Remarkably different emotion to be received at an international airport and guided around by your son…..equally emortional when it’s time to say good bye .Deepa couldnt hold back the tears in her eyes.Dont blame her !!
Shirish has expensive and very refined taste and hence usually took us to classy eating joints and shops.We didnt mind this as it surely was much better to give him an opportunity to dine well , with us.. it would have been less than acceptable if we were subsisting on fast foods and saving money for sight seeing and purchases of gifts and souveniours.Just as it was to be a great occassion for us , so did we want to make it for him also a memorable visit.In the end we managed our resources reasonably well , had a great time and carried back truely wonderful memories, in his own way Shirish had ensured this for us .
We dined at reasonably classy places and tasted or should I say gouged on an international cuisine which included Japenese, Chinese,Mexican ,Italian & Canadian food. No Indian food at all for us on this trip .
Our first breakfast was a typically large North American spread .You ended up being filled to the brim.The decor, the friendliness of the staff, and yet the sense of privacy made for a very pleasant experience.Shirish had ensured a good start for us !!!There was much more to follow such as the Italian spread at the Guido Angelina restaurant , the 3 Amigos Mexican food joint , a crepes speciality eatery at Quebec City ,reasonably priced Chinese food at China Town, Sushi at a Japanese restaurant and smoked meat , the Canadian speciality as per Shirish all made for the flavour of the visit!!
Bonjour .. the standard and charming greeting and most often with the intonation " may I help you" , is an enduring image etched in our minds, of friendly and courtious service where ever we went . Service with a smile is an extremely well cultivated art in the Quebec Region.How wonderful to experience friendly service .And when we responded with a "hi" or a "hello" , they would switch to english imediately with no drop in courtesy or friendliness. This is a place where tips are unabashedly asked for .. but then you dont mind a hefty tip when the service is so friendly .
Montreal mid town is very much a university town and the influence of McGill and the student community was every where .I had always assumed a cloistered University campus surround by high walls and lush lawns .Here the mid town and the university just seem to merge .I guess the university expanded a great deal over the years and so did the mid town and the two just collided !! We were very happy to see that Shirish was so comfortable in this international environment and was at home with the living style and scholarship needs of this university.Many we are told dont complete the engineering course and just drop out .. Shirish will be graduating with reasonably good grades and the assurance of a job at RIM , where he did a sixteen month internship .Valuable experience even befor ehe graduated !!
Our guided tour to the Quebec City along with Shirish was another great experience.This is a city we would have loved to spend at least a day more and explore and soak in the culture and ambience of the place. We didnt do too much of travelling around and sight seeing as we prefered to be with Shirish as much as possible .He managed his classes , assignment, extracuricular activites ( including a foot ball game which we witnessed ) besides looking after our needs admirably .Hats off to the guy!! And our son has turned out to be an acrobatic goal keeper of fairly good standing !!!
A unexpectedly memorable evening was when we saw the movie "Once" at the AMC Theatre complex ( 22 cinema halls in all ) .This was a very heart warming movie and perfectly in keeping with the nature of our holiday.
That a slice of us resides in Montreal makes it a very special place for us .