Thursday, June 11, 2009

Making Choices

We walked and walked all day today, first for a good coffee (my mother always advises us to try a Canadian coffee shop called 'Second Cup') and then down St. Catherine's to the Apple store to have my computer looked at (I dropped it) and Eric's cell phone replaced (it is his third lemon in the year since he bought it but we are still devoted Apple fans). Our next destination was St. Laurent for lunch at Schwarz's; I don't think Maya or Eric or Karen were too impressed. I once lived not far from St. Laurent, so it was familiar territory. My favorite deli was Ben's, which was in an entirely different part of the city, but closed a few years ago. It was an all night diner and served a huge and varied menu including yummy cheese blintzes. St Laurent was popular not only for smoked meat, but also for the best bagels ever. Funny how one remembers places for the food one ate!

There is so much construction going on in Montreal. Many corners have changed,  yet so much remains familiar. We walked down St. Denis and to Old Montreal and the Old Port, which is new in the sense that it was not developed when I lived here. I showed Karen the Hotel Saint Sulpice, where Tara and Maya stayed when I was showing Tara McGill and trying to convince her to like Montreal as much as I once did. Ultimately Tara chose NYU and New York instead. Eric, Maya and I had once stayed at Hotel XIX, also in Old Montreal. We had driven up one Thursday afternoon for a long weekend in late February, and it was brutally cold and I was worried that my Prius would freeze and not start again. We stored it in a garage all weekend and luckily it started when we were ready to go and did just fine driving back to Baltimore.

I wondered today again what my life would have been like had I stayed in Montreal. Eric has colleagues/collaborators here and one of the possibilities for a sabbatical would have been to come to Montreal for a year, in fact in many ways it would have been a practical sort of choice for Eric. Instead, when Eric suggested Montreal rather than Ecuador to me, my response was that there was no question it had to be Ecuador, since Ecuador was a once in a lifetime opportunity that could not be missed. We discussed it over dinner at a Portugese restaurant tonight. He tells me that it is my choice that we are going to Ecuador, that he gave me several chances to back out and that each time I insisted that the only choice was Ecuador. Of course it is my choice, I have had every possible chance to change my mind and not rent our house or close my practice. This is not a move I would have suggested or initiated, but once it was presented to me as a possibility, I was insistent that we had to do it.

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