In many aspects it seems like a lifetime ago since we left Munich, but then on the flip side, Montreal still feels so new, and so unknown.
It was the place I think I have felt safest. And the ME really behaved itself when we were there the first time especially, so I am sure that fact alone is a big contributor to the Bavarian city having such a special place in my heart, as well as it being the first place we lived outside of England. It nurtured us through all the craziness of not speaking the language, not knowing a soul in the country, the tastes, etiquette, our initial break away from the safety net of the country we grew up in.
All the cultural differences, finding substitutes for old favourite items, discovering wonderful new things, taking in new views, smells and tastes,.
I say Montreal still feels so new, but of course it's not all unfamiliar. The street we live on is now a welcoming sight - wether it be just from a walk around the block, or arriving back after a week in another country. It is where home is, and all the recognizable traits of our road, such as the big ginger cat with paws the size of Albie's head, or the dog with a bark which sounds like a screeching owl, all serve to add to the feeling.
From not knowing where to buy a pint of milk, post a letter, or how the bus ticket-system worked, it is now all second nature.
Our idea of a bagel has changed - no longer will New York bagels reign in our house! Our consumption of chocolate has decrease - which is no bad thing (although there are peaks following a visit from someone from England...). And we no longer assume there is an air raid going on every time we hear a fire engine.
...Although I don't think we will ever get used to prices for most items not including tax - and costing 15% more by the time it gets through the till...