Back to my Montreal photos (of which there is still a sizeable few hundreds to go through!). I'm really aiming to go through as many photos as possible in the next 2 weeks since it's the last 2 weeks of my relatively hassle-free period of electives. After that will be a major reality check as I move on into final year. Absolutely dreading it with each day that passes. But in the meantime, I'm having a good time these days - baking a lot :D, attempting to increase my repertoire of dishes that I can cook (which is an easy feat, since it used to be close to zero), spending time with my mum and sis who both came back from their vacation just a few days back... I just wish I had more time for everything, you know?
But back to the topic at hand. Montreal has 4 major public markets, all of which are great tourist attractions. :D The largest and most famous one would have to be Jean-Talon Market. When I was in Montreal from early March to May, it was still around the end of winter moving into early Spring, so unfortunately, the outdoor part of the market hadn't been set up yet. It took me a few weeks to realize that the outdoor market wasn't in full swing only because it wasn't the right season/weather yet, rather than because I was always there too late in the afternoon. (It took me one painful attempt at waking up early in the morning to go to the market to realize that fact!) Apparently, around the time that I left in mid May, they were just starting to open up the outdoor section of the market. SIGH. Next time, go when Spring is in full bloom!!
Aren't the colors just gorgeous? :) I was so happy just snapping away and admiring all the vibrant colors of the fruits and vegetables for sale. Of course I looked like a typical tourist but who cares when there are so many moments to capture!
I love tomatoes. :D Especially when you can still the vines attached. I've come to realize that one of my favorite sensations is using my fingers to dig out the seedy inner pulp of a cold tomato that's just been taken out of the refrigerator. Just one of those things. Don't over-think it.
Left: The famous gelateria -- Havre-aux-Glaces. Every single Tourism-related website/blog with Montreal food recommendations will tell you to go here. They have a ton of unique flavors, and during that time they had maple syrup gelato of course! But I remember going for something else...citrusy. :)
Right: A store next door selling a gazillion types of condiments. Let's think about the Ifs. If I spoke French/If I lived in Montreal/If I could go to Jean-Talon Market every weekend to get my groceries and go into this store to ask about the condiments/sauces/oils etc that I need... OH JOY.
Left: One thing I really miss about Montreal is how it's such a bicycle-friendly city. :) If only Singapore could devote some money into create bicycle paths around the city. But I know it's so much harder to do with a city as densely populated with both humans and cars. Singaporean drivers are NOT friendly to cyclists. And the weather is too damn hot and humid to make cycling around enjoyable for the average, non-masochistic triathlete.
Right: My gelato! :) A teeny cup worth.
MMM. And one thing you absolutely have to do if you go to Jean Talon Market is to check out one of the Première Moisson outlets that's right outside the main market. It's one of the famous chain bakeries in Montreal and like a lot of the locals say, even though it's a chain, it still makes hell of a lot of awesome bread. Apparently their olive bread is really good but I only tried some of their croissants and tarts. This one above is a MAPLE SYRUP croissant. :) I assumed it was only available during that time because it was the sugaring off season. Plus, the lady behind the counter told me it was a crowd-favorite. I didn't really pick up much French when I was in Montreal (though it would've been the perfect place to learn!) because everyone was so freakishly/effectively bilingual, but I did learn to recognize that something with --> D'ERABLE meant that there was maple syrup inside. :D
A great moment that day was simply sitting on a bench outside the market, munching on my gelato, enjoying the music played by these very talented buskers. There were quite a few people sitting around on the pavement, mothers with their children (some of whom were actually cycling around in circles! :D), elderly men and women taking a rest after doing their grocery shopping, teenagers just lolling around... It was a great feeling to be a part of something - something as simple as a group of people taking things slow and enjoying the little pleasures in life together.