St. Laurent Frappé

St. Laurent Frappé

ST. LAURENT FRAPPÉ, OR LACKLUSTRE LAKE ONTARIO LIQUID FROM BRAMPTON. 

by Peter Stuart

I was at work in Old Québec the other day and being the eco-conscious geek that I am, I usually bring my plastic or steel re-usable water bottle filled with good old tap water to refresh myself as I give guided tours to the many visitors to Quebec City. 

However, memory being a faculty which is sometimes ‘facultative’, as we say in French, meaning it comes and goes, I forgot my water bottle at home and felt compelled to purchase an evil globally gorgonesque corporate bottle of H20 from the vending machine downstairs. 

As I arrived at the appointed location, I found myself faced with two very youngish English-speaking tourists, seemingly a couple, debating the virtues of Dasani or Aquafina bottled water before making the very morally-charged choice of spending a buck-fifty or two dollars to quench their thirst.

The young lady seemed to be the dominant figure in the debate, with the young dude just seeming not to give a crap about which type of water to get. He was thirsty and wanted something to drink and found his girlfriend’s complex weighing of the pros and cons of Coke or Pepsi-manufactured bottled water to be totally retarded.

So, being the good and helpful tour guide, I decided to intervene, and offer some assistance in their weighty process of aqueous discernment. I bought a bottle of Aquafina, because, for me, it’s only a dollar fifty and the Dasani is two bucks and I don’t like the shape or colour of the bottle as much, but I didn’t say that. As I shoved my coins into the machine, I said that ‘one brand is tap water from Brampton Ontario, and one is tap water from Mississauga Ontario, so either way, you get Ontario tap water’. This didn’t seem to sit well with them. The girl piped up and said ‘isn’t the Dasani slightly carbonated and mineralized, whereas the Aquafina is demineralised?’

At this point, the long-suffering dude chipped in his two cents worth and said something to the effect of ‘I don’t care what kind of water it is I just want water!’ So I read my bottle of Aquafina to help the girl consolidate her decision-making process, since she was obviously in charge. The bottle said: ‘For Québec, Aquafina comes from the public distribution of Montréal.’

Well. This sealed the deal for the girlfriend. ‘Oh! She said: Foreign! So they bought the Aquafina!!! I could just picture these two showing up at a swank Québec hotel like the Chateau Frontenac and ordering bottled water, and the server would tell them, ‘well Madame, I have a St. Laurent Frappé from Québec, and a lacklustre lake Ontario liquid from Brampton’.

And the girl would likely say: Well which do you recommend? And buddy would say with his best high-end French accent, ‘Well Madame, the St. Laurent Frappé from Québec is definitely more exotically foreign than the lacklustre lake Ontario liquid from Brampton’. ‘OK, she would say, I’ll take the St. Laurent Frappé’. ‘Well Madame, I see you’re a person who is a lover of fine things with a refined sense of taste.’ ‘Thank you Monsieur. I always try to sample the local food and drink choices when I go abroad’. ‘Excellent decision Madame. As they say these days: Think global, act local, n’est-ce pas?’

I’m sure Coke and Pepsi would agree. As for me, I think I’ll go back to work and try to make some money from some tourists who are a little more with it than those two were.

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About the author:


Peter Stuart is a freelance journalist and writer based in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. He has a degree in Canadian Studies from the University of Ottawa.
He has written Op-Ed pieces for the last ten years for publications including: Le Soleil, La Presse, Quebec Chronicle Telegraph and Impact Campus.
Peter writes in both French and English, and is currently working on the publication of his first book. 
You can read more of Peter’s work by visiting his blog.
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