Arriving at the train station to hitch the tracks into downtown Montreal was always going to be stretching the rubber bands. Everything is in French with very limited or no English translation. Not like the rest of Canada where it is bi-lingual translated.
Three young girls appeared, one wearing a Panda onesy and only socks; another dressed in seductive teacher attire with facial pearcings; and one dressed normal looking. They purchased their tickets without fuss and then it was our turn!
When Panda saw us lost in translation, she approached to assist. We ended up travelling with Chloe (Panda), Courtney (Teacher) and Eve all the way to downtown Montreal; even exchanging onto the Metro deep under the city ground level. They were great and fantastic conversationalists. The girls were heading to a convention where it’s attendees dress up in their favourite App game character.
The lesson we took from this experience and more importantly, be reminded of as we age into wrinkles and tend to become critical of how the young ones dress in public; don’t judge a Panda by it’s looks!
And to see the heaps of dress ups as we explored Old Montreal and nearby Chinatown was a refreshing change. It was a real buzz to get lost on thoughts about anything to do with bum on bike seat.
The flipside of that was to see old folk sitting motionless amongst the hum of the atmosphere going on around them. Perhaps they were content in their ownself and again, one shouldn’t judge. But they looked sad as if the spark of life had been extinguished and now treading time till they ended up horizontal.
It too reminded us that life is short. Sure life can be enduring but heck, we might as well enjoy it right up till the very last breath. To be seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than be forty years old!
We wandered some more before we had to get back on the train in reverse.
He aha te meo nui o te ao. He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.
Translated: What is the most important thing in the world? It is the people, it is the people, it is the people.
With a Panda in there somewhere.