Archive for February, 2009

This book took me pretty long to read, for the same reasons The Business of Graphic Design was a tough one: Because of the large amount of compressed content that it pumped in my head. To both authors, Ed Gold and Gil Bettman, the same thing applies: They are both not very well known, but amazing teachers.

Since I have no experience with the job of a director itself but want to start at some point, I went to the Montreal library. Between numerous biographies of Martin Scorsese, Alfred Hitchcock and Stephen Spielberg, I found a white book which was exactly explaining that what I wanted to know. On my last journey to Los Angeles I took it with me to read it – got caught up in more important things, namely people and adventures – and forgot the book at Lorenas house. For Valentines day, she sent it back to me, and here I am, with a 13$-fee for bringing a book back two months too late, and with a broad grin of happiness that I read it.

First Time Director

by Gil Bettman


This book is pretty much the steak and broccoli for filmmaking: All you need to survive.
“First Time Director” is presented in a chronologic order, starting in the preproduction, going into the production and set management, and ending in postproduction and promotion. It covers just about anything you can imagine being necessary to know as a filmmaker. Since the book was written a while ago, the CGI part is reduced to a minimum, which could be a downside for someone who doesn’t know about compositing, rotoscoping, greenscreens and that kind of stuff. The rest of a directors life gets full coverage.

The social dynamics Gil describes with his first producer named Pedro are absolutely priceless: The written Spanish accent (“Eeeez miii money, eeeeezz miii movie!”) bears a lot of truths behind the comedic message: Don’t mess too much with the person who finances the movie – you can get fired at any point.
The relationship producer-director as well as director-cinematographer get so much attention that you could swear after a couple of pages this book would be a job psychology manual. When you read about actor management, you could swear the book is only about acting skills and performance improvement techniques; and that’s how you will feel with the rest of the content: Each subject is given meticulous attention on a very compressed space; more a factual listing than colloquial writing. Therefore, if you read Gil’s book slowly, you will definitely benefit more from it. At the end of each chapter, there is a comprehensible list with the most important points made.

The book covers these areas in great detail:
Relationships with the key players (producer, director of photography, editor, composer etc.), hiring the key people, dealing with studio bosses and financiers, camera movement, shot planning, actor handling/training, improvement and management of performances, soundediting, mixing, camera principles, editing, music and crew management.
All in all a good read that gives you an enormous insight into the world of a director and requires no prior knowledge (well, you should know how to read and what a movie is, but that’s about it). “First Time Director” is simple to understand, and still, the lessons you can learn from it are uncountable.

A beautiful plan: Stefan and me would get into a rideshare, drive down to Quebec City and do four hours of Paraskiing. Paraskiing is like kitesurfing, but instead of a kiteboard you have skis or a snowboard, and instead of water you have snow…:


It’s about 80$ for four hours, so we figured that it was expensive but worth the price. An awesome site for ridesharing in Quebec (and partly down to the U.S.) is AmigoExpress. You pay six dollars to the site itself, and an little more than the gas expenses to the driver. That’s it.
So, instead of using a greyhound-like bus system and paying 50$ to get from Montreal to Quebec, you pay 18$.

So Stefan and me meet at 7AM at a gas station with our driver and begin the journey, really excited for the paraskiing. Stefan calls the organizers to confirm that we are coming. While I see majestic bridge pylons passing by outside, indicating that Quebec city is only a few minutes away, Stefans face shows concern instead of excitement.
“Cancelled? What? Why? … Is there a chance to do it any way? What, no, we are on our way, from Montreal! Yes … Is there anything … aha. Okay. Goodbye.”

Those lousy dudes at the paraskiing facility just decided that today was a snow storm and the paraskiing was cancelled. But we could come tomorrow. And they couldn’t inform us yesterday night or so.
I look outside again. Romantic little snowflakes dancing by in a nearly windless air. The pussiest snowstorm I’ve ever seen.
We get pretty mad and make up plans for redemption, which mainly include inappropriately dispensed body fluids, but soon figure out that this wouldnt make a lot of sense and decide otherwhise – to use the day as well as possible.
In Quebec City, you can go Snow Mobile driving, but it costs about a million dollars to rent them for an hour. A dog-pulled sled is even more expensive to rent. On our way to the tourist information in downtown, we encounter the beginning of an adventurous day: A 20m or so high hill made of snow.


After climbing up, we decide that we are the kings of the world and therefore should slide down the tallest part of the hill. Stefan goes first:

Quite a slide

I let my backpack including my camera slide down on its own, Stefan catches it. “Ok Toby, go!”
And I jump. And its gonna be a wonderful day. Snow is spraying in my face, my feet rattling through the compressed snow of the hill, braking my increasing sped only a little. I feel so alive. Full of action. Fuck Paraskiing, we got something better here. If those paraskiing guys wouldn’t have just cancelled that event without prior notice, then we wouldnt have found this awesome hill.
I can’t see where the bottom of the hill is tough, too much snow thrown at me from my flabbery feet.

Thats what I would have heard if I would have sat inside the muscle that wraps the ankle of my right leg. I just fell with speed gained over a steeper-than-45-degrees slope over a 2m-cliff right on a concrete parking lot. “Are you okay? The securities are coming!”

I feel like puking. My foot feels like being amputated. Great.
The securities take down our names and advise us to leave campus, since last year someone did the same and broke his foot. I was pretty close to breaking it, I guess, but thanks to Parkour and acrobatics it was the muscles which compensated the impact, not the bones.
The rest of the day basically consisted in complaining over my pain, thinking about life, getting thrown out of a subway (Sir, you are here since four hours, you are not my customer any more. Could you please put on socks.), drinking expensive coffee, reading a book and limping through the brownish slimy half-melt snow of Quebec City.

Fuck Paraskiing, seriously.

Our last day in Ottawa was quite touristy to a certain degree. The visit at the Parliament when goping to Ottawa is as mandatory as seeing the Stephansdom and all the Japanese tourists around it when visiting Vienna. So we did that. Unfortunately, the great tours supported by amateur actors, sponsored by the government, were closed and just a general visit to the center block was allowed – the line too long, too Canadian, so we didn’t set our feet inside.
Seriously. In Canada there are lines everywhere. And usually, they are too long.

But there’s maple syrup to sweeten the waiting time, so its all half that bad.


Our extremely comfy couches for 20$ per person at the Ottawa Backpackers Inn – again, this hostel is awesome.

A true Austrian without makeup. Stefan wants to remain anonymous.

The Canadian parliament. This is where Stephen Harper gave everybody a couple of weeks holidays to rescue his dictatorship.

Witch trials. Burn in hell, Austrians.

I took the bottom photo when I was in Ottawa during July 2008. I tried to get a similar perspective now during the winter… someone with a good eye may see the minor differences (hint: in the summer there are more clouds!)

Like blasphemy, but more about blasen (German for blowing)

Between the Center and the West block of the Ottawa Parliament, an old retiree, called the “cat man”, is feeding and caressing the cats that once protected the Parliament from the pest by eating mice and rats. A must-see for every starting adventurer.


And now, ladies and gentlemen, comes the most fascinating, least known attraction in Ottawa. We literally saw less than 20 people apart from us in this venue: The currency museum housed inside the headquarters of the Bank of Canada. Location
This glass building wraps seamlessly around a concrete building, which houses the currency museum – and inside the humongeous glass building is nothing but a gigantic jungle with a pool and the probably biggest currency ever: a milestone, two meters in diameter, that was used as a payment option in some far-away island culture.
The currency museum is free – and not just that, no, you also get free cookies, free coffee, free tea, and during the summer even free ice cream. Did I mention the impressive architecture with more empty space than I could fill with my amazement?

Bank of Canada lobby

Whoever the architect is, I feel quite aroused by that kind of building.

Chris and Stefan in front of the currency museum… money money MONEY!

Free tea, coffee, cookies .. everything you need for an awesome museum.

That’s how the currency museum looks from the inside

Germany has a really strong currency. For those who can’t speak the beautiful German language, the amounts are as following:
10 DM (German Marks, now replaced by the Euro)
100.000 DM
200.000.000 DM DM

Businesses that were going out of business or could not pay their suppliers often gave out an own currency whis stated “Good For (…)” and let you purchase a product of the business. Why the Catholic Mutual Benefit Association features a Davids star on their coins will remain a miracle for us.

Inbetween foolish children’s drawings my genius future Canadian currency


I ask the lady at the front desk what the weirdest coin was she ever saw, and she meant it was one that said “Good for one shoe” – so unless you didnt do an adequate amount of work for this shoe manufacturer, they paid you with something that could buy you one shoe, not two…
Ottawa is basically a collection of foreign embassies, somewhere the Canadian Parliament and some other government buildings, some parking lots and … that’s it. So, on our way to the American fortress (embassy) we find this advertisement:

Some people didnt really like that campaign

If Canada would fall into a war, and there would be a nuclear attack to Ottawa, then the only thing surviving would be the cats on parliament hill (they have seven lives) and the American embassy, pictured above. That thing is seriously a copy of Fort Knox – and so welcoming… “Wanna come in to have a tea and we’ll ask you some questions?”

Next to the embassy, the Museum of Modern Art with its huge spider

The first and foremost reason we came to Ottawa is the free public ice skating rink that is installed every year on the Rideau Canal. Last evening some people in the TV room told us that the skating rink was closed due to thin ice, but chances were good it would be reopened.
So, today morning I look the official Ottawa page for the Rideau Canal up, and see this:

Perrrrfect! I borrowed Jeshia’s ice skates, Stefan borrowed those of his roommate, but Chris didn’t have any ice skates. Good that in our great backpackers inn hostel there was a cartboard box full of left over ice skates, that you can borrow for free. As we step in our rouge rental car, an I want to eat my breakfast, I realize that the Peaches were frozen. The water I washed them with the day before had accumulated to a thick ice coating. Good that we didn’t sleep in the car…

Already a running joke

The coke I left in the car was full of ice

Peaches on the rock

In the inner city we find a 5$-all-day-long parking construction and drive up to the rooftop. There seems to be no elevator, so in our foolishness we just run down 40.000 steps to reach street level. Ottawa is extremely walkable, so we make our way to the canal with the ice skates thrown over our shoulders. There is something weird about Canadian culture: People always make festivals and meet in large crowds. Maybe it is so weird because Canada has an amazingly low population density, or maybe because this gathering gene seems to not be influenced by temperature at all: Canadians always gather, regardless of ice or snow.

About a million steps

This is the weirdest way to protect pedestrians crossing the street: This van drives back and forth in his little fence to accompany the people across the street before stopping at the end and making space for cars to pass inbetween. Maybe it’s too cold for an ordinary traffic officer?

Addicted to gathering

A tower of plastic bottles – Canadians just know how it’s done.

Ice sculptor, sounding like a dentist while drilling a shape into this soon-to-be fire spitting dragon

And there we go: Compareable to the Vienna canal, a little river going somewhere from the far West Viennese suburbs of the 13th district into the inner city, the Rideau Canal goes all the way through Ottawa, too. As the winters get colder, it completely freezes and is open to the public. People even go to work with ice skates on this canal. Just another depiction of Canadian gathering culture, may some sarcastic minds say. Over the 4.5 mile long part that is open to public this time, I see about 10.000 people with ice skates, boots or sleds. There are tents, ovens, bars, restaurants and seating areas right on the ice. It is an amazing sight, and whoever goes to Ottawa during the winter, can’t miss that.

Again, adults are dragging their children behind in little plastic sleds, so be careful where to throw your ice skates when you “try to gain speed” – but you’ll lose the race against this five year old bastard with the helmet anyway.. it must be either because every Canadian child is taught how to ice skate before it is taught to walk, or because maple syrup contains steroids..

The Rideau Canal packed with all kinds of skating enthusiasts

With this nursing home device, children are learning to skate. Looking at my skating skills I should get one too… to the left, you can see a hole in the ice that was marked with spray paint.

Canadian military cooling its engines on the ice

Long cracks seem to bother nobody

After a 9 kilometer ride on ice skates, we are naturally exhausted and decide to watch a movie. “He’s just not that into you” is a very lovely love comedy movie that both men (without puking their intestines out as a reaction to too cheesy flirting scenes) and women (you’ll love it, darling) can watch. We feel a little awkward as a group of three chill dudes in the cinema, since everyone else in the theater is either a couple or a girl group.
Too bad we have to notice that the Emo culture got as far as Ottawa – little children in tight pants, heads gravitating towards the floor due to the heavy use of mascara .. ugh, and I thought, I could leave them behind in Europe – a misconception.

Very important to us Austrians: Getting drunk during the afternoon. Inside, we find Stiegl beer and some German classics. I am told not to take pictures inside, to protect the alcoholics or so.

When we try to get home by car, I discover the plastic bag that contained the peaches and the ice. I throw the ice out of the window, and when we stop at a red light, I want to throw the bag into a trash can on the street corner. I push open the door, just to see a bus approaching on the lane next to us and shutting it again.

On the second try I get out of the car, run around some cars and throw the bag gracefully into the trash.
“It’s half hanging outside”, Stefan notes upon my return. I run back, push the bag into the can, run back. Two red cars. Ours must be the latter one. I try to open the door, but it is locked. I look inside and see the outraged face of some 45-year old guy who obviously assumes that I tried to steal his car. I have to jump back as he jumps the car sharply into my direction, throws some hateful gestures towards me and takes off, leaving only some tyre rubber on the concrete.
My heart is getting a mental adrenaline injection, and I get into the right car. “What the fuck were you doing Toby?”, Stefan asks. I don’t know. Saving the environment?


We try to navigate back to the hostel, and accidentally end up on a freeway towards Montreal. Isn’t that weird: When we park our car randomly, we unknowingly park it right in front of the hostel, and when we try to find the hostel, we find ourselves on a random freeway that leads to the city we came from.

I’ve been to Ottawa during the summer. Now, during the winter, the icy Canadian government has not stopped to promote its capital with creative ideas how to make cold weather into a heck load of fun. Chris, Stefan and me, Gedenkdieners in Montreal, rent a car at enterprise – which is roundabout the cheapest place in the hood when it comes to renting cars in Canada.

While we are driving towards Ottawa, someone asks innocently “Sooo… where are we going to sleep?”, and as usual, as in every teenage roadtrip, nobody wanted the responsibility to look for a hostel and gave this task to someone else. We had no place to stay.
When arriving in Ottawa three hours later – Chris drives like a girl -, we take some wrong exit and finally arrive in downtown. The best way to find internet are usually Starbuckses or Second Cups, but in Ottawa, the funny coffe meetups for nursing home inhabitants end too early.
After a while, we pass an inhabited cafe and park our car on some random street. Not any parking style … Chris style.

So, we merge with the few people who populate Ottawa during a Friday night in downtown and go to the hot spot: Not a club, not a bar, but a Second Cup cafe. We find free internet, find a hostel, get the maps, take a piss and still don’t know if there are any beds left for us. Stefan draws a crooked sketch of the way, and we get back in the car that is resting its right back foot on the sidewalk “to prevent varicose veins”. Stefan holds his map.
“Ok Chris… turn right.”
“And now, mh, turn right.”
“And right..”
“and again right!”

We find ourselves in the same street where we randomly parked our car – and the hostel was just across the street. It is a family house made of wood, very American indeed. The guy who runs the hostel explains that they are booked, but upon offering that we would sleep anywhere, even on the floor, he reveals that there are two beds and one couch available. I get the couch – but instead of leading me in that room where a bunch of people sits around and watches TV, he leads me to the house next door and shows me an amazing, huge, white couch. I am astounded.

The Backpackers Inn Ottawa reception

Lots of backpackers..


It’s Friday night, and especially because politics in Canada are fueled with alcohol (who would suspend parliament just to reign a little longer?), we go out. Chris, Stefan and me end up in a really dirty rock bar, filled with loud little brats that are barely fourteen but somehow seduced the bouncer to let them pass. As Stefan drops a glass from the table, suddenly everyone around us starts applauding and jumps up. Seriously, how boring must Ottawa be, if there are thirty people applauding for a dropped glass?

Hot dog and poutine – that’s a little late night snack for us Canadians.

A more than secret recipe – only thousands of people faked it after I invented this meal (see google image search).
REQUIRED TIME: 5-10 minutes. COST: 5-10$.

Broccoli and steak is probably the best breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack for inbetween that I ever produced on my stove.

Surprisingly, it is also pretty much the only one I can do, despite my great potential to become a legendary cook (ask my roommate Yukkunn, the whole apartment is sometimes full of smoke because the food I make is so extraordinarily well done).


  • 2 Steaks (one steak for girls) – no white lines (fat) in the middle of the steak
  • 1 Tree of Broccoli – the greener, the better
  • Butter (if not available, take oil, but be careful about pimping your cooking pan into a flame thrower)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Pan
  • Pot
  • Water (for extinguishing fire)
  • Hot Stove

So, to get started, put the pan on the hot stove, turn it on full power and throw the butter in after a while.Fill the pot to 2/3 with water, and also put it on a full power stove plate.

Now throw a fair amount of salt over the steaks (as if you would throw it over fries, imagining you were the owner of a fries and cold drinks restaurant) and some pepper. Turn the steaks around and repeat. If the Steaks have huge fat layers on the side, cut them off with a knife. Fat has the tendency to tighten up when heated, so it will create a hard layer thats not only difficult to cut and eat later, but also uneasy to digest.

When the butter is meltung and optionally starts to burst bubbles, throw the steak in. Turn your stove fan on to get rid of the resulting smoke. Turn the steaks every 30 seconds to check on their state.


In the meantime you want to get your broccoli as yummy as on this picture: Therefore, you need to shock cook it. As soon as the water in the pot bursts major bubbles and is obviously cooking, cut the broccoli in half and put it in the water. Within seconds, it will gain an enormously green color. Leave in for two or more minutes, but never let it get too soft.
The steaks steaming and brown, it may be a good idea to throw some mushrooms in the remaining bubbling butter.


Et voila, Steak et Broccoli!

Time for “ice ice baby”, rental cars and the Canadian national transportation: Ice skates.

Montreal’s Public Transportation consists of buses, banlieue trains and subways. In the summer, they are quite frequented – in the winter tough, they are more than packed. That adds to the fact that everybody suddenly takes twice the volume as they would do during the summer – with the winter fat reserves and the voluminous coats, gloves, hats and other fancy equipment to fight the cold weather.

The point where it gets really weird and even dangerous, is when you yourself start using them.

Hazard 1: The Metro
Imagine you are standing on the platform at Berri-UQAM station, about to enter the orange line going to Cote-Vertu. The enormous chain of waggons – much longer than the ones in Vienna – on their rubber tyre wheels rolls in, accompanied by a clattering sound in the ceiling of the station. This is your command to step forward and anticipate the motion opf entering. If you keep standing somewhere further away, or worse, sit on a bench, you will have to fight. As soon as the doors of the subway open, a massive amount of people streams out like a raging river of hopping heads, shopping bags and coats, and you are cut off to the subway. It is like crossing a river – the water doesn’t take notice of you. I had to ram a woman with my laptop just to make my way through the moving crowd.
Another hazard here is that the doors close promptly, even before thge last person entered the subway. In Vienna, you may wait a minute or so in the station, but in Montreal it is merely thirty seconds. One time, I was standing right next to the door, it opened, I let two people step in in front of me, and while I put my nordic skiing equipment inside, the subway closed and I had to let go of the skis since my arms got stuck between the iron doors. Good that I was with Michka, and he could take care of the skis.

Hazard 2: The Bus
You think, lines in Europe (to get movie tickets, to buy groceries, to shake the hand of the major) are ridiculous? You’ll laugh your ass off in Montreal. What I see every day on my way to work, is thirty to sixty people standing in a line on the sidewalk. The first person in line stands next to a bus station sign.
What happens is that when the bus comes, everyone has to enter; and not like in Austria where you make proper use of your elbows and form a human bunch of grapes in front of the two bus doors, no, here everyon has to enter through the front door, and everybody steps in single filed. No doubt, sometimes when a bus doesn’t come, the line grows and grows, wraps around the metro station, making curves and you can’t see the last person when you stand at the beginning. I constantly pull out my cell phone and take pictures of this behaviour, but since a month or so, after sending the picture to Lorena, put my cell phone in my pocked and step in line, like a good Montrealais citizen.
By the way, the doors have handles that you actually have to push when the bus stops to let you out, otherwhise the door doesn’t open. And if there are three people getting of in front of you, chances are good that the door closes right in front of you before you could even get out. That’s a hint to drink some more maple syrup – the sugar will speed you up, lardass.

After waking up in our beautiful 40$-each beds (those are a whole different experience from 30$-beds, seriously!), we decided to stroll through the old downtown. We actually planned to visit the Quebec Ice Hotel, but got advised that it is 20$ to get in and have a drink – and a twenty just to see some frozen water was too expensive for us.

Those puppets are distracting from the fabulous clothes

Chateau Frontenac – this giant was built for the sole purpose of being a hotel

St. Lawrence River / St. Laurent River / St. Laurenz River / River of the Thousand Spellings

One of the great things in QC city: A ice sled race! You have to drag the heavy sleds up the hill, those seemingly sketchy constructions of wood and polished metal, sit down and SWOOOOSHHH down the ice lanes.

maple syrup, frozen, in little cones

Peter and me, sledding for 2$ each… a fucking fast sport

All the ice scukptures get cracks due to the warm weather. This one is made for looking through the hole and being an Inuit on the photo.

Roman architecture in QC city … something’s wrong here..

the large silos at the harbor

We witness a rudder boat race in the harbor area:

The start, on huge ice floes

…out of the harbor…

…and at least 500m across the ice cold river, full of miniature icebers and ice floes. Amazing what those guys do.

Once during the noon time I provoked Peter and Kevin to make a snowball fight with me on an ice-covered parking lot. They are both old men, so the team distribution is:


Pretty fair, actually. A second chance arises at the harbor inmidst of some beautiful government buildings. I provoke them again, and hit Pete right in the face on my first attempt. It’s on, bitch … you got served.
And because they actually both want to serve me back, I land some other nice hits while they have troubvle balancing on the flat ice. Pete throws a ball right in my back – well done sir – but upon turning around, he slips, learns flying for a moment, and hits the ground hard with his chin.
The chin is bleeding, but his main pain is somewhere at the joint of jawbone and skull. A security guard comes running out of one of the government buildings, and is soon joined by pedestrians who turn out to be medicas at the Canadian Forces. They ask Pete something related to spine injury, I guess:

  • Did you lose consciousness?
  • Do your extremities – feet or hands – burn, is there pain?
  • Does your neck hurt?

All the questions were answered with a no, but another security guard comes the way with a jeep. When the medics tell Pete who is already wrapped in a warming blanket that he will have pain but is good to go, the security guard objects – he already called the ambulance.
Some legal formality; if you get hurt on government grounds, you need to sign a paper to a paramedic stating that you are fine and will not sue the government… or so.

Security guard, the skater without ice skates, and the military medic

Weee-weee … 25 min later six people with two cars came to help. The female paramedic was pretty hot.


Quebec City is the capital of the Canadian Province Quebec and about three hours by car from Montreal. That’s pretty much everything factual I know about  QC city. The rest comes from my weekend trip there.

On my job search, many friends told me to create a profile on, the business equivalent of facebook. There is an option to search your email adress book and see if someone is registered on LinkedIn. I added everybody I knew, and got a message from some guy named Kevin. He said I met him in Italy on the VIEW conference, and I guess I did. I figured he lives in Montreal, and three days later we are sitting on a bus heading to Quebec city. I see people ice skating on a frozen part of St. Laurent river, right next to La Ronde. The bus is 50$ and a complete rip-off… for the double distance, to New York (a 6-hour-drive), I pay just 10$ more.

Getting from Montreal to Quebec City (or the other way round) for 18$:

A very nice guy with a beard named Marc offers a driving service every day Montreal->QC city and return. You can reach him here:
MONTREAL 514-815-3889
QUEBEC 418-262-3889

The transportation is comfortable and the eighteen dollars are a nice price.


Kevin and me arrive three hours later at a giantic river, crossing it on a large bridge. The whole river is white and seems motionless, frozen, covered in white snow. Quebec city is further north than Montreal and is located on the banks of St. Laurent river as well. The parks of the city seem to seamlessly merge with the underlying river.

Streets like in Europe

We are staying at the Hauberge International in a three-man-room for 40$ each. A bit luxurious, but after the 50$ bus ride, I don’t get freaked out that easily.

Quebec city is very walkable, so we just make our way through the town gates into old Quebec. It used to be a fortress-like inner city, and other than in Vienna, the city walls are still standing and offer a nice walkway on top. We spot an ice castle with a line of about 200 people, who all want to see what’s inside. Last year there was an outdoor dance club inside the ice castle, this year it is a kind of art exhibit. Quebecoir people are very artsy. Maybe it is because of all the cheese and wine.

Digging deeper into the Quebec culture, we discover:

  1. Even if it is Frencher than Paris here, people can still speak English, and a baguette temple has still not been built.
  2. Same as Montreal: Someone had the idea to build all the important buildings in the 70s and only use diarrhea-brown concrete for it. Ugh.
  3. Quebec city is composed by probably the most European/oldschool architecture I have seen so far in North America.

To our surprise, it is warmer here than it is in Montreal, and it even starts raining for a couple of minutes.

The main shopping and nightlife street with a huge hotel in the background, on top a rotating restaurant.

After the douchebags in the restaurant tell us they are closed and we cannot step to the window, we go one level down with the elevator and find a panoramic window. Screw those restaurantiers.

Quebec city has, apart from ugly diarrhea buildings, a variety of specialties with history that we can see from here:

  • The Silos
  • Chateau Frontenac: The Goliath of castle-like hotels that look like they were made for a king.
  • The burnt roof of the Quebec City Armoury: Like in a computer game, someone in 1884 had the good idea to build the armoury close to the soldier barracks. Too bad that the architect didn’t study fire precautions in the 1800s, and the whole thing burnt down in 2008, leaving only some walls.
  • Military Base Citadelle du Quebec: This used to be a military base in the good old days. Today’s use is the same, but this time the soldiers call themselves Canadian Forces, and not something like “New French Defense viva la Revolution”

Beautiful winter park. Let’s look closer:

inflateable sleds,liked together to huge chains, are dragged up the hill by snow mobiles, just to be ridden downhill by those people who paid 6$ to get in to the winter wonder land

Some freight ship inmidst ice floes. On the far right bottom a horse-dragged, sled that is at least 20m long.

Huiiii (right behind the ice castle, also made of ice)

Snow sculptures seem to be that what Doenerbuden are for Berlin – they are everywhere.

Ice skating in Quebec

And since I already spent 50$ on a bus and 40$ on a bed, why not 20$ on a dinner?
We meet a couple of other people that Kevin knows and eat in a bar while watching an ice hocket match, Toronto VS. Montreal. I like the violence.
Somewhen in the middle the Australian mate Pete comes in (I do roadtrips with him) – and tells us that his car made weird sounds and he thinks the suspension killed itself. He has to repair it on Monday – so no cheap ride back for us two. I eat one and a half Nacho with cheese portions (the cheapest food they have), but cannot finish.
We all get fairly full of food, beer and involuntary upgrades of cola to whiskey-cola … and go out. The first cheap thing: Entry fee of 5$, wardrobe for 2$, and I can even deposit the storyfoam box of nacho leftovers that I took with me from the bar.

Our cute nightclub “Maurice”. On the bottom in the green light is a bar made of ice.

While we are in the club, it rains outside, and then the temperature drops drastically. As soon as we get out, the whole city is covered in solid ice.