Montreal is cool. Even when the temperature is minus 40, there’s something in the city that always warms my heart. When I was 19 I went there to spend four months. I ended up staying two years, and was really sad I could no longer stay. I ended up moving to Toronto, thinking that it would be just as cool. But it wasn’t. It’s hard for a city to be as cool as Montreal.

When I lived in Montreal, people would often tell me that they’d seen me walking all by myself with a big smile on my face. I was much grumpier in Toronto. I don’t know whether the difference was in the actual place, or in my life circumstances; whether the external or internal landscape.  But there’s something about Montreal that makes me at easy within minutes of my arrival, no matter how stressed I am on my way there.

I lived in Toronto for much longer, and made more friends there. But Montreal always made me feel more at home. I wonder whether I would have decided to return to Brazil if I’d stayed there. There’s no way to know.

The closest friends I had when I lived in Montreal actually lived in Campinas, Brazil. Even though they were so far away, they were the people with whom I shared all my adventures and new experiences in Canada.

It’s then an interesting coincidence that about the time last year that I decided to return to Brazil, independently of one another they both ended up moving to Montreal. I must have said good things about the place. 

I wonder what it would have been like if we had manage to live in Montreal all at the same time. This was all that I wanted when I lived there. But who knows: maybe we needed to go separately, so that each could get most out of the experience.

Impossible to know. But I was happy to spend a few days in Montreal in this winter visit to Canada. Montreal always makes me nostalgic, and now that my friends from back when are living there, the feeling of nostalgia was even more intense. There’s no way of knowing what would have happened if what actually happened hadn’t happened. Subjunctives are merely subjunctives, and the variables are many. But to see people who knew me back at a time when I walked down streets with a broad smile on my face and to walk those smile-inducing streets did me a lot of good. And I mean it not in the subjunctive. I mean real, actual, tangible good. Which is one of the best kinds of good.


2 responses to “Montreal

  1. Pingback: Sudden Changes « Ester’s Blog

  2. Hi – I just came by your journal entry while doing a search on WP for Montréal entries. I’m from Toronto and moved here almost three years ago, and everything you said is true. There really is a certain kind of magic here. Toronto can be very, very overwhelming and oppressive.

    Nice entry!

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