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Centre de Recherches Mathématiques — Part 1

May 12, 2012

“There’s a conference in CRM in Montreal from 7 May to 11 May!”

“Yeah, but Amanda and I have ECHO classes on Monday and there is a ceremony on Tuesday night!”

But that’s okay, we still plan on traveling to Montreal on Wednesday and see how much I can catch from the workshop/seminar that will be on till Friday.

For the next 48 hours, amidst classes on Monday and closing ceremony on Tuesday, my wife looked on the internet for the best and cheapest hotel in the city of Montreal in Quebec. In the end, I booked Quality Inn Midtown near to Station Plamondon.

The driving was long (9 to 10 hours) R offered to drive the first half and from what I calculated (becuase of the midway stop to have lunch in a Taiwanese restaurant in Syracuse) I think she ended up driving 3/4 of the entire journey if not 70%.

Two excitment happened along the way: the first was the sight of Thousand Island whilst crossing the border of US & Canada. The second was the entire switch from English to Français when we crossed the border of Ontario and Quebec.

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Even my favourite Time Horton:

R got nervous a little and quickly went back to her “Traveller’s French” to revise.  She did in this trip used a lot of “pouvez-vous parler anglais?” but other phrase like “eau s’il vous plaît” she practised many, many times but never quite came out of her mouth when she needed it.  My one and only favourite sentence is “Je ne parle pas français”.  Most signs and announcements on the subway, we have no idea what they meant.

But many times, like the one above, we just try to guess from the picture.  I would say it’s trying to say that we should not tie two dogs to a pole that has “No dogs allowed” sign.  And the one below:

I would guess is somewhere between:  “AVIS car rental company inside”, “No dog poops allowed”, or maybe “surveillance camera will be watching”.

But it seemed to be getting off to a good start.  We arrived at 7PM in the Hotel.  I wouldn’t exactly call it 3-star, its keyholder was just a photocopied piece of paper:

I suggested we go to Chinatown for food because if anything, I could use my broken Chinese/Cantonese, so we won’t be ordering the wrong food in a French-speaking only restaurant.

After dinner, Manda wanted some 龙须糖 but they closed right after we finished our dinner.  I assume in Europe, businesses close early, unlike Singapore or US.

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