Outnumbered in Montreal


Have you ever felt outnumbered? I mean really outnumbered?

While visiting  my son the past couple of days in Montreal, I found myself alone in the apartment this morning, and needing what I usually need as soon as I wake up, I discovered that there was NO COFFEE on the premises! Well, to tell the truth, there was a little bag of chocolate flavored coffee at the back of the cupboard that my son took from my place about three years ago, but that was all.

I knew that if I didn’t get some caffeine in me soon, I would be burdened with a huge headache. (This is addiction at its finest).

So off I went to explore the neighborhood…that early in the morning there wasn’t much open, but I did find a nice little Indian grocery where the owner told me to go ‘next door’ to get a coffee, as he didn’t have any in his shop. ‘Next door’ turned out to be the Greek-Canadian Club. I didn’t really care, as I needed that coffee.

I boldly opened the door and walked in. The place was packed. Tables and chairs were scattered about with hardly a free seat. People were playing cards, drinking coffee and in general, having a nice morning visit.

And then I stopped; every head in the room turned to look at me…every Greek, male, grey head, that is. Imagine being so outnumbered! I’m not Greek; I’m not male; and I’m not grey (well for all intents and purposes).

Standing there, on the threshold of running out the door or getting that prized coffee, I hesitated but for a moment and then continued my walk to the back of the place where another grey haired man was just brewing a fresh pot.

We chatted for a moment and then I left with my 1$ coffee, steaming hot, in a Styrofoam cup. Success! Every head in the place turned to watch my exit, and then they resumed their card playing.

I went back to the Indian grocery store to thank the man and to pick up a few oranges. Three for 1$ looked pretty good to me. Back in Nova Scotia, they would have been 1$ each. With his cigarette, he pointed to my coffee.

“You have coffee, and I have cigarettes; each one to his addiction”, he said.

No kidding ‘eh?

Only in Montreal. I love it!

10 thoughts on “Outnumbered in Montreal

  1. Your story reminded me of travelling through the Greek countryside 20 odd years ago and when we passed through the narrow streets of a village our female Greek tour guide said: “And if you look out the window to the right you will see what Greek men do… while women do all the work.” Sure enough, an outside cafe brimming over with men drinking coffee! Tim A.

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  2. You’ll have to give me the scoop on Montreal. Going at the beginning of May. What should I be sure to see in downtown Montreal???

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    • There is SO much to see! Start with a tour of Old Montreal and l’Eglise Notre Dame; have lunch on a little terrace. Go up to St Joseph’s Oratory…so beautiful, and go inside. You will be awed. Take a walk up Mount Royale and get a splendorous view of the city. Go to Chinatown, Little Italy, the Latin Quarter…how much time do you have??

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  3. hahaha.. I could visualize you walking into a saloon, swinging cafe doors flapping behind you as you enter.. every male (cowboy hatted head )turns. Howdy pardner. got any coffee!!.. hehehehe. Talk about being out of your element but Coffee prevails, headache averted, going to be a good day!

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  4. Great adventure, honey! I was walking with you the whole way into the greek club. I miss you! Tell more of your adventures, I love hearing them.

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  5. Never without my coffee…I often feel like I am standing in front of a group at an AA meeting…”Hi…I’m Peach State and I’m an Coffee addict!” they of course shout back “Hi Peach State!” as they lift their coffee cups in agreement.
    Peach State

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