Exactly six months ago, the moving trucks pulled into our laneway and packed away our entire life's collection of things in sixty minutes or less. We bid goodbye to a comfortable life in a city that we knew, full of friends and familiarity, in exchange for a city that most decidedly was not.
In Ottawa, I just *knew* things. Need late-night pizza? Skip the Gabriels and order from Lorenzo's. Want a good vet? Dr. Black at Centretown Vet Clinic (seriously, I cannot recommend her enough). Fastest way to MEC? Don't take Wellington / Richmond unless you like moving as slowly as molasses. It was just stuff. Unimportant, but the information and tidbits that get you through your daily life and make you a local.
Arriving in Montreal was like an empty slate. I was the furthest thing from a local. Need a vet that can treat your cat's weird chronic condition without it turning into a research project/science experiment? Good freaking luck, even with two hours of googling. Need a 2am pizza to satiate your Ottawa visitors after a late night out? In your dreams! Need some picture-hanging wire? Don't even go there. At six months... Montreal has still left me with gaps I cannot fill and things I cannot find.
With every passing day Montreal gets a little more familiar. It's not quite *home*, but I feel more like I belong here. Though on the flip side, Ottawa is no longer home either. I am presently home-less, except for Halifax.
It's fall in the city, and it's beautiful and crisp. Perfect weather for gloves and scarves and layers, rosy noses and early morning bixi rides giving way into oh-so-sweltering subway rides. I am conjugating my Ãªtre's and avoir's with diligence (and a hefty dose of "oh god WHAT IS THAT WORD in FRENCH?" thrown in with regularity), and still ordering my morning coffee en anglais (Starbucks, the French edition is seemingly impossible to get right). I am even recommending restaurants to visitors. And to locals. And they're good!
While it is not home, yet, it is almost. And it gets better every day.
Except the driving. OH don't even get me started on the driving!