Saturday, March 20, 2010

So why create a blog circa 8 weeks before the adventure begins?

Well, of course, because it's me. Over-organized, planoholic me. But also because travelling and moving someplace else encompasses so much more than the journey itself. Even if you are not from the Grabs family (and jeez, we are planners...), you do need to get things figured out in due time, and battling with bureaucracy and administration can easily take weeks, if not months. I realized that when we moved to Canada... fortunately, there was no blog there for that odyssey cause honestly, I'd rather forget about all that sweat and stress. But this time, since it's my personal adventure, visa applications, study permits, ticket reservations and the lot just need to be part of the memory. On that note, I just received an e-mail from the Russian language center that our invitation letter - needed to apply for the visa at the Embassy here - will be ready in one month. ONE MONTH?? I'm leaving in approximately 7 weeks! I'm trying to fast-track that process now from here, although I'm not sure how successful that will be. I think that even so, I might just have enough time to get my passport with my visa ready here before May 14th. It'll be stressful though, and that was what I wanted to avoid at all costs - stress. That will also be the time where I'm packing up my life here, packing suitcases and backpacks for a year and a half, taking finals... It will be a fun time to say the least. Yet, without the visa, I won't be able to travel into Russia - so it better arrive in time! Otherwise, I'll have to rethink my summer...
Oh yes, this is also why I wanted to start blogging now - this whole process is rather stressful, and might make me forget about life here because in my head, I'm already on the road/apartment hunting in Paris/missing my flight to St. Petersburg... I worry too much. So, I want to show my favorite things in MONTREAL as well, because - let's face it - it's an awesome city on its own. Sometimes, I feel like we don't appreciate it enough since we live here and have everything available all the time.
#1 of my favorite things in Montreal:

Eva B.! This awesome second-hand store on St. Laurent just below Sherbrooke is hands-down my favorite store in the city. The layout is crazy, ...

... there are mannequin pieces everywhere, and they always offer you a free espresso or tea when you come in!

...that is, if you don't mind having tea with a mannequin as well. No, the prices are good, you can find crazy deals, and the upstairs is a costume rental service! What more could you want?

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