Sugar Shack – March 16, 2012

7:00pm. March 16, 2012. “A large group of protesters is currently forming in front of Roddick gates (located at Sherbrook and McGill University as of 6:50pm), we therefore advise that you stay away from Sherbrooke Street. If you leave the downtown campus, please use other exits. Some witnesses have also reported approximately six hooded individuals with MSE logos gathering nearby.”

Don’t worry, we were completely peaceful, perhaps rather excited (though not dangerous) for an overdose of maple syrup and dance music, waiting for our chariot to come. And what a chariot! TVs, fancy seats and big windows, one would have stayed all night in.

After 40 minutes of inter-disciplinary conversation (yes, it was rather intellectual) between the 50 passengers, we arrived at our destination. The air was humid, just cold enough, and a gloomy fog surrounded the sugar shack. Our first impression was an intricate combination of smells; warm wood and thick maple syrup. Our group headed for the tables zombie-ly, almost without noting the ô so desired dance floor.

While some started by frantically engulfing spoons of delicious maple syrup with a blissfully happy facial expression, others began the meal with some bean soup, cabbage salad, sausage slices, terrine and other appetizers with warm bread. Omelet, maple syrup beans and ham, potatoes, bacon and crispy lard came to the rescue of the starving students soon after, with (obviously) beer, cider and wine to wash it all down. Eventually, the traditional combo arrived:

[maple syrup(pie + grand père + pancakes +…)]coffee & tea = delicious

Before the food coma could hit, everybody was wandering around in the foggy woods, the red-lit petting zoo (temporally open for the animal-petting-lovers that we are), in slightly muddy fields annnd… onto the dance-floor! Previously occupied by dancers from an age range of about 3-7, the dance floor got progressively more crowded as the music gradually got catchier and louder throughout the night, with people dancing with an ever-increasing inhibition. In short, lots of fun.

By 10:45pm, we realized that we were supposed to be sitting in the bus heading back to Montreal and left the dance floor to climb aboard. Of course, all the energy we had accumulated was fading – it did not take long for everybody to starting singing, and for the next 40 minutes, we sang all the classics we could think of.

By 11:30pm, back in front of Roddick gates, we bid our farewells, (many of us in sign language as we had lost our voices) sad to see the wonderful night come to an end.

– Mathis Messager, U1