Posts Tagged ‘cities’

Mitzi and Teddy Hit Montreal, Eh?

Sunday, October 20th, 2013
Teddy Tedaloo tries the famous smoked meat sandwich at Schwartz's

Teddy Tedaloo tries the famous smoked meat sandwich at Schwartz’s

Right, that’s it – I’m moving! I’ve been to a lot of cities (and I’ve lived in a lot of cities), and I will say this: if you like food – good food – and food from every conceivable place on the planet, you’ve got to be in Montreal. If you want someone to cook it, you’ll find a restaurant that has it. If you want to cook it yourself, you’ll find a supermarket that has anything you’d ever want or need – and you don’t have to go broke to get it either.

Alas, poor Yorick!

Alas, poor Yorick!

After all this high praise, I’ll be polite and not discuss the Quebec drivers. I think someone must’ve really got on the wrong side of these guys.

I’ll also be polite and not bang on about the traffic jams or the endless road construction or the collapsing overpasses. (You didn’t hear any of this from me, you got it?)

But hey, Montreal has mayoral candidate Richard Bergeron! In fact, we even ran into him (though not with our car). It felt as if we were meeting an old mate, what with his mug being plastered on every street corner in the city. Oy, and what a mug! Now I ask you – would you buy a used Chevy from this man?

Dodgy mayoral candidate for Montreal

Dodgy mayoral candidate for Montreal

Mind you, I’m thinking I should have a chat avec Monsieur Bergeron about the complete load of bollocks I was given crossing the Canadian border. I must have been saddled with a seriously bored border control agent, since he appeared to want to hang about and chew the fat with me all afternoon, grilling me about everything from who my friends in Montreal were to who owned the vehicle I was driving. (You’d have thought I was the driver who had an arm dangling from the rear of the car!) Heck, I’m surprised the guy didn’t ask what brand of antiperspirant I use! I notice he didn’t ask my famous bear Teddy Tedaloo any questions. Like, what’s up with that, eh?

It was all I could do to keep our Ted from biting him. (I have no idea what the penalty is in Canada for bears biting border service agents, and I didn’t wish to find out.) All I can say is, if you lot want tourist dollars to be spent in your country (or province), this is definitely not the way to go about it. And here I thought it was the American border agents who go all John Wayne on you when it comes to entering the country. Oddly enough, I had a very warm welcome on the way back when crossing into New York. Maybe the fellow was a fan of mine. He did address me by my first name as if he knew me.

I guess it’s a good thing I wasn’t heading up to Canada for the book launch of my new novel The Wilde Passions of Dorian Gray. Can you imagine the panic that would have ensued at the border crossing? I mean, the book hasn’t even been published yet! (That doesn’t mean you can’t pre-order it from Amazon – so what are you waiting for?) I’d have been taking my life in my hands if I hadn’t come armed (maybe “armed” isn’t the right word to use in this context) with an autographed copy for the border services agent. Hey, maybe that was his problem – I didn’t give him a free book! You’d be amazed by how weird people can get when they meet an author and aren’t given freebies.

Mitzi Szereto and Teddy Tedaloo high above Montreal

Mitzi Szereto and Teddy Tedaloo high above Montreal

Anyway, it’s not me who’s important here.

Teddy Tedaloo at Musee des Beaux Arts

Teddy Tedaloo at Musee des Beaux Arts

The official star of the show was Teddy Tedaloo, whom everyone was expecting. Our official Quebec hosts in the section of Montreal known as “Peter’s Bottom” (I’m not even going to try to explain this) were initially his friends, not mine. In fact, our host was a fluffy white cockapoo with a penchant for raising his hind leg whenever it suited him. He and Teddy got on like a house on fire. Mind you, everyone gets on with Teddy like a house on fire. Even a trip to the Musee des Beaux Arts was filled with members of the Teddy Tedaloo Admiration Society. One of the security guards insisted upon a formal introduction, offering Ted a hearty handshake along with the compliment that it was good to see a bear who appreciated fine art.

As for me, no one was really that bothered save for my new best friend at border control. Having said that, if he’s reading this, he’d better not be expecting a free autographed copy of my new book any time soon!

As for Montreal, I can’t wait to return and get cracking with some serious eating!

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The Things You See When You Haven’t Got Your Gun

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Okay, let’s get this straight: I’m a car person. I started driving when I was just a wee lass of 15. I’ve always gone everywhere in a car. Having spent a bit of time in California, particularly in the hardcore car culture of Los Angeles, I can definitely say that I often feel as if I’ve had my legs cut off living a car-less life in Britain. It’s not that I’m “green” – rather I’m simply too skint to own a car. (Subliminal message: buy more books buy more books!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Which relegates me to the glorious dregs of public transportation, where you can experience a lifetime’s worth of experience just trying to get home from an evening out. Mind you, not all experiences are worth having. I mean, living in a cave with Osama bin Laden isn’t an experience I’d wish to partake of. I wouldn’t care to shack up in a cave (or anywhere else for that matter) with Robbie Williams either. Or George Clooney. Or Nicholas Cage. As for Andrew Garfield (oy, such a nice Jewish boy!) … now you’re talking! And let’s throw in Jamie Draven while we’re at it. If Osama still insists on lurking around, we can always get him to make the kebabs. But that meat had better be Halal!

Right, so where was I? Oh, yeah, trying to get home. I can write a book about this, believe me – and who knows, maybe one day I will. Perhaps another in my Erotic Travel Tales anthology series. Erotic Travel Tales on British Public Transport – now there’s a catchy title. Or how about Erotic Tube Tales? Err… no, better scrap that one! Speaking of which, I always need the tube (London Underground to you non-Brits) and the train to get home. Note that I’m not factoring in the bus in this discussion, since I tend to avoid them now that I’m living in the Greater London area. I’ve had my fill of psychotic drivers who slam on the brakes in a standing-room only bus, then sit back and enjoy the mayhem. These early-release programmes from prison just don’t work, in my humble opinion.

The other week while waiting on a train platform, I observed a young couple arguing heatedly over the controversial subject of mayonnaise. And yes, I mean that creamy white stuff you slather onto bread when you make a sandwich. I edged discreetly away from the pair, concerned there might be bloodshed. I mean, a discussion of mayonnaise would surely have propelled even a peaceful chap such as Mahatma Gandhi into the ranks of ASBO status. Things soon calmed down, however, when the fellow nearly broke into tears, proclaiming to his woman in a sledgehammer urban London accent that he wanted to be the best he could be for her (a rather syphilitic-looking specimen), and that he was concerned for her health (bit late for that, mate!). I almost wept I was so moved. Well, no, actually I didn’t.

The night would later reach a climactic crescendo as I walked home from the railway station and happened upon a quartet of lads with pint glasses in hand, whereupon two of them (the lads, not the pint glasses) proceeded to urinate the lager they’d been consuming all evening against some unsuspecting trees. (I’ve heard of taking the piss, but this is ridiculous!) They didn’t seem bothered about me, although that’s probably got more to do with the fact that I don’t look like I belong, since I don’t go around with my arse (and the bit wot goes in front) sticking out from under my skirt or my boobs falling out of my top or – the ultimate giveaway – staggering about shriekingly drunk on heels so high they’d give a normal woman (or trannie) nosebleed. Nope, I’m definitely not one of these fair English maidens who end the evening unconscious in a gutter with an all-new strain of STD incubating in their loins.

Now I suppose I could regale you with some tales of true horror, but that wouldn’t be fair. After all, it’s not all gloom and doom in the big bad world of British public transport. Why, I’ve even had my fair share of romance on these journeys, and that doesn’t include eavesdropping on couples indulging in sweet-talk about Hellmann’s or being felt up in a crowded tube train – which luckily has never happened to me and likely never will, since I AM the woman who edited Getting Even: Revenge Stories remember? Anyway, one time there was this rather curious fellow across from me on the train making quick work of two large tins of lager who kept insisting I listen to the music playing on his iPod, as I was sure to “love it”. I told him I only love Staind. He seemed to believe my love would extend to the song he was playing (and perhaps to him). It didn’t. He was crushed. Bad enough I’d broken his heart, but when he got off the train at the same stop as me, well… let’s just say that I walked pretty darned fast up that hilly road home!

Then there was that proposal of marriage from a rather cute bloke who, in an empty train, decided to come sit near me (thank god for CCTV), only to spend the next few minutes gazing at me all starry-eyed. He finally blurted out something about my being a very attractive woman (so who am I to argue?) and pleading with me again and again to please please let him kiss me. He later called out to me to please please wait as I hurried along the station platform to the exit – and consequently, away from his matrimonially minded clutches. Last I heard he was heading off to Southend (or Sarfend as it’s known round ‘ere).

I admit London is probably the place to see and experience it all (whether you want to or not), but that’s not to say other cities in Britain are lacking in travel weirdness. The strangest (well, it’s a toss-up since it’s ALL pretty effing strange) was in a Leicester taxicab, where the driver held me hostage outside my flat as he begged me to let him take me out to dinner. He insisted he could make me happy; apparently he knew what I needed in my life and he could offer this to me – and I should give him a chance to prove himself. I gotta admit, that would’ve been one hell of an offer if he hadn’t been so keen for us to move to India – though I reckon it would’ve been a lot more exciting than Leicester. He wrote his mobile number on the back of the taxi company’s card, then grabbed my hand, not letting go until I promised to call him. Funny that he didn’t waive the fare though. Now THAT would have made me happy.

Gosh. I do hope he’s not still waiting for my call…

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