I dreamt in color
When i landed in Montreal on September 8th, 2010 my heart was an explosion of joy and excitement. The life i always dreamt about was now about to begin. I didn't have a very good idea of which places i wanted to see first. All that i knew was that i wanted to explore, live and have my mind enriched by as many experiences as i could. Within the first few weeks after my arrival I had already visited some of the most popular places in the city: the St. Joseph Oratory, the Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Port, the Tower Observatory and the Botanical Garden, Saint Catherine Street, the underground city of Montreal and attended the Christmas parade in Downtown, but my list was not even close to including all the must see of the city. Being new to the harsh winters of Canada, not having a car, living in a house located 45min away from downtown and knowing no one in the entire city definitely had an impact on the frequency of my outings. Plus, i couldn't really do much during the week due to school so my plans had to be all condensed to weekends and possible during the day (I was super afraid of coming back home at night alone, the house i was renting was 20 mins away from the last metro and had no street lights after a certain point so don't blame me lol). Nonetheless, I did a pretty good job at maximizing the time i had and at finding friends along the way. Half way through the exchange i was pretty well blended with a group of roughly 15-20 McGill students, all coming from different areas of India. Some of them knew already each other from high school, others met each other in the campus, but they all shared the same desire to be together and have some fun in this amazing city of the world. And other than succeeding in my project in school, that was all that I was searching for! So when i was invited for a birthday party and i saw them smashing a cake into each other's face and then eating pieces of it with their bare hands, i didn't let my Italian background take over and freak me out. I looked around puzzled for a few seconds, realized it was some kind of tradition that they had and burst into a big, fat laughter as I realized i was witnessing my first real exposure to a completely different culture. Life felt good, filled with colors and nuances that i knew existed but that i never had the opportunity to see before. And now, within such a small range of time, i had already collected so many amazing stories and seen so many beautiful places that i wasn't sure i would have enough mental real estate to retain them all and relay them to my family with the same amount of details that i observed while living them. It didn't matter though. I was living a dream, and those lost details were like grains of sand falling from my fingers. Didn't matter how many were getting lost, only how good it felt to hold them for a second.