The next day I went to the Biodome which is a collection of enclosed ecosystems that were made out of part of the old Olympic complex from when they had the games back in '76. You start out in the tropical rainforest, then you head to the laurentian forest, st. lawrence marine ecosystem the arctic and then the antarctic (aka penguins behind glass looking adorable).
It also seemed that the ecosystems got smaller as you went through the museum. The most impressive was the tropical rainforest, which was like the one in the Baltimore Aquarium, but a lot bigger. I learned that even though the Scarlet Ibis and the Roseate Spoonbill (which I think was shown in The Princess and the Frog) eat similar foods in and live in the same area, their radically different method of hunting helps the other out and so they can live in peace in the same spot. Hooray for education! There also a very domesticated Common Trumpeter that would just chill out on the path, but don't worry, there were a bunch of signs that told people not to touch or feed the birds.
From the Biodome I went to Atwater to meet up with Dannit for my tour of the city via car. While waiting for her to pick me up I couldn't help but notice the restaurant "Guido and Angelina" -a small Italian chain. I wonder if the term Guido isn't offensive in Canada or what the deal is.
While in the car I explained to her how I went to Rubens on Saint Catherine Street* and got a bagel and cream cheese. It came on a bed of lettuce with a ball of cream cheese in the center with the bagel cut into 4 and set up as arches pointing away from the cream cheese. She said that was an inexcusable first experience with a Montreal bagel so she took me to get a good one at Fairmont Bagels (we aren't supposed to like the other bagel guys, St. Viateur. It's like a Pats vs Genos thing- but healthier).
Then we went to some neighborhood in the north of the city that I would have never thought to visit on my own and had some amazing Indian food. I think that was the moment I realized Montreal was a worthwhile place. She took me to the top of Mont Royal (the view from the University of Montreal is better) and showed me the place where she and her friends would hang out in high school. Getting there involved climbing through a hole in a fence on the far side of a cemetery...I think that was a little off the beaten tourist path.
It was absolutely freezing so we decided that it was time for me to check out the big underground mall where people go to shop and get away from the cold. It is exactly what it sounds like. I don't really like malls and it was extremely crowded so I decided to focus on the fact that I was having a Montreal experience. We poked our heads into a book store and I investigated to see if there was a price difference between an English self-taught book and the same book but for French. I thought there might be a difference as the Quebecois government wants to encourage the use of French so I thought they might subsidize the French book. I was wrong- they were the same price^.
She decided to invite her friends to her house for an impromptu unusual cheese party. Which is how I ended up at an Anglophonic Montreal Unusual Cheese Party. It was pretty fun except I believe that her dog (an old golden retriever) is evil and hates me. Maybe it's just a Golden Retriever thing and that when they get old their eyebrows droop which makes them look evil. I don't know, I'm not a dog person.
All in all one of the more random days I've had and it was pretty fun.
*when speaking in English you say the street name in English although you still pronounce the street Saint Dennis the French way even if you are speaking in English.
^Although I should have gone to check them out and see if there was a difference in the tax. Maybe the French self-taught book was tax exempt. Next time I'm in Montreal I'll try to remember to check that out....and yes, I am that dorky.