13 Mar 2000 zab   » (Master)

I got to the office on Friday and found that some friends were going to be visiting Montreal over the weekend. It was quickly decided that I was going to have to join them in looking for an apartment. An hour later we had train tickets and hotel reservations.

We had the good sense to travel VIA1. We wandered past the frightening march-break-fueled lines and into the Panorama lounge. After a half hour of leather-couched goodness we were let onto the train. We got one of the seating arrangements that sits four people around a fold-able table. The table proved to be quite handy for games of travel scrabble. I was only able to win a game after the bottomless booze had disarmed Jen and Tyla. I still can't believe she was able to play aioli after a few glasses of wine.

Saturday was a mad scramble to find housing. We grabbed the Gazette and started sifting through the rental section. We applied the usual filters. Apartments must be in downtown near transit, the office(s), and restaurants. Existing appliances are welcome and heating is essential. Would you believe they advertise apartments without heating in Montreal? I guess Yeti have to live somewhere. We started making phone calls and managed to schedule a few walkthroughs that afternoon. While the boys were messing about with maps and newspapers and such, the girls had the good sense to have a quick nap. If only we had a camera; the cutesy quotient was through the roof.

The first apartment we walked through wasn't bad at all. It had a nice terrace and had been well painted by the previous tenants. The second place we saw was just amazing. On the fourth floor of a townhouse it had exposed brick walls, a nice open ceiling with rafters, nicely redone hardwood, and a terrace and roof-top patio shared with the neighbor. Its located between St. Denis and St Laurant near Prince Arthur which makes it a good fifteen minute walk from both offices. Quick inspection of the neighborhood found a nice Thai place within crawling distance. That settled it. There was neither sealing nor delivering, but signing took place.

After a successful afternoon of apartment hunting we needed dinner. We met Adam at Queue de Cheval. Our waiter, Jacques (honest), was a pleasant mix of efficiency and outright silliness. The food was great; the sauce that surrounded the spring rolls had a healthy bite to it and the garlic roasted mashed potatoes were butterlicious. Predictably, I had the salmon. I can't help that I grew up on the Wilamette.

So yes, most of you have probably figured it out. All this time spent in Montreal is not by accident. I've accepted the Dream Job from Zero Knowledge Systems and start on April first. I'm going to miss the red hat crew terribly, but I have to go kick some internet-privacy ass.

I'm typing this on the the train back to Toronto. Completing our four-seater this time is our new actress friend who recommended some fabulous furniture shops in Montreal. We just finished the chocolate mousse deserts that punctuated the pasta salad and mass quantities of meat. We're somewhere in southern Ontario passing through a recently snow-dusted countryside under a blue sky. I'm going to take a nap.

Life is good.

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