Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Great Sunny and Warm North

That's Montreal today and prognosticated to be so all week. I'll be here through Wednesday for the International Conference on Communication in Healthcare. I'll let y'all know whatever great stuff happens here (I'm speaking twice so it can't be all bad), but meanwhile I just have my superficial impressions of the city to share.

As you may have heard, they are all kinds of uppity about their effete effeminate language. It's illegal to have signs in English. You're allowed to put English under the French, in smaller print, but for the most part they don't even bother to do that. You'll mostly hear French on the street, but everybody is able to speak English. Of course I'm in the hotel and the staff is so perfectly bilingual its painful.

Rue Ste. Catherine is a major commercial boulevard. You can get any kind of cuisine you want here -- pizza is very popular, the usual burgers, there's an arepa place, Middle Eastern, Greek, pan-Asian, sushi, you name it. Well, one kind of food that I have not seen on offer is French. You can't get that here. The sidewalks are wide and the vehicle traffic on the light side, but the restaurants are 100% indoors. Sidewalk cafes is not a happening thing.

Rather like Basel, the high end and low end businesses are all mixed up here. Fancy watches, high priced clothing, right next to lap dances. There are also a lot of slackers, idle young adults, in some cases openly panhandling for beer and drugs. Lots of tobacco smoking. An ethnic potpourri. Quite stimulating. Now I'm off to the opening session.

No comments: