THE JOURNEY FROM MONTREAL TO TORONTO
A perfect reflection
Eugene, Chris and I started the day, 2nd November 2914, with breakfast in the hotel of old town Montreal. as well as an invaluable kungfu talk about "shen", or mind. One important reason, I explained, why we were so effective in our practice was because we operated at the mind level. Hence, we had to be very careful not to over-train.
After breakfast we left Montreal for Toronto. Montreal was a big city and it took some time to travel out of it.
"Are we already out of Montreal?" I asked Eugene.
"No, Sifu, we are still in Montreal."
Then we crossed a bridge over the Prairies River.
Then Eugene told me, "Sifu, I am sure this is no longer Montreal."
We drove through Laval, which is a small city in the province of Quebec in Canada, north of Montreal. There was a lot of farm land. Then we passed Saint Brustache, a small town. There were farms of corn and wheat before we reached another small town, Lachute.
Then we reached the village of Grenville in Quebec Province, which was opposite a small town of Hawkesbury in Ontario Province across the Ottawa River. Indeed, as we drove across the bridge we were greeted by a big signboard announcing "Welcome to Ontario". However, during our trip we crossed back to Quebec again before re-entering Ontario.
We landed on Hamilton Island, which is in Ontario, where we stopped to take some lovely photos.
"It's a perfect reflection. One can hardly tell the sky from the river," Eugene said as he showed me his hand phone with which he took some photos, and for which I commented, "The photos in your hand phone are clearer than those taken by my camera."
There were many wheat fields at Champlain, a small town in Ontario. Then we came to another small town called Alfred. Eugene pointed to me a signboard announcing Alfred as the French fry capital of Canada.
"I tasted some delicious French fries in Brussels," I told Eugene and Chris. "They are noted as the best in the world."
Then we arrived at Ottawa, the capital of Canada. The weather was lovely, about 17 degrees Celsius, with the warm sun shining on us, whereas in Montreal a few hours ago it was windy and cold. We saw Parliament Hill with fine government buildings and a lot of tourists. There were also lovely statures and majestic churches around.
But we were hungry, and Eugene suggested eating at a Thai restaurant. But it was close. So we went to a Chinese restaurant nearby. It was also close. Nevertheless, we were lucky, as we always were, to find a Mid Mediterranean restruarnt across a street that stayed open.
I told Eugene and Chris that French speaking people probably followed French customs, and restaurants would close at 2 pm.
"When I was traveling through France many years ago," I said, "I couldn't eat in any restaurants because it was then after two. Finally I found a McDonald outlet. Although I was not particularly fond of McDonald fried chicken, I was hungry, and I had a good meal of hamburger. When I put some Euro coins into a machine to drive my rented car out, the machine did not accept my coins. A kind lady came and told me that the machine would not accept Euro coins. Then she put in some Swiss francs on my behalf. Later I realized I was in Geneva in Switzerland."
We left Ottawa along the Ottawa River. As we drove through Louisville, there were farmlands with the Ottawa River on one side and big hills on the other. We crossed several bridges with a dam on the Ottawa River.
As it was getting dark, we headed for the highway going to Toronto. As we neared Toronto, I was surprised that there were streams of cars on both sides of the highway. There were also colorful lights showing habitable buildings.
"The highways here in Canada as well as those in the United States are delightful," I said. "They are quite unlike highways in Europe, which are prosaic."
"Sifu," Chris asked, "which was your favorite highway?"
"I love the highway bewteen Venice and Milano in northern Italy," I answer. "It was also full of colorful lights and delightful."
We arrived in Toronto. Later Emiko joined us after her kungfu class.
Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit,
3rd November 2016
At the Ottawa River