Nothing serious, just a summer cold. I hate summer colds. It’s beautiful out and I’ve got a head full of sand. I know colds aren’t restricted to winter, but they should be. Summer’s my time. Today I feel some improvement, though. I think I’ll leave the apartment.
Speaking of leaving the apartment, Thursday was our exam for permanent residency. It’s a very rudimentary physical — chest x-ray (they’re looking for TB), blood and urine tests, and meeting with a doctor for about 10 minutes. The whole thing took about 3 hours (mostly waiting) and cost us $160 each. The place was jam packed — they must be raking in the dough. We were also, I think, the only white people going through the immigration tests. The woman in x-ray was fascinated that we were Americans immigrating to Canada. Proof once again that it’s rarer than you’d think post-2004.
Tuesday, after a day of writing for Carrie and a day of business-doing for me (and a little World Cup action), Carrie and I wandered north into the West Island. We’d heard tell of an outstanding South Indian restaurant and were in the mood for a drive (I’d just picked up 3 new CDs — 2 by the Dears and a King Tubby collection). The place — Bombay Choupati — was indeed excellent. But the area was also very interesting to me. It’s basically suburban Montreal, but I don’t think I’d really seen the suburbs before. Suburbs as in “far enough out to have detached houses.” We drove around a bit. It was your usual strip mall, main drag and subdivision setup. But it’s a little newer than I expected. Most of the construction looks post-1960, and it’s hard not to notice a long string of ethnic restaurants and grocers along the main drag off the freeway. I asked our server at the restaurant about it and she said that this area had become a sort of second-stop for new arrivals. Immigrants would arrive and move into the city (she’s lived in the Jean-Talon/Jarry area) and then move out there when they got some money — “people found work out here, and they decided they liked it. It’s quieter and the people speak English.” So that’s the West Island, or at least the part of it we saw. I’ll be back for the sambar and dosai.
Oh yeah, the music. The Dears CDs were uneven (their live show is impeccable, though). The King Tubby was great. You can insert the comment here that everyone who’s ever read poststructuralist theory and listened to dub would make. “Dude, it’s like listening to deconstruction!” Me, I can’t enough of bowel-shaking bass.
Thank you and good day.
“wandered north into the West Island” — this, I realise, is a Montreal geographic in-joke, but surely you meant to say “wandered south into the West Island”?
Actually, I was wrong. From your place to Pierrefonds is really west. How weird is that?
I just checked it on the map. We did indeed “wander west” to the west island. How odd.
I’m so glad that you’ve discovered the South Asian community in West Island. I find it really is a hidden gem in Montreal, because most of us who live downtown tend to gravitate towards Jean-Talon or Jarry. If I may be so bold, I highly recommend the food and sweets at the Pushap on Sources. Pushap is a family business, and each restaurant is owned by a different brother. The ‘original’ Pushap Restaurant is near Namur or Cote Vertu or around there somewhere. But, I would safely say that the one on Sources has the best chaat and channa battura, as well as their samosas, barfi and ladoos are outstanding. Well worth the trip! (And no, I do not work for Pushap restaurants-I’m just a loyal devotee).
I used to live out that way on Cote-des-Neiges. Also brilliant jamaican down by Queen Mary & a few 7″ dub record shops to hunt.
+yah, dub=deconstruction, ja love differance!
Trace Reddell on Lee Perry & sonic wordplay is the man in that quadrant.
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