At six o’clock in the evening I met my friends from my initiation group at metro station Champs de Mars, just near the Vieux Port. The light was fading and flocks of seagulls waltzed against a pale gray-blue sky, and the lights of the port were starting to illuminate. We walked to an array of tents and stands with a goal in mind: to eat some incredible poutine at the four- night Poutine Fest.
For those of you who don’t know, poutine is a Canadian dish (Canadian, not just québécois) with a base of fries, a sauce sort of like gravy and BBQ at the same time, and cheese curds. However, to make the dish original any sort of topping can be added. At this festival, originality was sort of the game. I saw a BBQ poutine, Jägermeister poutine, italian poutine, pad thai poutine, and a ton of others. I myself got the pad thai poutine, and while it was good, I think I preferred my friend’s, which was bacon and maple syrup. I think I tried to go for the healthier option (it can honestly only get so healthy when the main ingredient is fries), but with poutine you just have to go for it I guess. A friend also bought me a queue de castor, or beaver tail pastry. It’s basically like fry-bread, and it had butter, lemon, and sugar . . . I was grateful when we got to walking and dancing that night.
Before going to find a club we stopped by an event nearby, close to the quai d’horloge. It was a free event with an electro DJ (repetitive beat, but acceotable) in the open air by the river. Some fire dancers were there too, along with really expensive beer stands. We danced for a while and watched the fire dancers, then headed out to find something else to do. I thought that the idea was cool, if only the music was better.
We walked quite a bit after that. I didn’t mind a whole lot after eating the poutine and the queue de castor, and plus the company was fantastic. I feel like we made a good bond with initiations; and honestly how could we not? Experiencing initiations is a pretty good ice-breaking and team spirit-building activity. One of our initiators took us by an ice cream place he works at even though it was closed to let us sample, then we danced at a place called Campus Café. Evidently it’s normally for younger people, like 17-20 year-olds, but the crowd seemed exactly our age and a little older. I would totally go back.
Around 2 a.m. we called an early night and took the buses home to Côte-de-Neiges, then set off on foot in separate directions. I walked with a friend going in the same direction under the light of the UdeM tower along Rue Jean Brillant, thinking how four weeks before I had felt so alone.