“The Penniless Pensioner: Misaligned, Maligned but Marvellous” : Chapter 11: My Routine at McGill University

Being accustomed to a certain standard of living I chose lodgings equivalent to my standing in life. Being humble I rented the Presidential Suite at the Four Seasons in Montreal on Sherbrooke Street 8 minutes from the majority of my classes in the Leacock Building.

I have a spectacular view from my window of Mont Royal and when the fall colours hit it is a wonder to behold. I’ll take it over the Taj Mahal any day.

I have all the amenities I need. Swimming pool, steam room and a gym. I am up for breakfast which I prepare myself as I have a kitchen in my suite. A cup of organic green tea, fruit in season and two slices of whole wheat toast. On Saturday and Sunday morning I have a big breakfast delivered to my room and read the New York Times and Montreal Gazette savouring a big pot of tea.

Saturday after working until 15:00 hours or so it is culture time so I may go to the McCord Museum or Musee des Beaux Arts or wherever there is a worthy exhibit. Saturday night it may be an obscure artsy film showing at the McGill Film Society or the Greene Cinema. Occasionally I will go out with fellow students to Thompson House for some beer and peanuts. If there is a good jazz show at Didi Boucel’s Club in Vieux Montreal I might go there. I have seen Stan Getz, Gato Barbieri, Sony Rollins, John Mayall and many others.

Sundays is my mandatory walk up to Beaver Lake on Mont Royal and a stroll clear across to Park Avenue where I usually stop for a late lunch of souvlaki at Arahova Restaurant. If I have any energy left I may walk up and get some bagels at Fairmont Bagel Bakery. Just baked they are one of the 7 wonders of the world.

During the week it is class to class and lots of assignments and papers to work on. I have managed to stack all my classes so Fridays are free. I use this time to volunteer at the United Mutations Office researching specific issues as requested by Willie Montenez a big executive at United Mutations.

I play intramural hockey at McGill. A group of Indian students have created a team the Punjabi Pundits and quite frankly we stink. I am fast as hell and score a lot of goals but I am hell on wheels to watch. I mean in months I learnt how to skate. The United Mutations have a box at the Montreal Forum and occasionally I get to see Nos Glorieux play hockey in the shrine of all shrines for professional hockey.

My life is a peaceful and scholarly one.

It is difficult to make friends here but my slight British accent (rather Welsh from my late Mom) really attracts the ladies so there is no shortage of chatting and drinking 4th rate coffee from a machine. Occasionally I’ll ask one of these charming young ladies to Pam Pam restaurant on Stanley Street for Hungarian pastries and a café au lait. After my Minah incident though I wonder if these Montreal Girls are poison.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food ,drink, travel, film, and lifestyle issues. He also has published serialized novels "Life at Megacorp", "Virus # 26, "Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog" and "The Penniless Pensioner" Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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