miCkzilla & keonadot travel - 2008

Vancouver to Halifax (via Canada): miCkzilla & keonadot
Halifax to Vancouver (Via USA): Ma, mickzilla & keonadot

look at us go!!

Tuesday, August 1

Lost In Translation

The Home of Poutine, originally uploaded by mickzilla.

We made it to Quebec City - after battling a painful Friday rush hour traffic situation going through Montreal, At least an extra 1.5 hrs in the hot sun, stop and go. I was practicing my French swear words during that time.

So Quebec City is 400 years old - and you'd think in all that time, that they would have evolved into an English speaking province...

But seriously - I'm a firm believer in the "When in Rome.." philosophy, and i did a seek in the old brain for my Grade 9 French knowledge to see how far it would get me. (Mind you, this was French 9 in BC, which is probably about a Grade 2-3 French equivalent in every other province, except maybe Alberta)

So I walked into the hotel, everyone in front of us was speaking French, and when it was my turn, I go up with my "Bonjer! - Une resarvay-shun pour Robinson". She took about a 5 second look at me, and responded with, in a very thick French accent, "One moment please". - She was obviously not impressed with my attempt to use to the language.. She grabbed some paperwork, entirely in French, and said "Sign 'ere, 'ere, and 'ere". I did, and got my key - but then realized I have no idea what I just signed... Lets hope it wasn't a French contract for my soul.

We were starving - but concerned on how we would complete the process of ordering food with the Grade 9 French - and then like an epiphany, it came to me - the French word for "Poutine" is "Pountine!" - Not to mention we're also in the birthplace of this staple of the Canadian diet.

We hit he car, and found a drive-through close to the hotel with big pictures of pountine on the menu - I pulled in, and after a bunch of unrecognizable French words came out of the intercom - I proudly said, "Poutine, See Voo Play". A slew more of unrecognizable French words came out of the intercom and very confused with what to do next, i responded with "Large?"... Again, there was about a 5 second awkward silence, and I got the very thick French accented English phrase, "One moment please". - This time, the manager came on the intercom, and said "We don't understand what size poutine you would like?" - thinking quick - I said "Grand" and she said "What?" and I said, "The biggest one please". Thank god, that seemed to work - and we headed back to the hotel with the best poutine we've ever had.

Tomorrow is the final stretch and a 10hr drive to PEI and the old man's house!

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  • At August 2, 2008 at 7:00 AM , Blogger mrrob said...

    Wow does that ever look good! I think my colon still has some undigested from the 1970s. If you ever hear me talking about a cross country bus tour.TALK ME OUT OF IT. And if it's unavoidable remind me to be extra polite to any seat mate offering to share his General Tso chicken..........looking for you about 10 PM. love dad

  • At August 2, 2008 at 10:18 AM , Blogger mrrob said...

    When you drive by Magnetic Hill tonight roll down your window and you just might hear "Desperado" by the Eagles. I've got a few cold Alpines waiting for you and some music by Babyshambles and Great Big Sea.

  • At August 2, 2008 at 10:24 AM , Blogger mrrob said...

    About 6 weeks ago I took a cab from the Moncton Airport to 8 Granville St. It only took 1 hour and 45 minutes.

  • At August 2, 2008 at 12:47 PM , Blogger Perry said...

    Your experience in Quebec sounds like my daily french classes. Keep trying, use English, eventually they cave. Suspect you are nearing good ol' NB about now (3:45 PM Ottawa time. The girls miss Keona (and you too!).

  • At August 3, 2008 at 8:45 AM , Blogger syndicated said...

    Large? :D - oh man... this was lol. Oh how this brings back the memories of trying to speak french to frenchies... you are right about poutine cuz french fries are "pom freets". Another great day!

  • At August 5, 2008 at 9:55 PM , Blogger Mark said...

    Having lived and gone to school in Quebec (McGill University), I laughed my ass off at your story about trying to check into the hotel, and finally, order one of Quebec's signatures dishes....poutine. Being bilingual, something Im not sure you even knew about Mick, your story was very funny. Im still grinning from ear to ear over this one :-)

    Mark Swan


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