dimanche 1 février 2009
mardi 23 décembre 2008
León, Spain, was kind of like home, but not really. I had an apartment of my own, something that I don't dispose of Canada. I had a key set, my own dishware, a chinese paper lamp and some other made in China items to camouflage the rather questionable decoration tastes of my landlord (including, ironically, a frame that said "home sweet home"). Could I call Spain "home", though? I think it would be a little ambitious, given that I wasn't even near being born or raised there and that my grasp on the language is very relative (it took me 3 weeks to figure out that "celeri", even pronounced with a convincing spanish accent, isn't an actual word in Spanish). Nevertheless, there sure was a comfort in having my own things and evolving in an environment that I genuinely felt good in. After the ludicrous journey I made back from Scotland with José (see previous post for more details on that epic adventure), walking back to my flat on Calle San Rafael and knowing that I was about to lie on my bed and be surrounded by my own little familiar universe was a very wholesome, satisfying thought. Yet, I have left almost no trace of my passage in Spain and therefore it's a little depressing to think that it definitely wouldn't be the same if I went back there and looked for my former bearings. If "Home" is a place you can always go back to, I'd rather not think of León as Home, since it would thus make me homeless.
I was born and raised in Québec, and therefore I guess I can be called a Quebecer. Is my Home the province of Québec at large, then? That would be an interesting concept. I was recently informed that I was not allowed to give blood anymore since I've spent too long abroad (a total of over 6 months). If blood is what ties one to land, then I am fucked. If it's the degree of identification to your fellow inhabitants of the socalled land, considering the last provincial election results, I am also rather screwed. Moreover, the very fact that I write this blog in English can be considered as a kind of high treason to the socalled "French Canadian Heritage", which would also bring me even farther away from home, at least according to whoever is leaving graffitis in our student lounge. As if it wasn't enough, I also encoutered a lot of strange episodes of "foreingness" since I got back.
dimanche 23 novembre 2008
jeudi 20 novembre 2008
mercredi 22 octobre 2008
lundi 6 octobre 2008
Yep, so that's about it for now. This week my mission is to contain hurricane Thomas, a 3 year-old cousin of mine that we volunteered to babysit for a few days, as well as Ginger, Thomas' 70-ish lbs. chocolate labrador. Fun times ahead... then Friday will be our departure for Belgium and Amsterdam for my dad's business trip. I love how we have family business trips, now. Hopefully it will be just as great as it sounds.
dimanche 28 septembre 2008
Yesterday’s bonfire was still smoking when we woke up. As I was burning my second batch of scrambled muffin (the first one was spoiled by unpurified water), the kids started a brigade to take down the canoes and our stuff. The tide rose during he night, which made things a little more complicated. At least now it’s going down, which should help us get to Moisie.
I had the feeling to move even slower than yesterday. I don’t know if it’s because of accumulated fatigue or if Emily is slacking off, but anyways. I guess we’re all tired. After a few interminable kilometres, we finally made it to…
The Moisie ends here, in the Gulf of the St-Lawrence. All of a sudden, without any foreword or warning, the majestic cliffs flattened out and left room to an infinite stretch of saltwater.
A few hundred metres from the shore of Moisie, we recognized the silhouette of our beloved bus driver, Stan the man. He must have missed us, somehow. As he awkwardly dealt with the kids’ demonstrations of affection towards him, we loaded the bus in a hurry and made fun of the absurd quantity of Québec flags floating in the wind at each little house in “Moisie Beach”. We also made fun of the biker-looking guy standing proudly next to a native pride flag and a confederate flag. When everything was loaded, we lingered by the “danger dangerous wharf” sign and then strolled slowly towards the beach to dip our toes in the ocean.
Of course, the trip back to camp was filled with adventures and anecdotes of all kinds, such as:
- Luke and his high (in)tolerance to saltwater
- The food rampage in the Maxi in Baie-Comeau and the meat sweats in the bus
- The Sept-Îles Marathon that we randomly came across
- The resurrection of Marcus’ watch after 21 days of absence
- Finding out that there is a free Paul McCartney concert in Québec city at a corner store in La Malbaie
- Calling home from Baie-St-Paul as a helicopter is taking off next to our bus
- The beluga whales on the Fjord during the ferry ride
- My first flushable toilet in a month on the ferry
- The dude with the “breakfast included” t-shirt casually posing on the ferry
- The glorious drive across Basse-Ville and the excitement at the sight of known landscapes
- Watching Montmorency Falls (they're still pretty freakin' big, even after the Moisie) as I overhear Marcus’ tales of his trip to India
- Our arrival at my house and the priceless stares of my 80 year-old neighbours as we unload the bus
- The pool, the barbecue, the chocolate milk
- The lady at the grocery store disagreeing with our choice of granola cereal
- My dad’s hernia
- Finding out about Claude
- Needing a hug after finding out about Claude
- The empty, freshly painted playroom
- Nat checking out my dad’s woodwork in the kitchen
- The Chocolats Favoris, at last, after that place being so often part of our daydreams for the past month
- Listening to Paul McCartney from across the river and looking at pyrotechnic effects next to Frontenac Castle
- Buying and reading Le Soleil and even doing the crosswords. In French.
- The boys fighting for the sports section
- Nat looking like a hobo with his (beyond) filthy t-shirt and his garbage bag at the gas station
- The Motel Madrid and it’s ridiculous dinosaurs and bigfoot trucks
- Taking highway 20 instead of highway 40
- Marcus’ complicated statistics about trip
- The rated and commented burps
- The arrival at camp
But really, it is when I turned away from the ocean and looked for the last time at he remains of the Moisie cliffs stretching across the horizon line that I knew that it was really over.
I don’t know if I’ll ever come back here some day.
Maybe I will.