Most of the time I’m a pretty bad tourist. I have no patience for cathedrals (an overdose of backpacking in Europe, methinks) and stuffy museums. I take an entire day to trawl one area that Lonely Planet says would take most people only half of a morning. I have none of the exhilaration of tourists who must make the most of their day and wake up by 7am to take it all in; I’m usually up around the 11am mark. And the things that interest me most wouldn’t even find their way into the footnotes of any tourist itinerary: random streets that remind me of streets in another country, an abundance of autumn’s orange and gold, national flags fluttering in the wind, railway tracks, old publishing houses, textures and shapes on buildings and ships, abandoned buildings, strangers having coffee on the sidewalk, wildflowers and the shape wind makes on water… you get my drift. Thankfully Old Montreal and the Old Port provided plenty of that. And yes, I did take an entire freakin’ day to slowly meander through the romantic streets and daydream about being in Paris again.

But sometimes I think I’m an excellent fobby tourist. When it comes to food, that is. I’d no sooner race my way to the nearest Tim Hortons for hot chocolate in a takeway cup, just because C said it was the “Canadian equivalent of Starbucks“, and I’d pick the pho restaurant Lonely Planet lists in its recommendation section even if it has a dubious name like Pho Bang New York. You know, just so I can say D and I had dinner at a place that did right even by Lonely Planet.