We are here in Quebec City for a couple of days. Crazy with tourists, but beautiful as always. It's such a cool place with such a fascinating history. I love walking the narrow streets and admiring the truly old, immaculately-kept buildings. This is the city in Canada that most reminds me of Europe. I once played a Navy band gig here during winter Carnaval, and tragically lost a contact lens on the military bus.
This trip, we have our "little brother" with us (see Big Brothers Big Sisters link on sidebar). He is not little (taller than me and nearly 17). He IS from BC and this is his first trip east of Alberta. He is doing an excellent job of trying out his high school French. The waitresses LOOOOOVE him! Too cute.
Anyway, we were in Montreal yesterday and after quite a lot of driving around here and there (and thinking, "Oh yeah, now I remember why driving in Montreal gives me heart palpitations), we have decided that we live in the armpit of Quebec (the Outaouais.) Not because the Outaouais isn't beautiful too, because it is, but because all the tax dollars we fork over aren't used to improve OUR roads or OUR health care, but are obviously being spent on improving the roads around Montreal and Quebec City!!! While we repeatedly damage our car's suspension on potholes the size of comet craters, and drive down allegedly MAJOR roads that lack apparent centre lines (must have run out of yellow paint), the roads in OTHER parts of Quebec are paved with gold (okay, I exaggerate a bit) and free of devastating "nest of chicks", which is how you translate the French expression for potholes!
What gives, Premier Jean Charest and loser cohorts who never bothered to answer the last bitchy letter I wrote to the provincial government (what, you couldn't get a minion to send me a form letter? I am bilingue, you know!) What about the Outaouais, so lovely, yet so neglected by the Department of Public Works (uh yeah, "works", riiiiiiight.) I DARE Charest to take a spin down Avenue Buckingham in his presidential limo or whatever it is he gets chauffeured around in (Batmobile?) as meanwhile yet another piece of metal is ripped from the undercarriage of our poor Mazda! Why can't the Outaouais have streets as smooth as a bebe's bottom like those around Quebec City (I can't get the damn accents to work on this stupid laptop; apologies to my Francophone friends who see the erreurs!) Allo? Are you listening to me? Alloooooo? Spread a little expensive deodorant (metaphorically speaking) on the Armpit of Quebec (perhaps Le Mitchum or maybe Le Speedstick) and save us all some cash at mechanic's! Oh hell, I'm moving to Ontario in some six weeks, so is it really worth me whining?
ANYWAY! I do love Quebec, despite its many quirks. For starters, it's Cheese Heaven. This morning at breakfast I had some Brie that was so good, I was tempted to steal the entire wheel and put it in my purse for later.
Next, it's Bakery Heaven. And Meat Heaven. And Patisserie Heaven. Oh, why pick nits? It's simply FOOD HEAVEN. Except nobody in Quebec has a fargin' clue about how to make a decent cuppa of tea, but nevermind, neither do Torontonians. Which is why I travel with my little plug-in kettle, chipped mug, and box of Yorkshire Gold teabags. Well, that and the fact that I'm eccentric. Or nuts. Or something. (Shaddap out there, I know what you're saying!)
Okay, I need to go to bed so I can be fresh as a daisy for tomorrow's schedule of touring the old city and stuffing our faces. Gelato is on the list.
And COME ON, Quebec government. Spend some money on the roads of the poor, forgotten Outaouais. I know you have ovepasses on the verge of collapsing all over the province (sad but true), but my car is SUFFERING, suffering I tell you!
Some whine with that fromage?