Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Do you have a gun?" asks the nice lady

me: "I beg your pardon?"

nice lady: "Do you have a gun with you?"

me: "No, I don't have a gun."

nice lady: "Well, do you at least have a dog?"

me: "Nope, no dog. But I have a cat, left her at home tho."

nice lady: "A cat won't do you any good if you get into trouble."

me: "What kind of trouble do you expect me to get into?..."

Stupid question. Lesson #1 for when traveling through the American midwest: don't ask open ended questions that can draw you into a debate over the right to carry arms. Tu peux pas gagner.

Je peux meme pas trouver les mots pour dire comment je suis heureuse d'etre canadienne. If ever I start to take my life for granted I hope I think back to the wariness I saw lurking behind the righteous gazes of those kind neighbours in Utah. De ne pas etre capable de sortir d'une voiture pour pomper du gaz sans penser si la personne juste a cote volerait mon argent ou voiture au point d'un fusil...

The irony of the whole situation is that I only met this group of people, who were so concerned about the safety of a woman traveling on her own, because of the *kindness* of a string of strangers. I was having clutch problems in Bryce Canyon and managed to find someone online through the Vanagon Rescue Squad who was 100 kms from where I was and who was willing to give me a hand. If it hadn't been for the good will of someone I had never met before, and my willingness to trust that he wasn't a trigger happy bedlamite, my van and I would have been limping along in 3rd, hoping desperately that I didn't have to stop on a hill, for a lot longer while I tried to find a mechanic open on the 4th of July who was willing to touch a Westy.

Si j'avais un verre de vin a ce moment je le leverai a la bonte des etrangers. Thank you Mr B for your all your help and for proving that not all of humanity has gone to pot.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

In the interim

There will be pictures, I promise. There will also be catch up posts for highlights of the trip. I wish I could have posted more often, oh well, c'est la!

A bunch of folks have had mixed reactions to the use of both English and French in this blog. All the frustration has been voiced by the anglophones, so this entire post and explanation is in English in honour of you. I contemplated writing this in French, but I'm not that mean. ;)

It has been pointed out to me on many occasions that I am not "truly" French Canadian, and I am not "truly" English. Supposedly I am not "really" from British Columbia and didn't live long enough in New Brunswick (the province of my birth) to be from there either. I lived for 4 years in the States and, tho it influenced my view of the world, I am definitely not from there.

For a while I found it incredibly frustrating, this insistence of one group that I am not a part of their "crowd" while hearing the same thing in a different language from the other group. I've decided to hell with it all. I am both, and if you have a problem with it you can go shit bricks up a tree in a snow storm for all that I care.

So, in an attempt to regain my French (which I have allowed to sit in the back seat for far too long), and to prove a point, I am writing this blog in both languages.

That being said, I am not deaf to the plight of those who struggle with understanding what I have written in French. I am flattered that you care at all. I am no grand orator and what I write can hardly be considered more than one woman's conceit, but I guess that is the nature of most blogs.

My suggestion to those who don't speak French is to find an online translator such as this one: If the answer you get doesn't seem right post a comment and ask me for a translation. Hey, worst thing that happens is you learn a bit of French, and for you Canadians that would be a good thing. We are "supposed" to be a bilingual country after all.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Cultural Education

Everything you need to know about a place you can learn from billboards. Hee hee, generalisms. But, seriously, I've been learning a lot about the general mentality of individual states while reading the signs along the road. Get it? Reading the signs?! Ooh, I kill myself!

I started paying attention in North Carolina where someone named Dick is big into seafood. My favourite was, "I got crabs from Dirty Dick's!" Well, duh! Who wouldn't?

Along Florida's panhandle there were plenty of boards making sure that I know that God was ready to talk and that a fetus's heart starts beating 18 days after conception. Then there was the sage advice of, "America, love it or leave it." Figures, ils me disent ca quand je suis le plus loin possible de chez-nous. Peut-etre ca serait mieux de mettre ca plus pres de la frontiere?

Alabama was a beautiful contrast of prolific, almost weed-like sproutings of advertising for casinos where there is a tonne of cash just waiting to be won just by me, "... Honest."

Now, Louisiana puts Dick to shame with their love for all things crustacean. Homard, crevette, crabe... ils l'ont tout ici. Et, ils savent comment les preparer dans des milliards de facons.

Since I will not be partaking of the gumbo I am on the hunt for another traditional delicacy called a beignet. French for doughnut, it is oh so much more, including more calories. My thighs are already thanking me.