(james benedict brown) on the road

Scenes from a suburb…

Posted in Posts by James Benedict Brown on 21 February, 2006


At lunch time on Monday I took my usual walk to clear my head of Microsoft Excel and to try and generate some hunger before eating (the office takes its lunch at midday, which I find much too early). It was not cold, but the wind was cutting and hurt me in the usual places: it’s my teeth and gums that feel it first; then the skin on my cheeks begins to tingle as if it’s being rubbed with sandpaper. Say what you like about the North American love of the car: it’s no-one’s fault but our own that these auto-orientated places exist.

A few blocks south of our office on Boulv. Galeries d’Anjou (I can’t believe the actually named the street after the mall) are some new condominiums (apartment blocks – see the photo) which seem to be selling well. I’m tempted to drop by the show apartment later this week, because I just can’t see anything desirable about them. They have underground parking, which appeals to some people, and they’re new, which probably appeals to the same group of people… but they’re in the middle of nowhere. There’s a dep a few blocks south, but it’s too windswept to walk there. There’s a McDonalds drive-through (sorry ‘drivethru’) opposite, but that would, by definition, necessitate a car… which reminds me, I have a voucher for a free McFlurry in my wallet. I wouldn’t normally, but I suppose I should take advantage of it. Since I’m not actually spending any money there, it’s ok. Maybe today…


Before I go, here’s highway forty. It runs behind our offices. I commute from the plateau by métro and bus, but there are several people who I work with who use this autoroute to commute from the same district. On the face of it, it’s a cold, grey, depressing motorway. But, it is Montréal’s segment of the Trans-Canada Highway. If there was a car (filled with fuel) in the basement, and maybe with some cash stuffed in the glovebox, and a fresh travel mug of coffee in the cup holder… I could drive onto the ramp and down onto the right hand lane…… and just drive.

All the way to Vancouver. 4850km. Assuming 90km/h, that’s about 54 hours before breaks are considered. If someone can sort me out with a car, then maybe I’ll see you in Vancouver on Friday for a drink?

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  1. ulli said, on 21 February, 2006 at 13:57

    Wow, I wouldn’t have thought that the buildings of your working environment can get much more depressing than the university ones…

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