First, I have found all Canadians to be warm and inviting, fund and very welcoming to us. There are a few things that I have observed that I thought might be interesting to share about French Canadians (who are particularly fun to hand around with) in particular:
- They like neat, mowed and clean yards and will go to great lengths to make them that way. East Texans, a lesson learned!)
- They like red, and many things are painted red including their roofs. it is is not red, it is some other bright color.
- Many speak only French which is cool. It is interesting to me that they have preserved their language when surrounded by English speaking provinces and countries.
- All houses, even the tiniest are neat and perfectly landscaped.
- They prefer small, neighborhood markets over large super markets.
- Most have their own gardens and there are many roadside stands to buy fresh vegetables (les légume).
- Many enjoy an afternoon glass of wine outdoors in a stemmed glass (because the climate here is so mild, outdoors is the place to be). We decided to participate in that custom!
- When you pass over the Quebec border, instantly everything goes French. The signs, the markings on the packages at the store, the business names, and it seems even the markings on the trucks passing me on the highway mysteriously change to French.
- They gather apples frozen hard on the ground in fall/winter on Île d’Orléans, Québec and convert them to cider. Cider here isn’t your grandmother’s cider, it’s a sweet wine, almost like a brandy. The freezing of the apples boosts the potency of the juice and the alcohol content to about 12%. So, as the lady at the cider boutique told me “be careful with this one, it is dangerous” pointing to the bottle of strawberry flavored cider in my basket. She was correct. Nuff said.
- I will not miss the bagged milk, give me a non-earth-friendly plastic gallon jug any day!
Tomorrow we leave Canada and the road show turns south through the northern USA. It will be good to be home where gas costs about half what Canadian gas costs, and the prices are more like what I am used to but I will miss our Canadian friends we met along the route, the great food, fresh vegetables, hearing “bonjour” and “merci boucoup”in the sing song way that makes it sound so cool, and all the other things I have learned to love about this place. I will be back!
To my customers I met with along the route, thank you each for your hospitality and for being our loyal customers. Your business is appreciated and never taken for granted. I will see you all soon!
Wisconsin, here I come!