Sunday, February 6, 2011
Since my last check in, I've been to Quebec, and while there lost my camera. (Or as I like to look at it, passed it along in the world.) The extent of the images I have from the trip is posted above, a wintry street scene in Vieux Quebec. It's been a while since I've set off exploring foreign places on my own. Honestly, the last real prominent memory that comes to mind is the day I ambled the streets of Madrid to spite my sleeping boyfriend. Along my jaunt, I ate a orange, devoured a churro dipped in hot coffee, nodded to my elderly male admirers, and continued back to our abode where along the way I was stopped by a young, handsome Spaniard who asked if I had a novio. My Spanish was paltry but I knew what he was asking, so after blushing I supplied the requisite, "Si." Had I the grasp of language I so desired, I would have potentially found myself in a moral dilemma.
Quebec was obviously different. I was there on business and had I the choice Chris would have been there alongside of me. Instead, I spent my one and only night trudging through snow piles, poorly dressed for the near zero degree weather that surrounded me. Had I the foresight to call ahead to the restaurant I read about and was en route to, I wouldn't have been standing outside its darkened doors reading a sign in French that they would open a week from today's date, long after I would be gone, and more importantly, when I needed them the most - right now.
So I turned around defeated. I was prepared to hail a cab back to the hotel, but then thoughts I how I might do that flooded over me. For one, the streets were empty and I hadn't seen a soul since I descended down the wintry path. Another problem was that I hadn't seen a taxi and didn't know a number to call. I wanted to cry but the cold made it impossible to do so, and instead I started walking to what appeared to be a road with some traffic. As I turned the corner, the warm glow of a bistro caught my eye, and I navigated to the light. It was by first glance a tourist trap, but I didn't care. Hunger and numb fingers trumped my pride that night. I ordered from the English language menu and didn't bother to pronounce things in the Quebec-way, let alone French. I ordered a glass of the house white wine and my dinner, then read the English language about town paper. Halfway into my drink, the waiter, a handsome compliment to this experience, delivered to me a steaming seafood tart souffle, french fries, and a green salad.
I slept content that night, my sore throat assuaged by heavy dreams.