So a week back I was surprised to get an email from my old English flatmate telling me she was in Montreal for a few days. We lived together with a group of 6 other girls when I was attending the University of Nottingham in the UK. As charming and lovely as Jackie is my first interaction with her went as follows:
Samantha- “Hey nice to meet you! I’m Samantha. I’m Canadian.”
Jackie- “You talk funny.”
Then walked off! Hilarious!
It was her first year of university and, ever the experienced independent woman, I taught her how to microwave a potato and make Kraft Dinner with resounding, ‘Ooos,’ while her and another flatmate smoked shisha until 5 a.m., played ‘bagsy’, or held parties of 30+ people in my kitchen at the most random times. I learned so much about English culture from living with those girls.
Being able to reflect on memories of living in Notts with someone that had a similar experience was such a treat. I had to curb talking about the UK a few weeks after I moved back or else just became too annoying to my friends with my constant comparisons and stories of European living.
It was really cool to show her my city. I do love Ottawa. Only so many people can say that but I think living in other countries and provinces affirmed that it truly is home. We did the traditional tourist things, oddly, when we visited Parliament there was creepily no one around at 7 p.m. Despite throwing an insane amount of Canadiana at her (Tim Hortons, Hockey, the Canal) she had an incredibly ‘hipster’ visit, as I brought her out to Avant Garde, So Good, Raw Sugar, Zaphods, Mavericks, oh, and GT Boutique. It was so great catching up with her and even now is surreal writing that she was even here.
Onto more arts-based interests- Saw an incredible set from Ottawa’s Paramedics for their CD last night. Despite the -32 weather, people came out in swarms to support the guys. One of their songs had two drummers and synth pop similar to the Shout Out Out Out Outs, which I loved. So many good people were out last night including my old friends in The Love Machine. Thought that stuck with me as I was getting ready, ‘You know you’re Canadian WHEN… you wear two pairs of tights and two pair of socks on a Saturday night when you go out to a club.’ You can read the interview I did with Paramedics here! Their album packaging is unlike any I’ve ever seen before in my many years of working in radio.
Thanks to Paramedics for the sweet swag back from Slaysh! Being me, I didn’t even hear my name called out for the $500 gift pack. Very cool stuff indeed.
Highly worth mentioning, Montreal’s Braids blew my mind on Friday night with their dreamy-Bjork-like minimalist atmospheric pop. (Lester Bangs just called after reading that last sentence, sorry.) You can read the interview I did with them HERE.
I’m going to be busy working on some really cool projects in the next month including movies, photography and music. They can’t be shared quite yet here though, shhhh!