“Hello, lovely Black Man”

It was the way she said it that caught my attention; almost luxuriously, and without a hint of apprehension.

(As I sit down to write this, the Montreal hostel I’m in is blasting 2 Imagine Dragons songs – Radioactive and On top of the World. Simultaneously. On repeat. Occasionally interspersed with “Demons”. And I ain’t even mad.)

It all happened about a week ago. I was navigating the free breakfast laid out in the hostel kitchen, when I heard the oh-so-intriguing catcall. Now, I was felling pretty darn hungry and working with limited time, but it turned out to be a very worthwhile interruption.

I turned to see an artsy, caramel-skinned woman, sitting down in front of a sketch pad that was riddled with the lines of poetry and notes that she’d been writing. She struck up a conversation – about where we were from, what we each did in life, and what brought us to Montreal.

She told me that she worked as a spiritual healer, combining elements of Christian teachings and indigenous lore. She was incredibly interested in indigenous Australians, and we had a pretty solid chat about the difficulties they face. We touched on the Stolen Generations and how a lot of kids continue to be taken away from their families by government organisations, as well as modern day oppression and the things that need to be done in order for indigenous populations world-wide to be able to flourish.

Through it all, I hadn’t even gotten round to asking her name; but when I did, the response turned out to be the cherry on top of this surprising little travel cake.

“You can call me FreeWoman”

Man, I totally need to change my name to something much cooler…

LawMaker? StormBringer? R’hllor?

A free hostel breakfast, a very interesting catcall, and a really deep and thought-provoking conversation. To top it all off, I also saw someone stick a knife in a toaster in an effort to get her bread out.

Hot damn, what a morning.



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