You didn’t travel to Montréal to fall in love. You came for the terrasses, the français, the restaurants, the bagels (superior to New York, you are told), the vintage shops, the bookstores and the people. When you enter the wine bar recommended by a local you met at Olimpico, you are welcomed with a cheerful “Bonjour-hi!” French music is playing in the background. You like it. You like it even more when you meet her.
She’s talking with someone at the bar. The golden hue of the sunset makes her many rings shine. She unpretentiously throws her head back as she laughs. She makes the ice in her Apérol Spritz glass clink as if she’s playing along with the music. The canicule — that’s what they call heatwaves there — doesn’t seem to bother her. She looks unapologetically perfect in her Y2K-inspired clothing; you’ve never seen low-rise jeans fit someone this good since 2002. She turns her head around. Your eyes meet and you know it’s too late. The French-speaking Montréalais call it un coup de foudre — love strikes like a sudden thunderstorm.
She makes her way through the wine bar and comes over. She sits next to you and speaks with a soft voice. “Salut!” she says. You now realize you should have continued that middle school French class instead of switching to something else. The only words you know are “bonjour,” “merci,” and “croissant.” She asks if you speak French with a tiny French accent that isn’t really “French.” No, you say. She smiles and continues in English. She mixes both languages like poetry. Well, it sounds like poetry to your ears.
She brings you to a rooftop where you see the Mount Royal Cross and the downtown skyline. She introduces you to the bartender, along with everyone else she knows there. They all wave at her and give her two kisses on the cheek to greet her (what a weird way to greet people). When you sit down, you talk for hours. She discusses her job, her passions and the music she listens to. She’s outraged that you’ve never heard of Munya, Vanille or Milk & Bone. As she promises to make you a playlist, she smiles and puts her hands on yours.
And while she speaks, you’ve already made life plans. You will quit your job. You will move to Montréal. Dammit, you will learn French. You will live off bagels with smoked salmon and cream cheese and espressos. Your new favorite late-night snack will become poutine. You will start using the metric system. You will call the subway the metro and the corner stores will become dépanneurs. You will brag to everyone about your apartment, the culture and the people, but will secretly hate the winters, the heatwaves, the tourists and the constant construction. You will say, “Bonjour-Hi,” too. You will sing to Les Louanges while proclaiming your love for Tyler, The Creator.
She’s worth it, you think to yourself, even if it only lasts for the summer. Même si ça dure seulement un été. Un coup de foudre dans la canicule de l’été. Un amour d’été.
Roséwave: Coup de Foudre Tracklist
Vanille, “Carte du ciel”
Emma Beko, “MHS”
Teedra Moses, “Be Your Girl (Kaytranada Edition)”
Chocolat, “Fou fou fou mon minou”
Les Louanges, “La nuit est une panthère”
Wolf Parade, “This Heart’s on Fire”
Robert Robert, “L’été je m’ennuie”
Heartstreets, “Cruising with You”
Jonathan Personne, “Springsteen”
Laroie (feat. Shah Frank), “Bittersweet”
Gayance, “Meu Sol”
Clay and Friends, “Bouge ton thang”
Milk & Bone, “Coconut Water”
Totalement Sublime, “OMG (oiseau)”
Clara Luciani, “Amour toujours”
Aya Nakamura (feat. Damso), “Dégaine”
Skiifall (feat. BADBADNOTGOOD), “Break of Dawn”
Sophia Bel (feat. Ariana Moffatt), “Point de mire”
Tyler, The Creator (feat. Youngboy Never Broke Again & Ty Dolla $ign), “WUSYANAME”
Super Plage (feat. Maryze & San James), “Reine de la Jungle”
Alicia Clara, “Hazemaze”
BéLi, “À vos marques”
Magi Merlin, “Walking to the Dep”
Meggie Lennon, “Ton amour, ma bouche”
Fanny Bloom (feat. Shash’U & Tommy Kruise), “À bicyclette”
Arcade Fire, “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)”