Back Into The Rain

Biking along St. Lawrence
July ’77

My first day in Quebec was not a happy one, but I feel better now.
I’m practically back to normal—meaning, I’m negotiating morning rain
once again. I’m in my cutoffs, and it’s a warm rain, so I guess I’m
okay, let it rain. I’m presently traveling along the St. Lawrence
Seaway, and am enjoying the hell out of it. However, after traveling
four or five days in Quebec, I feel compelled to write down how
unfriendly I have found the French Canadians. The only thing I expect
upon making eye contact with somebody is some form of recognition, a
smile, a hand wave, anything, but here I encounter silence and a cold
stare. I do not think I am overstating my impression of these people.

There I have said it, and I will leave it at that until I get more
information. That kind of behavior, accompanied with an unwillingness
to speak English (French is the preferred language), effectively
alienates the outsider. I still have a long way to go in French
Canada, but I can say right now that I will be happy to say good-bye
to these people. Well, I’m off once again, back into the rain, which,
I might add, is a whole lot more hospitable than the French Canadians.


About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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4 Responses to Back Into The Rain

  1. Mark says:

    Something tells me that your own attitude has something to do with their attitude… And don’t confuse “unwillingness” with “not knowing enough English to be able to speak the language”. You know, less than 50% of the French Canadians have a sufficient grasp of English to be able to speak it.

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      Yes, you could be right concerning my attitude problem, but there’s more to the story than what is written above. Soon (three or four more posts I think) I’ll have more to say on this subject. Thanks for keeping me honest!

  2. ElizOF says:

    Hope your journey continues to improve… 🙂

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