Back by Popular Demand

It’s catch up time! My deepest apologies to all my friends who think that
(a) I’m a lazy ass
(b) Something happened to me
(c) I’m a lazy ass

Actually, no apologies for (a) and (c).

But to catch you up: the past month has been a whirlwind of things, work and play and everything between. I travelled a fair bit in the past month, twice to Montreal, and now I’m off to NYC for V-day.

Montreal was, as usual, fantastic. My Colombian friend made Ajiaco the night I arrived, and I swear, I managed to squeeze two full bowls of it in my belly. Considering the soup contains 3 different potatoes, chicken, Indian corn, avocado, vinegar, capers, peas, carrots, AND rice, my efforts were feted by all. (Although I was not the only one who had two bowls.) In fact, we were so full with the entree that there was no room for salad or dessert, and we six became comatose after dinner, lying on our friends’ floor hither and thither, yawning unabashedly and rubbing our bellies. It was an appalling display of a total lack of etiquette, but whatever. It was fun.

The rest of the week was a haze of sales meetings with publishers across the country, followed by soirees, where I met a number of people whose names I had heard, but faces I had never seen.
That week, I also hosted a reading event in Montreal, where 50 people showed up, and my nerves were steadied by two fingers of whiskey.

The high point of my stay there was our office dinner at L’Express — a French bistro in Montreal that’s as authentic as it gets. I had rillete de canard for starters, followed by a confit de canard, replete with a thick layer of fat all over it. Then we all headed down to Vol de Nuit for beers. There’s a new rule in Montreal for unlicensed “bars” — you have to order food if you’re going to drink. Luckily Vol de Nuit is licensed, or we’d have needed a vomitarium to make room.

The highest point was my last night in the city. My friends and I walked in the pouring rain to Le Roi de Plateau, a wonderful Portuguese place in the Plateau, where the waitress was brusque and the music was live, and the food was fantastic — and cheap. Mussels, and chicken, and squid, and chorizo. Many songs were sung (and requests made to the musician, who was a Bogotano), and then we walked back again in the rain.

More to come — Greek Easter and more!


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