Life in Québec, part X

Well, there are still many things to love in Canada. In fact, if my boyfriend was here and I could get where I wanted without needing to magick up a driver’s licence and a car, it would be quite close to a perfect country.

Last Saturday, I went to the city centre for the summer music festival, and decided to grab myself a burger from an expensive, but particularly good restaurant. Most of the tables were already full by the time I arrived, and I was patiently queuing and waiting for someone to leave, where a guy approached me. Apparently, he and his friend had one extra seat at their table, and since they had spotted me on my own, they said I was welcome to sit with them.

It turned out that they were doing intensive military training near Québec, and were taking advantage of their one free week-end to have a walk around the city and relax with beers and good food. We talked for a while about Canada, life as an expat, virtual spaces, and life in general, while sharing a bowl of homemade crisps. After a while, they left to see some friends, and we parted after an hour of good conversation and excellent food. As we shook hands, one of them said that it had been a great pleasure to meet me, and it was too bad I had a boyfriend already because they would have asked me to come with us, then we laughed and they left.

See, this is one more amazing thing abouth this country. When two guys offer you a seat at their table, you can assume that the reason why they do it is that they saw you standing on your own in the queue and since they had one extra seat, they thought they’d share it with you. You don’t have to look for every possible emergency way out before you accept. If this had happened in France, I would probably have accepted all the same (and maybe regretted it afterwards, toss a coin), but my state of mind would have been something more like, ‘Right, I’ve spoken three sentences and I still haven’t dropped a reference to my boyfriend, I need to let them know I have a boyfriend–BOYFRIEND REFERENCE NOW! Phew. Am I smiling too much? Shit, I’m smiling too much, they’re going to assume I’m interested, stop smiling! Am I sitting too close? Okay, sit back just in case. Legs close together. Other boyfriend reference? Can I relax now?’

So instead of eating my burger by myself, I got to enjoy the company of two friendly guys who shared their potato crisps with me even though we would probably never meet again. I didn’t even have to worry about the parting compliment, because they acted like normal people and made sure to say it as we parted, so it wouldn’t be awkward afterwards. Then I left to enjoy my show. It was French music day, and there was a loud French rock band playing in celebration for the upcoming 14th of July.

Also, the burger was amazing.


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