Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Montréal Part 5: Getting To The Show

31 October 2006
The majority of this day is a blur. I've been sleeping well at night, but it's simply not as restful as my own bed. I've been struggling to complete a freelance assignment I've brought with me in the form of an interview tape, but I feel unfamiliar with the subject I need to cover (commercial insurance), so attempts to write are pretty fruitless.

Did I just absentmindedly switch to first person? Oh well.

I carefully watch my diet, avoiding all foods that have been problematic in the past. I decline Marie's gracious offer to teach me how to use the coffee maker because I don't want to consume any more milk products before I lay eyes on my home throne. It occurs to me that the water is the problem, as many places have safe but troublesome bacteria to which foreigners need to develop an immunity. While I have no doubt this is only a temporary problem, it couldn't happen at the worst time, but I suck it up.

A few hours before the show, Marc-O discovers that the doors open at 7:00 where we previously thought 8:30, so we expedite our preparations. When offered the choice between local products and a microwave pizza, I choose the latter for precautionary reasons. Stupidly, I also take tap water to wash it down.

I change the clothes because I feel a little ill and think that new linen against my body might make me feel a little cleaner, not that I'm particularly dirty. Beyond that, I make the transition from stuck-up hipster to rabid fanboy, swapping khakis and a sweater for jeans and a Fiery Furnaces tee.

Marc-O and I take it to the streets and walk at a fair clip until we see the bus we intend to catch pulling away from the stop. We then proceed to the next most reasonable waiting place, but it seems we miss that one too. Unlike the night of the Love Is All show, it's not raining, but it certainly isn't warm out. We stand amidst a woman that appears close to our age, an older lady who seems confused, and two thugs. Others gradually join us.

Many buses approach, but most of them aren't in service (désolé). Supposedly, we're near a bus depot where they gather at the end of their shifts. This being Halloween, we see a few people in costume. Marc-O notes an interesting expression backwards on the windshield of a Jeep that pulls up to a red signal light: If you can read this, roll over. Oh Jeep owners, I bet people in sedans get just as many blow jobs. Silly, silly Jeep people.

Finally, an active bus stops at the curb and we're on our way. Of course, it's packed and we have to stand, but we're en route to seeing Deerhoof and the Furnies. I'm definitely psyched. We get to the venue, La Tulipe, to find that the doors won't open until 7:30. Isn't it great when people are disorganized. We later find out that they're waiting for the organizer or someone important. I spot some vans out front with New York plates, so I assume the bands are already inside, which of course they must be. Nevertheless, Marc-O and I have time to kill, and he suggests we cross the street to observe the exciting world of bingo. I tell him that it's a senior citizen's game, but he's never attended a session, so we make our way to the festivities. An irate security guard kicks us out within a minute, as soon as he discovers we aren't there to actually play, but just to conduct a pseudo-behavioural study on the people who live in Canada's cultural hub but spend their time watching balls drop from a big jug. Still, I'm sure this is less of a ripoff than the casinos.

We follow that riveting experience with a trip to an outlet store that no doubt houses the city's worst collection of used CDs. Marc-O and I make a contest of who can find the most copies of Monster, but we tie at three apiece.

When we return to La Tulipe, we find a larger crowd, and we have to wait until nearly 8:00 before anyone can enter the building. As we're chilling in the autumn weather, one of the clerks from Atom Heart drops by with a lady friend. We spend a few minutes joking about bingo and other miscellany, and then we finally get inside and secure a table.


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