Part I of…
August 7, 2010 5 Comments
OK. So Old Iron has threatened me with an old fashioned beat down if I don’t post something soon (what he doesn’t know is that I just might like that… but meh, I digress).
Yes. I’ve been on hiatus.
But with a very valid reason…
While some might say it’s not a good reason – it is one nonetheless.
And a girl needs a steady pay check until one of two things happen 1) find me a suga daddy or, the likelier of the two 2) I win the lottery.
Since neither one of these options appeared in my cards the last time I had them read, this thing called ‘work’ is a bit all consuming at the moment.
You see, I’ve been asked to assume the role of IP Specialist (IP = Intellectual Property… just in case there is confusion) at work and while I gladly accepted this added responsibility – I emphasized the need to be edumacated in the world of IP in order to do this job effectively.
So I found a great course – intense week of training – in Montréal, Québec… at the University of McGill.
And so I spent a week in a room full of PhDs, scientists, engineers, MBAs, lawyers and many a highly educated people.
It was a brilliant week… but…
I have a love/hate relationship going on with the province of Québec.
For our non-Canadian readers – you may not be fully aware of the political storm that IS the province of Québec.
They – as in a rather large majority – HATE – the rest of Canada.
They resent English speaking Canada.
This resentment and hatred goes back to 1759 (when the French lost control of Canada in 1760 when Général de Lévis surrendered his army to the English at Montréal. That surrender occured a year after the English laid siege to Québec City in the summer of 1759) and god only knows, it probably came with them on the boats when they first stepped foot on Native land 300-400 yrs ago.
Ever since then – they’ve fought the English – CANADA – at almost every turn, fighting to maintain their French heritage, culture and staunch Catholicism – while continuously throwing around words like ‘REFERENDUM’ and their many attempts to split from the rest of the country.
So far, they have been unsuccessful in the latter.
Ultimately – they don’t like change or anyone that can possibly bring change.
The English and any foreigner – are often their target of much resentment.
If you want to live in Québec – you must give away who you are and adopt the only way Québec knows: the French way – a very Catholic way.
I lived in the province of Québec for 13 yrs – from the ages of 6 thru 19.
I left because I couldn’t handle the political climate.
But not because I didn’t love the immensely beautiful city that is Montréal.
Steeped in rich culture and architecture – it is as close to a European style-city as North America has.
No. I left because I am an Anglophone in a Francophone society – making my life, at times a living hell. Add in the fact that at the time I was a Jehovah’s Witness in a very staunch Catholic society – the abuse and persecution that is very acceptable in Québec was far too much for me to bear at the time.
After the OKA Crisis of 1990, the never ending abuse for being something other than Catholic or French Canadian – I just didn’t (and still don’t) have the patience for it any longer.
So I went where opportunities afforded me the luxury to be ME – not just because I was English but because by then, I was fully bilingual – fluent in both French and English.
And that bilingualism has served me well – elsewhere.
I can say however, that for the most part, the actual city of Montréal is rather multi-cultural, pluralistic society and is tourism friendly – most speak a version of English that allows visitors a means of communicating with the locals.
Right now – they can’t be anything but open to tourism as they don’t have much industry in that province that can sustain them… should they ever get their wish and separate from the rest of Canada.
English is the language of international commerce… it’s a fact.
They need to accept that and get use to it.
ANYHOW… all this is to say…
While I left back in 1993, I had only ever been back to Montréal a handful of times on business trips.
Those trips didn’t REALLY afford me the time to be a tourist in my old stomping grounds.
Usually never really staying long enough to visit either.
It was all business, no play.
The last trip that took me to Montréal was practically 10 years ago.
Could be less but really – where I was in Montréal, able to see it, be in it – was definitely 10 yrs or more.
The week at McGill University afforded me the time to not only partake in this intensive week long workshop on Patents and IP, but to get out and investigate the city that I left (as you can see from the pictures I took and shared here), turned my back on, many years ago.
What I realized is this:
How much I LOVE this city and can appreciate the culture, architecture and history that IS Montréal…
But that politically… this city is still stuck.
Far from progressive.
Still pretending they belong to France.
While France outrightly rejects… their whimpy-assed, defeated countrymen… (ok.. I know that was a little much… but it IS true France doesn’t want any part of their fellow French brothas from other mothas and sistas from anotha mista)
Again… I digress… sheesh it’s hard to stay on track here…
CUT! Let’s try this again…
I got to chatting the front desk clerk at the hotel I was staying at.
She was a young English speaking Québecer (god save that girl’s soul!) who was a Poli-Sci and Geography Major at McGill University… who quickly filled me in on the since I left – from the disappearing or restored landmarks to the political climate.
It was a great conversation.
Nothing surprised me, really.
Québec has an excellent historical preservation program, as it should really.
BUT… the rest… Well I am most certainly not a fan of a lot of it.
And so I was told about Bill 94…
(stay tuned for part II – this is already a novella as it is… as it will tie into Old Iron’s taunting me here)