Sunday, August 22, 2010

41. Go to Montreal for Rogers Cup and Poutine

A cool thing about the 52 New Things project is that it has made me discover I have friends with a spontaneous streak I never knew about. My friend and colleague Paul is an excellent example in that regard. He was one of the many I solicited for suggestions when I embarked on this project, and he's been coming up with ideas ever since. We're also both morning people and usually see each other at 6 am at the Y when we're both exercising as well. So it wasn't very surprising last Sunday when I got a message from Paul a little before 6 am asking whether I wanted to go to Montreal for a new thing (watching a professional tennis tournament, the Rogers Cup) that day. And with such an original and unexpected suggestion, the answer must obviously be yes.

I go to Montreal very rarely -- and when I go the question that floods my head is why is that? It's only an hour and a half away; it's a chance to go to another country and hear a different language spoken; and Montreal is such a cool city. I've officially resolved to start going more often.

In the meantime, my report for last Sunday is that it was a most excellent day. Apparently, every year the Rogers Cup that is hosted in Montreal switches which gender is hosted and 2010 was a womens' tournament. I know pretty much nothing about tennis, much less professional tennis, so it was all new to me when we were watching the elimination rounds. But since they were elimination rounds, there weren't a ton of spectators, and in fact, we got to attend for free (always a bonus). Plus, when you're not watching the rounds you can walk around and watch professionals playing practice games with each other (although once again, the only way I knew someone was famous was by the size of the autograph seekers around them).

For me, equally exciting was my chance to try that great French Canadian contribution to the world of junk food, poutine. I was mentioning them to a friend and he said "Oh, gravy fries." But that misses the point. Yes, they're gravy fries but it's the cheese curds that make them extra-bad-for-you and consequently extra-delicious. My recommendation: go to Montreal, hit the Rogers Cup (especially if you, like us, can do it for free) and most importantly, get some poutine (if you're a vegetarian, see if there's a fries plus cheese curd only option -- that's my plan for next time). I think you'll be glad you did.

52 Ways to Say I Love You

In Finnish, with a big thank you to my brother in law Brian's father, Pat, for once again coming through with yet another translation for me.

Hello Hei/Terve
Goodbye Nakemin
I love you. Mina rakastan sinua
May I have two beers please. Saisinko kaksi olutta kiitos

Coming Attractions

Next weekend is the last one before classes start on Monday, August 30. So, I'm planning to do two New Things in one weekend:

Camel's Hump Summer Dark and Dawn Hike, Saturday, August 28 at 2 am. The plan is for everyone to meet at my place and do the Burrows Trail hike together. This is a reschedule from July, when it got rained out, and many of the students and former students who were in on the first one are doing this one. If you want in, let me know.

Bike ride to Hero's Welcome. Sunday, August 29. I've taken the bike ferry before, but this is the furthest bike ride I will have ever taken. My friend Gary had done a slightly shorter one than this earlier this summer and was disappointed that his friends didn't want to go all the way there, so we've decided to bike it together next Sunday. Since the only bike riding I've done this entire summer was at Cambridge with my friend Jerry, I'm not sure how I'll do, but hopefully it will be a fun challenge.

Ice skating! I was going to go ice skating with my friend Michelle today, but that fell through. I'm dying to get back into it, though, and Michelle is game, as is Ali, who just brought her skates back up from New Hampshire. The rinks should be starting Fall hours soon, which means a lot more public skating possibilities. If you want to go, let me know.

Rock climbing. I made a big decision this week when I finally got to climb outside, and that is that this week I am going to buy my own harness and climbing shoes. So, if there are people that want to practice at Petra climbing gym with me on evenings or weekends, just let me know!


  1. As I already said -- there seems to be some cosmic unfairness if you are in Denmark and Sweden when I am in Montreal and then you up and go to Montreal 3 days after I leave there, but I am glad you had a good time!

  2. I want to go to Montreal more often too. Siham, grab your green card!!