I've written about this before. But the Slurpees (7-11) or Frosters (Mac's) that one can normally get just do not exist here. There are some "slush" like drinks, but they come in flavors like cherry, grape, or something neon-looking, and are extremely sweet...and just don't have that same texture. It's like...soooo frustrating. Yesterday, it was +31*C, which doesn't include the humidity factor that brought it up another 7*C to 38*C. I actually like the heat (because we have central air conditioning and I can escape from time to time), but...it would be nice to have a normal slurpee from time to time.
2. ST JEAN BAPTISTE DAY
This is the Quebec version of Canada Day. ALL STORES, including grocery stores are closed. There are fireworks and celebrations and all kinds of Quebecie goodness. This link gives a more detailed explanation about why the day is celebrated. But like, ALL the stores are shut. I think in Alberta, the grocery stores are closed for Christmas and Boxing Day and that's it. I'm sure Walmart is even open on Christmas Day. I'm not complaining about the closures (like I'm complaining about the lack of slurpees), but it certainly surprised me (and caught me off guard because I had grocery shopping to do that day).
3. LICENSE PLATE HOLDERS
In Alberta, the dealership that sells you your car likes to put their name on the car wherever they possibly can. This includes the little black thing that goes around your license place on the back of your car. Or some people like to get holders that say, "I love my pug" or some random crap like that. In Alberta, the black thing has become big enough to hide, "Wild Rose Country".
Now, Louis thinks this is a political move because of those not supporting the Wild Rose Party (which could be possible, I guess), but in Quebec, this would TOTALLY be a political statement. Louis made sure to take mine off when I got my Quebec license plate so that I'd fit in.
4. MOVING DAY
In Alberta, Canada Day is a day to spend with your families outside. In Quebec, it's province-wide MOVING DAY!! Leases are usually up this day so in the city, everyone is moving!!! I've heard announcements on the radio and there's even a 3M truck driving around the city handing out prizes to people moving. Click this link to read more about it.
I may have mentioned this before, but the world F-u-c-k is not a big deal here. The girls have been allowed to say, "F*cker" (French pronunciation) for awhile and it's totally no big deal to hear it said in whatever context. I mean, I wouldn't say it at a job interview (CROSS YOUR FINGERS I HEAR BACK TOMORROW ABOUT MY JOB INTERVIEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), but we were just out for a drink on the patio and there was a guy saying, "F*CK", and "F*Cking" really loudly and no one was noticing. Louis and I have Quebecois friend that uses it more than what I was used to and I found it...shocking, dare I say? Even me, who regularly has a potty mouth. "F*CK ME" is heard pretty commonly here...and not in like a trailer park kinda way.
I've written quite a few times that the driving here...well, it's just all crazy to me. But, it's totally normal here for people to travel like loonnnnggg distances to work. I remember when I started working in Fort Saskatchewan and thinking it was a long commute (about 20 minutes...all highway, no traffic). I Googled and found out that the commute times here are indeed longer, according to a 2010 sensus
In both Toronto and Montréal, more than one-quarter of commuters had travel times of 45 minutes or more, which was much greater than in any other metropolitan area. Another one-quarter had travel times of 30 to 44 minutes.
Seriously...I can't imagine (although I totally can imagine...'cause I'll be hearing about that job interview soon....and I'll be working downtown Montreal...RIGHT?!?!). Anyway, it's just generally accepted and I don't hear a lot of complaining about it. I used to complain if I had to take the Whitemud in Edmonton (yes, I'm sure I sound like a freaking hick right now).
Well, that's all for now. Hopefully I'll post soon that I have a freaking job interview. Obviously that's all that's really on my mind these days.....