me interested in Flickr. And now through Flickr, I have begun to connect with various people in Chicago. So now in addition to all of our family and old friends that we want to meet up with, there is another group of people I’d really like to try to see.

As for the future, life is starting to balance out, even if it is still quite hectic. Our exploration of the city, it’s environs, and the culture will continue and change as our children advance in age. I hope to continue and advance the friendships we have created thus far. They have added a considerable dimension to the enjoyment of life up here.

So thank you all for reading and I hope to keep this blog rolling.


~ by Frank on June 7, 2007.

5 Responses to “Four Years in Montréal”

  1. Well, congratulations on making it through four Montreal winters! (I think you get a commemorative watch at five. 😉

  2. I’d love to hear your tale of getting here. And I cannot keep all the saint cities sorted out either. My eyes just gloss over and I think either “it’s off the island” or “it’s on the island.”

  3. Vila, of the four so far, there has really only been one that I found very difficult. Does the watch have a snow globe on the face?

    tornwordo, my story is quite similar to yours in that it jumped around alot. But we didn’t have the difficulties that you had. So I don’t really find it as interesting. I’ll write it, but I’m going to have to figure out how. About the saints, that’s not to mention all the different street names. That kinda drives me nuts also. And in our neighborhood there is Parc Fontaine and Parc Lafontaine.

  4. Count me in as one who would love to read about your story. Although I’m still shying away of posting my own, immigrant stories are what brought me to blogging in the first place — that and keeping in touch with loved ones.

  5. […] I was going to write about how things are different since we arrived, but much of it was covered in last year’s anniversary post. This year I would have to say that there are two things of note. First, I’ve noticed that my […]

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