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More from Montreal

A good trip, just like Eric Peterson, refuses to die. Photos and stories emerge that deserve an airing, so here are some more observations of one helluva weekend.

Bussed Up
Aisha wrote about the bus journey last week, but this dead horse deserves repeated flogging. The best thing about the 10 hour trip in our bus was that it wasn’t the 24hr trip. Reports drifted in sporadically of the calamitous events on board Bus #3 – each more fantastic than the next. `They’re walking home’, `They’re playing strip poker – (let me on that bus!)’ and `They’ve started eating the tour guide’ etc. Back on Bus #1, we spent hours contorting our bodies in Harry Houdini-esque maneuvers to find comfort in the seats. Things were worsened by not being able to escape from the heinous movie, The Patriot, whereupon I, as a Brit, was held personally responsible for each act of barbary committed by my forebears on the tiny screen. At the end of the journey, I could empathize completely with every gory detail, and was looking around for a broadsword myself.

One of the organizers, Shari Hatch, OJ, who probably wished that she was anywhere but on unfortunate bus #3, commented on the trip up. “We had a bit of a tough time getting up there. But, once we reached Montreal, everyone did their best to party like rock stars to make the most of the trip. The bus ride does seem to be the big liability for this trip. We also had some problems with our tour company, and we will not be using them in the future. We are really thankful to everyone on Bus #3 for their patience and understanding.”

Bordering on Disrespect
One of the party almost found himself ejected from Canada after just five minutes, having entered into a prolonged exchange with the Canadian mounty at the border patrol. The subject of the discussion was unclear, but it appears that the officer’s inquisition as to the unidentified student’s birthplace and parenting brought forth a heated exchange.

French toast
The fact that Montreal was in Quebec, and thus French speaking, was a surprise to a number of people. The French contingent, generally among the more vocal, became even more animated at the prospect of mingling with their brethren, until they realized that even they could not begin to understand the nasal rendition of the Quebecois.

Muy buena vista – a social club
Looking round the empty city streets on a Saturday afternoon we concluded there was little going on in Montreal. We were proved emphatically wrong later that night at the Buona Notte restaurant on St. Laurent Street. As the HBS party entered this swish mecca of Canadian cool, the sound of chins hitting the floor was audible. The majority of staff and guests seemed to have been lifted direct from a GQ/Elle photo shoot. Needless to say, few people worked up the courage to approach these comely creatures. The place turned into a dance bar, and HBS showed the Canadians how the Bostonians dance.

Taxation representation?
On Sunday night, after some excellent skiing on Mount Sutton, HBS descended on Thursdays restaurant like a pack of wolves. Good food, and `slow but sure’ service ensued, and the HBSers paid the bill and made to leave. Their waiter, sniffing tearfully, quizzed one of the departing girls as to why he didn’t qualify for a tip. A confusion had occurred since Canada adds two line items for tax – one local and federal, and the diners thought the second T-word was a tip. It was pointed out to the waiter in no uncertain terms that this was his fault, as he should have surmised that a group from HBS would fail to work this out. However the charitable gang chipped in to give the waiter a generous pourboire.

A renaissance man
The Renaissance, our base, is a fine hotel, with friendly concierges. They enthusiastically promoted the delights of the town, and were knowledgeable about all aspects of the locale. When a girl from Section D asked where the best skiing was around here, the helpful chap responded, without a pause for breath, that most people tended to go to a place called Killington.

March 5, 2001
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