Somebody asked me, so it seems I need to clarify: this series of posts is written on the way to Maritimes, the final point of our long trip toward East.
Yesterday afternoon we arrived to Québec City. This is not the first time we are here, since we have relatives in the city that just celebrates its 400 years.
As we crossed the (Ontario-Quebec) “border” into the French land you can say good-bye to the politically correct (PC): No more bilingualism anywhere, only French signs and directions, no Canadian flag only the lilies… and at the first Tim Hortons where we stopped for a coffee the PC is definitely screwed up — if you are shorter than I am then you cannot pee because the urinal is so high placed on the wall that only people 5’10″ and higher can use it. And yes, it is the only one! And no, I don’t have a picture of it…
Despite my innate aversion toward everything that has to do with French politics (and in this regard the Quebec French are just French…) this time I decided to be more patient, more tolerant: 400 years is a venerable age in this continent’s history, so let’s enjoy their fête, I said. Our hosts took us to the beautiful newly built “promenade Samuel-De Champlain“. (see some pictures below) It is really a pleasant, nice place. There is a lookout tower and regardless to my high anxiety I went up to take a few pictures and to enjoy the view of the magnificent St. Lawrence river. Inside there are lots of old photos and explanations about the history of the place, the building of the first bridge etc. Only if I could read and understand it. I was really, honestly interested in the historical details (I always am!). I really wanted to know more about the place. Unfortunately, the chauvinistic policy of this province decided that anglophone Canadians are not welcome, even if tourists. If it wasn’t for the relatives of my wife, I would never return to this damned city.
Make no mistake! I am coming from an ethnic minority background and my community has been also fighting for preserving their language and cultural heritage against assimilating political pressure. The ironic twist is that we made it against the “best disciples” of the French in Eastern Europe, the Roumanians, a distant linguistic cousin of the quebecois… So, I am all for minority rights. But against language madness.