So that’s it. Four months as an exchange student in Montréal, OVER. Somehow I got back home again, to Dutchland. I still can’t stop wondering why. I’m back to the old life, shit weather, dead town, everything too familiar, too much work for uni, working and everything I was happy to leave when I went to Montréal. I have the feeling that I’ve been there for just a month, and there are still way too much things I wanted to do while I was there. And I’ve just started making new friends there! Honestly, I’m homesick, I don’t want to be here. I always wondered how it’s possible how people can get a depression, but I think I’ve just found out one of the ways to get one. Finish your exchange period and you’ll know what I mean! And I still got so much money left, I could as well just go back..
Next morning my alarm goes off, another depressing day to go. I feel like I want to be dead, when I suddenly realize a noise. Sounds quite familiar actually, sounds quite like the noisy fridge in the kitchen next to my bedroom.. my bedroom.. at Avenue du Mont-Royal! And when I open my eyes (I don’t see anything actually with my -6 eyes plus cylinder but whatever), I slightly perceive something that looks like my room in Montréal. And by the time I realize that my duvet isn’t a duvet, but four thin sheets that are supposed to work as a duvet (but don’t), I’m sure: I didn’t go anywhere. I’m still here, in Montréal, safe and sound, in the nicest neighborhood of the city. I just had a ridiculously horrible nightmare! Thank god! And in case you wonder why ‘ridiculously horrible’, I’ll tell you.
To start, I think I got one of the sweetest apartments! Although the apartments and houses here at the plateau are all very sweet. They got a certain charm, from the outside they look small and old, and from the inside they’re huge (or at least bigger than you would expect) and very very cozy. And so is mine. To continue, I’m very happy with my flat mate(s). I definitely could have got it worse, like in my first week here, with someone who just wouldn’t stop talking; Literally (and not the North-American “literally”, but the Dutch “literally”!). Furthermore, as I said before, the neighborhood is said to be the best/nicest/whatever-positive-word-you-wish. It’s true. And I’ve got everything in this street; bars, Starbucks, sex shops, restaurants, supermarkets, dollar stores, laundry-washing stores, pharmacist, drugstores, clothing stores, (second hand) bookstores and so on. And guess what, the metro station is not even a two-minute walk from here!
So far my housing situation. Secondly, there’s the city. “You’ll love Montréal” is what everyone said to me before I came and when I told people that I just arrived. The first week I didn’t really get why, because there is not so much touristy stuff going on here. And it’s not that I saw spectacular buildings or any other attractions. It was just a big city which doesn’t make you feel like you’re in a big city. So after a little while, I came to realize that it’s not what you see that makes you love the city, but what you experience, what you feel. It might sound a bit weird, but it’s so true. And I can’t tell you what exactly it is that defines ‘the vibe’ of this city, but it must have something to do with the European looks and the hardly noticeable American influences, the friendly people, the Canadian climate (hardly rain until now and still no coat necessary!), the liveliness and just being in Montréal. This city is huge, but people totally don’t have the ‘metropolis behavior’. French and friendly.. Rare combination, but I like it.
And then, last but not least; the student life! I must admit, before I came here I never really experienced THE student life. I mean, I went to uni, got stressed in exam weeks, got haunted by procrastination and every once in a while I enjoyed a few beers, sometimes I even got drunk, but that’s it pretty much. And then I went on exchange and everything changed. AND I LOVE IT! A whole city to explore, or a whole country or even a whole continent if you wish! I’ll be making so much trips to all the cities and curiosities around here. And it’s awesome, you meet the nicest people on trips like that! Last weekend I’ve been to Toronto with the international student association from our uni (CISA) and suddenly there was a whole new group of friends established! So I’m really looking forward to making even more trips and meeting more fun people. And, I never did that before – because it wasn’t necessary- but here I’m sort of hunting for $-beer parties or any other occasion where there’s cheap beer. And I wish I could bring all the cheap and awesome restaurant with me to Dutchland, they are amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever had so much good food! Furthermore I really enjoy the socializing part of the student life, like meeting people on trips, going for a beer or food like three times a week, playing football (soccer for you bloody Americans!) twice a week. And playing it here is a thousand times better than at home; you know it’s not very serious, but nevertheless everyone is very committed and it’s a feast if we win. I’m very not looking forward to play soc- .. football when I’m back home, because it will never be so much fun as it is here. I simply love it.
So. That’s (just in short) why it would be a nightmare to go home right now. I would never ever want to miss out on all these amazing experiences, whether it has to do with sports, with making new friends or simply enjoying a stupid beer (with the best Indian food