We were about to buy me plane tickets out of Montreal, when we realized we looked at my passport and realized I could actually stay here for 6 months, not 3. So I'm going to be helping them out till the end of the Candidates tournament broadcast, it's expected to be huge. End of March. I still don't know what I'm going to do once I leave.
I wake up every day in the fear that I have slept the better part of the the day away- my sleep schedule is trash, and getting progressively worse. Since I've been here I've been sleeping at 2am and now I'm all the way to 6am, comfortably. I usually wake up around 1pm. I start off the day with a cup of coffee from a fancy coffee maker, check my rounds on my computer, and it turns out that Aman and/or Eric have already been up for awhile and are going to get lunch- my breakfast.
There's a few regular restaurants I visit regularly for lunch- a bahn mi shop, an indian food place, a burrito place that just closed down, a place that specializes in chicken sandwiches. The quality of food in Montreal is amazing, with menus built around emphasizing the quality of a few ingredients.
There's also a 24 hour grocery store nearby with fresh baguettes in stock, so my sandwich game has been on point since I've been here. There are a multitude of deli meats on sale at all times, and a surprising amount of fresh produce. My favorite new ingredient so far is cream brie- it's all the goodness of brie cheese, in cream form. There are also premade (high quality) salads and soups available, so I eat ridiculously well.
I still haven't been able to shake the "play money" feel of the Canadian dollar- its plastic feel in the hands and how strong the US dollar converts into it.
I'm weird in that I have a lot of work to do at all times, I have freelance design work in addition to Chessbrah stuff. My work / life seperation aside, you get a lot of free time at the cave. There's a lot of exploring to do- there's a synthesizer shop that I like to dick around at, a pinball place I go to weekly, a gym that I need to go to more often. There's also a lot of interesting niche things- a cat cafe where you can pet cats and drink coffee, a gypsy musician bar with three bands every day, a board game bar where employees pick out board games to your tastes. It's almost as if Montreal is a magical place where if you can have fun doing it, you can make a modest living off of it someway or another.
There are more bars on this street than points in my ELO rating. I used to live on a similar street in Pittsburgh- and I thought that the startup that I worked at went out for drinks a lot. Not even close. There's something about the culture here. People are going ham on the streets on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Thursday. Why Thursday? Apparently because people show up to work on Fridays still drunk. I love it here bunches.