Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Montreal Zombie Walk 2012

Back in mid-October was an event in Montreal that started as a small, unique parade back in Sacramento, California. But, somewhere along the way word of it came out and the people around the world (well, mainly North America) took it to a whole 'nother level! I'm talking about the Zombie walk!

My good ol' friend Fouf went last year and I was sad that I had missed it. When he told me about it this year I absolutely wanted to go no matter what. Well, it turns out there was a record attendance this year. It was HUGE. I don't have the exact numbers, but I was told that there was a lot more than ever before. This even has really caught on. Especially since the start of the hit TV show The Walking Dead.

Case in point

Honestly, I wasn't really prepared for that day. I had completely forgotten about it and my friend was working the night shift at his new job so he got up kind of late and gave me a last minute call to ask me if I wanted to go. Of course I did! So I checked in my wardrobe for some old clothes that I keep for when I go to the family cottage in the woods and go fishing and stuff, ripped them apart, bought some cheap makeup at the pharmacy and voila! Insta-zombification!

My friend though was a little more prepared than I was. He decided to have a theme going for him. He dressed himself up as a zombie golfer! His costume was a hit, especially with the older spectators. He did look pretty funny.

We were a bit late so we had to hurry and put the make up on and then we walked from his place at the Berri Uqam metro to Place-Des-Arts where the march started. We got there just in time and were able to join the crowd. When I got there, I felt pretty cheap with my little make up from the pharmacy and my torn clothes with fake blood. Some people had some pretty elaborate make up with latex for fake bruises and bloody gashes and contact lenses and wigs and all sorts of accessories. But, one thing that seemed very popular were the zipper faces.

Seen here in the lower left, a zipper face.

One dude went as far as making himself an Flood infected zombie Master Chief costume which was pretty fucking bad-ass! For all you non-gamers out there, Master Chief is the main protagonist and the character that you play in the video games series Halo on XBox. The flood are these alien parasites that attack people and once they die they turn into these horrible bloated alien mutation zombie and start attacking you. So here's what Master-Chief would look like.

The walk itself started at Place-Des-Arts, going west on Sainte-Catherine, then down south on Bleury, East on Notre-Dame, South again on Place Jacques Cartier, west on De la Commune, north on Saint-Laurent and back to Place-Des-Arts. The walk lasted several hours, even though I could've walked this distance in 15 minutes. Also, pretending to walk like a zombie gets really tiring on the muscles when you have to fake limp and bend your back and what not. I was pretty sore at the end of the day. The weather was perfect, except near the end of the walk it started to rain. And then it started to pour pretty heavily. We we near the end of the zombie walk and people started to scatter and find refuge in restaurants or wherever they could go to hide. It was a bad ending to an otherwise awesome day.

Through the rain, my makeup became kind of runny. When I got home and got dry, the fake blood on my face started to dry out and make these crusts. It looked even more realistic. But, not so much as some of the stuff I saw that day.


Anyway, that was an awesome day and I can't wait for next year. I wonder if I could pull off a zombie luchador? We'll see!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Ohaiou gozaimasu Montreal!

Man, it has been a while since I posted something on here. It's been what? Two weeks? It feels like it's been forever! Did you guys miss me? I haven't been walking around much to be honest because I have been very busy. There are a lot of big changes happening in my life right now and that took a lot of time. Tonight I went out for a long walk for the first time in these past few weeks and holy frozen poop nuggets was it cold! I think the temperature reached 0 degrees! (That's Celsius. That's 32 degrees Fahrenheit.) But, you know what? I was able to walk super fast and didn't break a sweat! I was feeling quite warm once I started moving. And the exercise is even better because I had to wear my late-fall-early-winter 100 tonnes black cow hide of a leather coat to keep me warm. I swear that thing is super heavy. Must be at least 10-15 lbs easy! I'm gonna whip myself into shape in no time wearing that! Anyway, lets catch up on some of the walking I did prior to the past two weeks.

About a month ago, I was riding the metro with a colleague of mine who's new to the company and she asked me if we ever do a 5 à 7. For those of you unaccustomed to the term, this basically means that we get together after work between 5pm and 7pm and hang out and have some drinks. I told her we didn't really do  that because everywone's on a tight schedule to catch a train or avoid the heavy traffic of the Décarie highway and the road to the south/north shore. Also, there's the fact that there are no fun bars around my job. None! They are all a bunch of run down dives with people playing video gambling machines like a bunch of leeches stuck to a flashy screen. So we never really hang out after work. I realized how much that sucked, so I decided to take it upon myself to find a nice place somewhere close where we can all get together. The best place to start looking was in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (NDG for short) on Shebrooke street just west of Décarie. I found one single pub called Honey Martin that looked okay, but that was it. That pub though seems cool. They have live bands almost every night. Other than that, there was nothing particularly interesting to see there.

After walking all the way to Cavendish Boulevard, I turned back around and made headed back to my car which was parked near Décarie Boulevard. As I was making my way back, I walked in front of a large middle-eastern supermarket called Marché Akhavan located at the corner of the Grand Boulevard.

I was pretty happy with that discovery because I love middle-eastern foods. I went inside to take a look and the place was big! They had a great variety of all sorts of imported products. They also had a butcher section that sold fresh meats and a prepared food section with all sorts of warm dishes ready to eat. But, the best of all was the sweets section with all sorts of cookies, baklavas and other honey-nut covered goodies! I'll definitely be going back there from time to time to rack up on middle-eastern supplies like spices and rice and oils and mostly sweets!

I didn't take any pictures inside because there were a lot of people and I didn't want to bother anyone. Also, I walked out of that place empty handed because I had to walk quite a ways back to my car and I didn't want to carry anything since it was still pretty far away. Still walking on my way back, I had just gone one block down when suddenly...

Across the street I made the most incredible discovery I could have ever hoped for. I would never have thought that I had to go into this butt hole of a neighbourhood  to find the most incredibly awesome thing. Something that I've been looking for for so long and that I thought this city was lacking entirely. As I stood there and looked at it I fell to my knees and raised my hands to the sky and cried HALLELUJA!!!!

People, this has got to be the greatest discovery I'll ever make while walking around this city and I will share it with you tonight. And that most awesome thing is....


Why is this so special? Because I could never find a single grocery store in this city that focused especially on Japanese and Korean products. There are TONS of Chinese supermarkets, especially in Chinatown. But, not Japanese. By the way the Koreans have always been pretty close to the Japanese and always seem to carry a lot of Japanese stuff, but anyway.  FUCK YEAH!

I dashed across the boulevard, through traffic, dodging speeding cars and ran to the door to find the place still open! Luckyyyy! The place was tiny, but was chock full of cool Japanese stuff. I went all around the store and snapped some pics to show you what they got. Right next to the entrance, it was instant ramen galore!!! There was a good variety of instant noodles in that corner. Definitely had a good selection.

First thing I did though was to check out the drinks section which was right in front of the entrance. Check this out. Dragon Ball Z soft drinks!

And they had Pocari Sweat sports drink powder! You can't find that stuff anywhere here!

I found panko, or Japanese bread crumbs for making some tempura! Actually they had a whole section of that stuff.

They had another section dedicated to packaged instant noodles of all kinds as well.

In the back of the store there was a fridge with packaged vegetables and sauces of all kinds. There was also another refrigerator with all kinds of tofu and pickled stuff. You could get a large bag of pickled ginger, like in sushi restaurants, for super cheap.

In one of the sections I found packages of Japanese curry. I don't know if you ever had that kind of curry before, but it's fucking delicious! It tastes a little bit like Indian yellow curry but it's kind of sweet. It's amazing with chicken. I will probably get myself a package sometime and make some.

In the far side of the store was a section with chips, crackers, cookies and frozen treats. I wanted to buy one of everything I found there because it all looked weird and strange and exotic but tasty at the same time. There was a box of giant Pocky! I wonder if it's the cookie sticks that are giant or just the package? Imagine super huge Pockys as large as a pencil dipped in chocolate! Hell that sounds good!

The frozen section was quite interesting. There were all sorts of frozen desserts that were just ready to be cooked and served. For example. there were these red-beans filled steamed buns that all you have to do is steam them and you have a dessert! Another section contained thick udon noodles. There was also a large variety of fish products and sliced meats. The meats were mostly for bulgogi, which is a Korean dish. A large wall of freezers contained gyoza dumplings and even frozen packages of ramen! But, the best of all, and I've been searching all over the freakin' place for these, are the frozen narutomaki!!! Those are a kind of fish paste swirly thing they put in some ramen soups in Japan. It's impossible to find here and nobody knows what the hell they are. Well, I found some and now I know where to get them!!!

The steamed buns.

Thick noodles

Dumplings a plenty!

The narutomaki!!!

Frozen ramen!!!


There is a lot more stuff in that store, let me tell ya! But, the owner of the place was checking me out with a suspicious look and finally came to ask my why the hell I was taking pictures. I explained to him it was because I wasn't from this neighbourhood and that I wanted to remember what they had. So he said I didn't have to worry because they had a website! Ha! When I got home and checked it out, I realized it was all in Korean. Damnit!

Anyway, after spending so much time there, I couldn't help myself. I HAD to buy some stuff. So I geared myself up to make an ultimate instant ramen dinner of epic proportions. I got the bag of thin sliced Pork butt, not only because I thought it was hilarious, but also because it seemed all thinly sliced into small individual portions and thought it would be a great addition to instant ramen. I got a small container of sheets of  sea-weed, like the one they wrap sushi in, a couple of sticks of narutomaki, a few bags of frozen ramen noodles, a pack of red-bean-filled steamed buns and some precooked gyoza pork dumplings. I was all set for that part. Additionally, I got myself a bottle of Ramune soft drink and Pocky cookies.

The Ramune soft drink is served in a messed up bottle. It's so complicated to open and even to drink your damn drink that it has to come with instructions! Here's a video that sort of explains what Ramune is and how it all works.

Tonight, I decided to take out all this great stuff that I bought and make myself that epic ramen dinner. And here's how it looked like in the end. I must say, I was quite proud of myself, but it could still be improved if I just marinated the pork first. I will follow up with a post on my cooking blog soon to show you how I made this.

In the meantime, I'm going to sleep now because it's pretty late and I have work tomorrow. Oyasuminasai!!!