I’ve spent the last week in Canada, firstly in Quebec City and then Montreal. Quebec City gave me a bit of a chance to improve what little French knowledge I have – this amounts to a four week summer school course that I took at Melbourne University back in 1997, most of which I’ve forgotten.
Montreal, on the other hand, turned out to have a large English-speaking population, which is something I didn’t expect from the largest city in a province that is so rabidly francophone that even their stop signs are in French:
From what I remember of France, for all of their anti-English sentiment, they have “Stop” on their stop signs. Clearly, they’re softies in the face of anglophonic cultural imperialism.
I’m now in Ottawa, and hoping very much that this city, which seems to have had a history not unlike that of Australia’s capital (chosen for its location midway between two bickering groups), isn’t anywhere near as boring as Canberra.