Random Notes on Canada mostly from Québec:

If Ontario is the land of eh!?. Québec is the land of perfection. So much seems to be perfect. “You would like to be in the lock first thing in the morning? Perfect.” “I would like café ole with brunch.” “Perfect.” Maybe I should have tested this somewhat universal sense of perfection. “I would like chocolate caramel sauce on my foie gras.”

On the subject of café ole, Canadians (and maybe others) serve it in a bowl. That is a new one for us. Maybe we just haven’t been out often enough.

Canada seems, to us at least, comfortably bilingual. If there is a measure any potential cultural defensiveness by the French speaking minority maybe it’s the stop signs. In France, the stop signs say STOP – a bit surprising but OK. In Ottawa, they are bilingual, STOP and Arrét. In Québec, the signs are mostly bilingual but in some places and in the towns near the New York border, they say only Arrét. English speakers are also less prevalent near the border. Hmm.

We are reminded of the wonderful products that are associated with the term artisanal. So many restaurants and markets sell excellent food products grown by and made by small craft shops. Makes going to open air markets an adventure. Also guarantees that each shopping experience will be unique so fond memories become more important.

We developed a great appreciation for the challenges early explorers faced in working up stream anywhere. The trip back up river from Québec was a real grind. We came back up when the tidal part of the St. Lawrence had an incoming tide. That meant that the current running against us was only two knots.

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