I'm not bräve, just naïve...

Sunday, February 26, 2006

He was not wrong...

Five or ten minutes after we had placed our order, the proprietor of the Mont Royal Binerie brought Ulli and me our heaving plates of breakfast, and then returned a few minutes later with two small side dishes. These he had filled with beans from a dish kept piping hot behind the counter. He put them down and slipped from French into English (perhaps to make absolutely sure we appreciated the gravity of his words) to say "And here are the best beans in the world." He was not wrong.

Last night was Montréal's annual Nuit Blanche, during which art galleries, cinemas, and public events were open all night long. Ulli, Mélisse, Laura and I caught a few exhibitions early on before retiring to the plateau for a birthday party with friends. In a fit of purile and immature selfishness, I made a good attempt at polishing off a case of twelve beers all on my own. I regret to confess that this was possibly brought about by a sensation of anguish at having paid for the entire case, and then not wanting to share them. So, my apologies are due to everyone who was at the party last night for my selfishness, and to my liver for the stupidity.

Ulli rang me at about midday to invite me to breakfast. I had been woken much much much earlier by the cats, who were perhaps meewing loudly because of the strange post-boozing parps that were disturbing the Sunday morning peace from under my duvet. Or perhaps they were just having difficulty beathing. Initially I turned down Ulli's invitation, although this foolishness only presided for about three minutes.

It is a sad truth that alcohol will not, despite many claimes to the contrary, take the pain away. It will simply defer it to the next morning. Once it's returned, the only way to deal with it is to have a big breakfast. So I rang back and said I'd be there in fifteen minutes.

The Mont Royal Binerie is on avenue du Mont Royal Est, just west of St. Denis. It is not a presuming little café: just an honest functional diner with a long counter and a few small tables at the back. Like all good diners, there was a cup of hot coffee in front of me before I'd even had a chance to look at the menu. Ulli arrived and we ordered a number two from the breakfast menu. Mélisse showed up a little later, having had a similar pair of phone calls with Ulli just after me. After initially turning down the idea of breakfast, it took only a few minutes for her to change her mind as well. The vast quantities of salt, sugar, saturated fats and caffeine were soon coarsing through our veins. It was a very good feeling.



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