Thursday, 15 January 2015

Off to a Funeral in Quebec: a Distinct Society

We had company last night.  A few people got sloshed.  The DD for the couple that visited had only one beer.  She and I enjoyed my delicious N/A Becks Beer which, I must say, is delicious when ice cold.  It's funny but when the drinks have booze I am drawn to have the next and the next and the next but with this N/A beer one does quite nicely.  Then I put the kettle on for tea.

No criticism of the drinkers but I sure am glad I was not one of them.  My head is a little stuffed up from my cold this morning but perfectly fine otherwise if you get my drift.

Today we attend a wake/funeral for my husband's brother-in-law but the whole family are ex-alcoholics so they won't have any booze to tempt us.  We should be gone all day and because I work in the office from home, I am actually looking forward to the day socializing.  The kick is that not one of hubby's family speak English.  It'll be a very French function which I look at positively.  I either get to practice my French or get to be quiet and observe; both pastimes appeal to me.

Speaking of language, it has been lovely to have moved to an English community after spending the past twelve years immersed in the French culture.  The differences between these two ways of life are vast although the only thing separating us here in the Ottawa region, Canada's Capital is the Ottawa River.  The area is known as the Outaouais pronounced Oooh-ta-way.

Just for fun I'll list the differences and shed some light on how my drinking escalated while living on the Quebec side of the River. These are generalities - not absolutes.

Quebec - French speaking and protective of the language - often non-English speaking with all road signs in French only, services only offered in French, etc.

Ontario - English speaking with small percentage of population bilingual but with all services offered in both languages including road signs

- very family oriented: teenage parties include parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and often, grandparents all drinking away

- teens tend to party separate from their families and adults party with friends more than family

- small house, lots of toys ie; ATV, snowmobiles, Harleys (we have one), boats, sea-doos, etc.

- large home, big mortgage and not much money for anything else

- very open society - sex, drinking, weed all very acceptable and available.
This hilarious video says it all:

- more conservative and polite

I miss my Quebec days sometimes as I am an open person but just to be able to speak my native tongue has been huge in my recovery process as I don't have to deal with being the outsider any more.

English people who never experience life on the other side of the river are critical of Quebecers and their protective stance but having lived there, I have learned to love the genuine, non-pretentious way they live and hopefully have brought all that is good along with me in my new life in my home province of Ontario.

I have also, hopefully, left behind the use of booze to hide behind when feeling out of place or shy.

If you haven't completely lost interest by now, watch the video.. it's funny.


  1. Good read as always! Sherry

  2. Lovely to hear such a good vibe coming from you. The video is funny. Cherue