The Wizarding World of an Anglophone Living in Quebec City

The Wizarding World of an Anglophone Living in Quebec City

Story by Jason Enlow

Quebec City is a magical place where colorful characters and customs abound. Peaked, snow-covered roofs reflect moonbeams as stars dance nightly across a frosty, velvet painting of a black sky. The mighty St. Lawrence slips gently by the frozen, fortified walls. An enchanted castle of ice guarded by a white giant of a man wearing a red toque and sash waits to be discovered. Large snow carvings have been known to appear almost overnight in the mysterious Plains of Abraham.

Anglophones may be surprised to discover the powers bestowed on them upon their arrival in Kébec, the Algonquin name for the place “where the river narrows”. We are the chosen ones…

1.    A Cloak of Invisibility

Not being able to speak French is like wrapping yourself in a shimmering cloak that renders you virtually invisible. People around you can carry on their conversations, secure in the knowledge that you can’t understand a word of what they’re saying. You’re free to set yourself adrift in memory bliss and think about fluffy bunnies or Puff the Magic Dragon and you don’t have to worry hearing about Quebec’s precarious political or financial position.  Of course, if you can speak French, or at least understand it, then you can pretend to think of fluff and Puff, but secretly listen in and get all those juicy details. Just be careful of what you wish for.

2.    A Job at the Ministry of Magical English

There are jobs aplenty for any willing and hardworking Anglophone in one of the many departments of the Ministry of Magical English. For example, you can work as an English tutor, an English conversation monitor, an English translator, an English teacher or even an English professor. The possibilities are magically delicious!

3.    A Master’s Degree in the Dark Arts

If your partner is Francophone and you’ve learned to master the dark art of Fluff and Puff, then you’re all set! Why not let the person who was born and bred in Quebec City and happy to be living in the cradle of Champlain’s bosom, handle all of those confusing French tasks? Banking – French, doctors’ appointments – French, parent/teacher meetings – also French that is if you’ve cast the right spell. Galli scholam mitteret filios! Uttering this incantation will ensure that your kids will be sent to a French school. It also guarantees that your significant other will have to do the homework with the kiddies. Have you seen the math? It’s worse if you have to try to understand it in French. Believe me, you don’t want to go near the literature, they’re not reading The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler, that’s for sure. You can wave your magic wand and help with the English homework (if you know your colours and you can count up to 20) and then you’ll be free to take the dragon for a walk or conjure something up for supper.

Three enchanting bonuses to being English and living where the snow gets piled so high on your front lawn that you could kill a passing pedestrian, just by trying to back out of your driveway.

Once you’re here, you’ll never want to leave…
If you’ve discovered your own magical talents, won’t you share them? Partem vestri magicis! (Pardon my Latin…)

Categories: News, Opinion

About Author

Jason Enlow

Jason Enlow is a Special Education Technician at an English elementary school. He was born in Montreal, Quebec and grew up in Burlington, Ontario. Jason studied Radio and Television at Ryerson University in Toronto. His previous employers include CityTV, CBC, The Weather Network, and Global Television. He’s worked as a DJ, camera operator, musician, teacher, translator and video game content designer. Jason moved to Quebec City in 1997 where he still lives today with his wife and three sons.

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