A lot can happen in a year

I arrived here in Montreal one year ago on Friday.

A lot has changed.

Sometimes it’s good to sit back and take stock of all the things that have happened, and to think about all the things that one has to be thankful for. Things are generally pretty good now: I had a great job for the summer, I have great friends living in my building, and I was just talking with Pickles today and thinking about how much I appreciate her. I even have a TA-ship and an RA-ship lined up for this school year.

I’m TA-ing the introductory ethics course in the philosophy department this year, which will be exciting.

Things are different from the way they were a year ago. They’re different from what I expected, and certainly different from what I wanted, but I’m okay with the way things are.


Making chilli in our new kitchen
Making chilli in our new kitchen

When we moved, the cooler opened itself up in the back of the truck. We had packed in there all the unused food that we had in London and planned to bring to Montréal. So when we arrived, opened the back door of the truck and saw a single jar of freezer jam fall out and smash on the street, we were initially very concerned about rest of the contents of the cooler – where had they gone? Were they oozing into our mattress?

Fortunately, the spill was very local, but all the meats that we had packed were thawed. That sounds like bad news, but what it meant is that Pickles has been busy for the past day or so cooking up lots and lots of chilli. This is good news indeed.

Our new kitchen is a bit smaller than the old one, but as you can see in the photo, we can fit our chest freezer inside it, which we couldn’t do in our old place. Also, we have a brand-new stove here, and a reasonably new and clean refrigerator. There is a little pantry just to the side of our kitchen, where we can keep food that doesn’t need to be refrigerated, before we eat it, and so the fact that it’s a little smaller doesn’t mean that we’ll be too cramped in it or anything.

The movers

The top of the stairs at our new apartment
The top of the stairs at our new apartment

You wouldn’t think that our small apartment back in London would be able to hold very much stuff, but it turns out we filled a whole 17′ truck full of boxes, shelves, furniture, etc. I am very thankful that we started earlier than we had originally planned to. Not only that, but Nitro and the Mortons came to help out, which made the job of loading the truck in London do-able.

Our new apartment is on the 4th floor of an apartment building with no elevator. That’s a lot of stairs. Especially after loading everything into the truck, and driving the 8 hours from London to Stratford to Montréal.

So when we got here, and took stock of just how long it would take us to move everything up to the apartment, we decided we needed some help. My parents hired movers to carry our stuff up the stairs. Best investment of money yet. These guys had so much energy. They literally jumped up our stairs, two or more at a time, and slid down the bannister on the way back down. They carried all our boxes, furniture – everything up the stairs in about 2 hours. And they mentioned that they had already done one job that day, and were hoping for another.

We were marvelling at how intense the movers were for hours after they were gone. It was really something quite spectacular to see. Now, all we have to do is get all the stuff out of the boxes and put away.

Count your blessings

The courtyard for our apartment
The courtyard for our apartment

These past few days have been busy! We made it to Montréal, and at the request of many friends and family, I think I’m going to blog about it. I’m dead-tired right now, so I’m going to give a summary of a bunch of things that went really right, that easily could have gone otherwise. I will fill you in later with more of the details of what has happened recently.

  • We found our apartment in Montréal very quickly. We had allotted a week for apartment-hunting, but we ended up taking the 2nd one that we saw.
  • We negotiated a great deal on our apartment. And I mean a great deal. So good that our landlord called us back and called our demands “brutal.”
  • Our new apartment is right across the street from the Métro station, which puts us about 20 mins away from McGill.
  • When we got here, we discovered that we can actually see a grocery store from our apartment window. It’s just down the street from us.
  • We rented a truck to move our stuff to Montréal. On the U-Haul website, for an apartment, they recommended the 14′ truck for an apartment. Fortunately, the U-Haul people on Erie Street in Stratford were all out of 14′ trucks, so we rented a 17′ truck instead. This was good, because there was no way that all our stuff would have fit into a 14′ truck. No way at all.
  • I had a job interview the very day after we arrived in Montréal. (It was today, Friday, at 11h. I’ll write a post about how that went.)
  • When we arrived, we arrived a little bit before my parents, and the doorknob on the door wasn’t working, but we just happened to arrive at the exact same time as the man who does maintenance work in our building, and he helped us get into our apartment right then.
  • Just yesterday, when we stopped by Stratford to drop off some stuff, I got an email from McGill – I was offered a position as a Teacher’s Assistant!
  • We were originally planning on having my parents come by at 10h30 on Thursday to begin packing. Fortunately for us, they got the truck a day early, which meant that a bunch of friends could help us pack everything into the truck. There was a lot of stuff. It would have taken a long time to do it ourselves, and we would not likely have been able to do it all, and get to Montréal in time for my job interview.
  • Nicole had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for the morning that we left.
  • The weather was overcast and cool, but it didn’t rain.

There are a lot of other things that went right when they could have easily gone wrong, but those are the things that come to mind right now. Post below if you can think of any yourself.