I am going back to Quebec City tomorrow on a travel-writing assignment. On the itinerary: tour relics, take a food tour, travel to an island in the middle of the St. Lawrence and just drive around. Fact-check a million properties.
I won’t have a GPS and maybe not a cell phone. It’s like traveling back in time. Just me and a map.
Pictures of Quebec in Winter
Cold yet? Seeing as this is the hottest year on record, I feel like we could all use a cool down. Happy summer everyone!
I am sure you’ve heard about “dangerous” protests in Montreal and Quebec City. I don’t doubt that there are some protesters who take it overboard. Going into classes, flipping over tables, and screaming at the students in the class is one example. But take a look at the peaceful, beautifully shot Pots and Pans Protest below.
I am not vrainment Quebecoise so I can’t completely understand how the student protesters feel. They do pay the lowest tuition in North America. They also pay extremely high taxes.
The government decided to raise their tuition without much warning. It is not the most opulent place. I can see how some students would struggle to pay tuition there.
The political fabric of Quebec is layers deep. You get a strong sense of pride, mixed with a little resentment and isolation from the Quebecoise. Don’t listen to people who tell you that they’re rude, backwards, or that they’ll get mad if you don’t speak French. It is shame that tourism in Montreal is down (up in Quebec City though!) because of the protests – it is a beautiful, culturally rich place.
(The below protest is actually against Bill 78, which in my opinion, is just terrible. The bill, passed in response to the student protests demands that protesters have to inform police of their route hours beforehand. And that you’re not allowed to protest unless you follow their specific guidelines or they can arrest you. This is my understanding, please comment if you know more.)
Pots and Pans Protest
If anyone pukes on Their Royal Heighnesses during the 2011 Royal Tour, it’s going to be me. Not purposely of course.
They’re coming to Quebec City in two days and I have a media pass to cover the tour. It just hit me today that I’m going to be mere steps away from the future King of England and his new bride. I’m now envisioning getting trampled in a media stampede or being so nervous that I throw up on the Duchess.
Weeks ago, I convinced myself that they’re just people. They get food stuck in their teeth, they get gas, they have to clip their toenails just like everyone else. And today, I realized I was knee-deep in denial. They probably pay someone to file their toenails and it’s likely someone’s JOB to tell Kate if she has a huge clump of spinach in her teeth. Every move they make is scrutinized and mull-over by Monarchy worshippers around the world. Continue reading →
Wildflowers don’t care where they grow – Dolly Parton.
It’s really easy to develop a negative attitude when you move to a new city. Especially when you’re in stage 2 of the expatriate stages, otherwise known as “I hate this fucking place.” Continue reading →
Confession: I’m terrified of Bonhomme Carnaval.
Bonhomme: Terrifying anglos since 1954
He’s the official greeter of Quebec’s Winter Carnival, which started last weekend.
Crowds of singing drunks fill the streets. There’s an ice sculpture contest, a glittering ice hotel, cocoa served out of ice mugs at the glittering ice hotel, an ice palace, ice skating, a canoe race across the icy St. Lawrence.
Here’s how I plan to survive my new city’s weird and wonderful winter festival:
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It’s nearly impossible to look attractive in subzero temperatures. Hair: frizzy. Nose: drippy. Skin: scaly. Most days, I can’t tell the difference between a wind-whipped old man and a young, comely woman.
No offense to passer-byers. I can’t see anything but a strip of eyes.
Some girls pull it off: furry hood, knee-length boots, adorable mittens, and all. Not me.
New Ugly Boots
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Elwood checking out the new boots