In my book of travel, no one likes to walk in a foreign city with the inscription “tourist” on their forehead. For that reason, let me provide you with ten essential “Montrealities” that will help you act like a local during your trip to Montreal!
1- Americans pronounce Montreal, Mahntreal. Montrealers pronounce Montreal, Muntreal. Phonetics people, phonetics!
2- Very important. Montrealers greet everyone, from lifelong friends to new acquaintances with a two-cheek kiss.
3- If Old Montreal reminds you of Vienna and downtown Montreal feels like New York City, worry not. You’ve just been watching too many American made-for-TV movies.
4- Montrealers ride bikes adorned with milk crates, but since you’re visiting we’ll give you a pass on that one. Why not grab a Bixi?
5- Every Montrealer on the street – drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists – think they’re immortal. Whatever you do, keep it courteous. Smile, wave and say merci.
6- If you’re using public transportation to get to the Olympic Stadium or the Botanical Garden, you’ll want to refer to the PIE IX metro station as Pee-nuff, not Pie nine.
7- We use the word metro rather than subway. Just don’t get it confused with Metro the grocery store.
8- When Montrealers say “I have to go to the “dep”, it is not a fancy French Canadian word for bathroom. The “dep” is short for “depanneur”, which comes from the verb “dépanner”, which means to help out. Whether you’re in need of cigarettes, chewing gum, wine, magazines, gatorade or tampons, consider the dep your best friend in Montreal.
9- For the duration of your trip, hockey is your new religion. If you prefer being Catholic, you shall be a non-practicing one.
10- Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Montrealers know that our city’s reputation for beautiful women is based on centuries-old couplings between French soldiers and royally-commissioned ladies called Les Filles du Roi.