Landing in Montreal was weird. I’ve moved to this leafy, vibrant city twice before. This third move comes after a four year hiatus. I loved living here the other times, but it is a difficult transition. Suddenly, from being on top of the world, the cool travellers who live each day as it comes, we were unemployed and homeless locals starting life from scratch. Plus, I had forgotten about 90% of my french so I speak like the most boring 10 year old in the world.
However, we had a list of stuff to do and got straight to it. In the first week we managed to find a flat and go on the ritual trip to Ikea to buy the minimum amount of furniture possible.
I unpacked all 5 of my pieces of clothing and bought winter boots. I emptied my rucksack from travelling, scraping out the half-forgotten detritus of the trip: a rumpled straw hat, a ticket for the Trans-Mongolian, anti-sickness pills, a horseshoe thrown from a farm horse in Bagan, a cocktail of sand from Jordan, Sri Lanka, Bali and Vietnam. It already feels distant but these things, pieces of rubbish, prove to me that it did actually happen.
It is now job searching time. I’ve become a professional networker with over-ambitious business cards that I basically throw at people as I enter and leave a room. They flutter in the air behind me like confetti wherever I go. There is a grand total of one job I am qualified to apply to on the market at the minute so am having to be imaginative. I’ve got my elevator pitch down to a 1 minute solo performance and I am that creepy person who connects with you on LinkedIn in less than five hours after meeting you.
Montreal has transitioned from its early bright autumn – with leaves glowing bright reds, yellows and oranges – into it’s later, rainy, dark and blustery version of this season.Cue Game of Thrones reference to the imminent onset of winter.