Newcomer Falling in Love with Quebec

Newcomer Falling in Love with Quebec

It’s not hard to fall in love with somewhere when the weather’s great.

No, really. Think about it: you’ve just moved to a new city, don’t speak the language, haven’t made friends yet, and on top of it all the weather’s lousy. So you hide out inside your new place unpacking moving boxes, and then struggle through a conversation with the internet guy. And maybe, if you feel up to it, you try out ordering a pizza over the phone, praying that you’re not accidentally insulting the person on the other end of the line.

And then you’ve done all you can; your house is now home. What now?

Well, you could go outside and explore a little. All you’ve really seen are passing glimpses of local attractions, and you could really use a pick-me-up from a local café. Besides, you need to find the post office.

The weather’s still terrible, but you put on a brave face and step out into the wind and rain, dashing from place to place, praying that your sneakers won’t leak and that your socks stay dry. People you meet on the street are stressed and rushing just as much as you are to get away from the wet. And at the very moment you’re struggling to keep your umbrella from turning inside-out in the wind, you heave a sigh and wonder what you’re even doing here.

But! What if the sun is shining?

That same first trip outside is no longer fueled with a sense of reluctant duty, but a sense of adventure. Your first visit to the grocery store leaves you breathless with cooking possibilities. The employees at the post office are incredibly sweet and kind. You feel confident enough to try out your second language skills when ordering lunch, and are thrilled when you actually get what you wanted! And you’re sure that you’ve never had a more delicious café mocha in your entire life. And as you walk back home, you smile up at the sky and think of all the marvelous experiences you have awaiting you tomorrow.

My first week here in Québec was filled with nothing but sunshine, and I am eternally grateful for it. Oh, I know I would have fallen for the city’s charms eventually (how could you resist?), but because my first days here were sunny and warm, I fell a lot quicker. Just walking down the sidewalk to the pharmacy was an absolute joy: crunching through the fallen leaves, feeling the soft warm breeze on my face and hearing a pair of middle-aged women gossiping in French as they pass me…


About the author:

sarahwilliamsonSarah Williamson is a twenty-something newcomer to Quebec City. She was born in New Brunswick and grew up in Nova Scotia, where she met her New Zealander husband. They subsequently moved to South Korea, and now they’re in Quebec City. Sarah has a Bachelor of Education and a huge love of chocolate, and she hopes to give readers a light-hearted perspective on being an Anglophone in a Francophone city.

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