6 years ago today, I arrived in Montreal to live permanently. I was 35 and we arrived with 2 boxes, 2 suitcases, 1 computer and our dog. It hasn't taken long to fill every nook and cranny in the house with crap, you would never believe we "started" accumulating just 6 years ago. And while I miss the proximity of family and good friends enormously, Skype and frequent visits to California have lessened the pain somewhat. I can't imagine wanting to live anywhere else than here, so I must be in the right place. If only there was no February on the calendar.......
10. No car! A car is more of an impediment here than anything. No tickets, registration, insurance, horns, accidents. Letting other people drive is really the way to go. Luckily, with public transportation so efficient, one doesn't need to be wealthy enough for a private chauffeur.
9. All the terrible "fried and fatty" foods that we learn to shun in California are staples here. No more guilt over french fries. (In fact, we build whole MEALS around them.)
8. Dedicated bike paths. The city is riddled with them. I've timed it, and I can beat the bus on my bike.
7. The question is not "if " you give to beggars, it's "how".
6. Going to the doctor costs nothing.
5. I speak two languages, as do most denizens of the city. I can't explain exactly how that translates to tolerance, but it does.
4. The city takes pride in and supports its gay population and activities.
3. Summer in Montreal is a two month party. Seriously. (and yes, summer lasts two months here)
2. Smoking might be harmful to your health, but it doesn't make you low class. (yet)
1. You can still rent a one bedroom apartment for yourself for under $500. Electricity included. (If we go broke on real estate, we can always rent a cheap apartment!)