So, the first day of my trip to Montreal is done. I don’t attend my first workshop until tomorrow, and the conference proper doesn’t even start until Saturday, but today involved lots and lots of travel. There were car rides to the local train station, then train rides to an even bigger train station, then the big big train ride to Montreal, and then (yes) another train ride to the hostel I’m staying at.
Did I mention that I had my purse, a laptop bag, and a third piece of luggage to juggle around across two cities? And that I (foolishly) decided to bring along my black trench coat? Or that it was very hot and humid in Montreal? And that to get to the lobby of the hostel, I had to climb a flight of narrow stairs? And, finally, did I mention that I have to PAY to use the lockers at this hostel? The one I went to last year in New York allowed travelers to secure the lockers using their own combination locks, so I thought it would be the case here (and so I bought a new lock when I couldn’t find the old one I’d been using since grade seven), but evidently not.
But I have persevered. Now, I am on top of a bunk bed in the basement of a hostel, with a belly full of very cheap and satisfying pub grub courtesy of Le Saint-Sulpice. Dinner involved meeting up with other editors from across the country (hailing from places as diverse as Halifax and Athabasca) and chatting, learning about their careers, and putting names to faces – and in some cases, faces to names. As the evening wore on, the weather cooled down and breezed up, and I managed to find my way back to the hostel from the restaurant all by myself, just trusting to my memory from the way there. As I walked up Rue St-Denis, enjoying the sounds of people chatting and realizing that I actually knew where I was going, I felt more independent than I had in a long, long time.