Photo cred - Les vues éclectiques
In any city, society shares certain common manners of conducting itself. Basic practices that are universal and consistent no matter where you go. But there are certain behavious no one does unless they are from, or have spent enough time in, Montreal. Things that seem so normal, so second-nature to us, but are completely foreign to anyone else. And when we find ourselves doing them in other cities, we often get awkward looks and stick out like a sore thumb.
Montrealers have always liked to stand out though, so regardless of how much we freak people out with our strange ways, these behaviours are just a part of who we are. Unique aspects only found in this city and ultimately, what being a true Montrealer is all about.
Walk Outside In A Blizzard Without A Tuque Or Gloves.
Montrealers are a stylish bunch with fresh style. So fresh in fact, that even in a blizzard, we make sure to show off our slick coifs and flashy accessories at all costs, which couldn't be done if we covered them up with, say, warm tuques or gloves. Even on the coldest day of the year, you'll find us with our coats open wide, flapping in the wind, and bitching about how bloody cold it is, because that's how we roll.
Eat Poutine For Breakfast
Eating a healthy and balanced breakfast in the morning usually does not include french fries, thick gravy, and cheese curds for most people, unless of course, they're Montrealers. Poutine being part of our natural heritage and one of the heights of our cultural staples, it's not unusual to see a Montrealer scarffing down on this spectacular carb-fest of gluttony early in the morning, along with the usual side of bacon and eggs. Even better when all combined in one beautiful dish.
The 2-Kiss Hello
Greeting someone, anyone, even a complete stranger of the opposite sex, is generally done with a standard 2-kiss hello. That's a kiss on each cheek followed by maybe a handshake. This is completely normal here in the Paris of North America, but try this anywhere else in North America, you will probably get some weird looks. Even the 1-kiss hello is strange to some.
Get Drunk at 5 à 7's
Everywhere in the world has a run-of-the-mill happy hour that offers jaded cubicle jockeys a standard 60 minutes of drink specials and maybe a chuckle or two if they're lucky. But going hard for at least 2 hours, often every day of the week, is a a unique Montreal tradition that usually lasts well past anyone's bedtime and even often substitutes for important meetings and other formal functions all together.
Go Out All The Time Even When Broke
Even though Montreal has one of the worst employment rates and pay some of the highest taxes in the country, we do like to go out an awful lot. Can you really blame us though with the hundreds of bars and restaurants we have, and that's just counting the Main. Good thing our rents are so cheap though, because otherwise we'd all probably be homeless.
Smoke And Drink At Tam Tams All Day And Still Feel Accomplished
Nowhere else can you spend all day lounging around in large groups on big grassy fields, openly getting your buzz on, without fear of being arrested, like you can in Montreal. On top of that, after a good Sunday chill sesh with your friends at the Tams, you leave feeling like you made the most of your day. In fact, not meeting up at the Tams actually makes you come off as lazy. True story.
Protest About Everything
Only in Montreal do we protest about every, single, thing that displeases us. Whether it's tuition hikes, austerity, pension reform, and even kiss-ins, Montrealers are not afraid to demonstrate their displeasure whenever they feel it. This is not to say it's a bad thing, because it's not. Standing up for important issues is something to be proud of, but not very many other cities could get away with it quite as often as we do.
Grab A Late-Night Bagel
It's no secret that Montreal makes the best bagels in the world. The ultimate epitome of boiled and baked rings of dough resulting is dense, chewy goodness with a crisp sesame-seeded exterior is available 24-hours in Montreal, often making for awesome drunchies when stumbling out of your favourite Mile-End dive bar. The rest of the world wishes they had this luxury.
Photo cred - yossimtl
Even the word Franglais only makes sense to a Montrealer. Franglais is the language hybrid that formed thanks to generations of Anglophones and Francophones cohabiting together in one city. While it's quite common in Montreal to have entire conversations with a mish mash of french and english words peppered throughout, you would have a pretty hard time being understood anywhere else.
Photo cred - notanartist
Neglect Everything During Habs Playoff Hockey
Apart from the bushy beard almost every Montreal male grows out even further during playoffs, it's not uncommon for a Montrealer to put everything else on the back burner when the Habs get deep into that perennial square dance we all know and love so well (24 Stanley Cups babay!). Nowhere else could you skip your family dinner, stand-up your girlfriend, ignore your final paper, and get away with it quite like we do in Montreal.
Get Bored In Montreal
You'd think the Festival Capital of the world, with the most restaurants per capita in North America, and a renowned and infamous nightlife, would never see its own citizens whining about being bored on a Saturday night, but you'd be wrong. Montrealers are so spoiled for options when it comes to things to do that they often take it for granted and become totally blasé about the whole thing. While most would consider Montreal a party destination, we actually bitch sometimes about having nothing to do.
Photo cred - Philippe Du Berger