Is Quebec Friendly?

Old Aug 19th, 2003, 12:17 PM
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Is Quebec Friendly?

We would like to visit Quebec in September, but are concerned about animosity toward Americans in this French speaking province.
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Old Aug 19th, 2003, 12:57 PM
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Not only in Quebec and Montreal, but elsewhere in Canada, I have never met any animosity from anyone!
Canadians are warm and friendly. Don't worry, you will love it.
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Old Aug 19th, 2003, 01:32 PM
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While Canadians as a whole have strong fraternal feelings for Americans Quebecers are probably more openly warm to their American cousins. Possibly because the French Canadians don't seem to have the need to feel superior to Americans the way the rest of us Canadians often do. It's silly really but it comes from living next to a huge country that most of the time is barely aware that we exist. But - trust me - Canadians really, really like Americans. They really do!
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Old Aug 19th, 2003, 01:50 PM
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As with the French, the Dutch, the Spanish and just about everyone else in the world, quibbles tend to be with our nutty government (which has become the world's pariah), not with us as Americans. Montreal is one of the friendliest big cities you'll ever visit!
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Old Aug 19th, 2003, 03:45 PM
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I never had any trouble with the Quebec people being friendly. I just had trouble talking to them because I don't speak French. People in the heavy tourist areas speak English, but once we got into the hinterlands of the Gaspe, English was in short supply at times. At least along the south shore of the Gaspe, some English is spoken in the old loyalist cities of New Richmond and New Carlisle.

But in the heart of Quebec, the people don't speak much English and are at times militant about it.
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Old Aug 19th, 2003, 04:18 PM
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Was in Quebec City in June and this American encountered nothing but pleasant folks. Had a great time, and chances are you will too.

Ken
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Old Aug 19th, 2003, 05:05 PM
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Gary A,
that was an excellent Sally Fields
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Old Aug 19th, 2003, 05:18 PM
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Scarlett,

Thank you for noticing.
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Old Aug 19th, 2003, 05:21 PM
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LOL, I was surprised no one said anything yet

But I really really like Canada too~
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Old Aug 19th, 2003, 06:27 PM
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I'm an American living in Montreal (have lived here a total of 6 years). I have Quebecker friends of all sorts of political persuasions. Quebec is a big province; I can only comment really on the two places I know best, Montreal and Quebec City.

Montrealers (of which I now consider myself one, interestingly enough) are not friendly in the "hi, talk about the weather" kind of way (on the street). This is too densely populated a city for that...you'd drive yourself crazy in no time. People can be quite friendly (speaking French well can improve your chances) in what I'd call "social venues" or even family-run stores or hotels. In Quebec City, I've noticed people are more likely to say "Bonjour!" when you walk in their store than in Montreal.

As for animosity, I have friends here who dislike what they perceive as hypocritical, self-serving, warmongering, unecological policies of the country to the south. These same friends are aware that America is a diverse country of 300 million people with all sorts of opinions; they know that some American's views are similar to their own and that some Americans would disagree with them. It's not like you're going to engage a random Quebecker in a political debate on vacation, so this should not concern you anyway. Equally, some Quebeckers ardently support present US policies; so this province runs the gamut politically too.

Don't forget, Quebec shares a sizeable border with the US and has many, many American visitors come visit each year, so it's not like you'll be anything particularly new to anybody. All of which is a long-winded way to say...Don't worry, come visit.

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Old Aug 23rd, 2003, 07:08 PM
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Dear Sistra,
I visited Quebec City last summer and had a great experience. I found the people to be extremely friendly and very helpful. I could'nt ask for better hosts. These people were as nice as you could ever ask. I tried to speak in their language, and I know they appreciared it. As with anything or anyone, you may have occaisonal problems. I just came back from Nova Scotia and had a great time. The overwhelming majority of people were friendly and helpful. I did, however, encounter some aggravation in Halifax. It's interesting that Americans are considered rude,pushy, and culturally insensitive. Yet we are expected to remain silent when the politicians, the people, and the country are be insulted by individuals or the press. I've seen it in Ireland, Scotland, and more recently in Halifax. Granted, it was individuals, but there seems to be an open season on Americans. We're told not to wear certain color sneakers, socks, shorts, ask for certain food condiments, and then maybe we'll fit in. I live,and work near, NYC. I don't see the tourists from these other countries dressing as we do when they come here! How insensitive!!
While in Halifax, I was sitting and reading a Canadian paper when I was asked a question by somone sitting near me. When I answered the question he knew I was an American. He proceeded to tell me about lies with Jessica Lynch, the President and his short comings, and how we were responsible for of our problems. He was totally shocked when I took offense, and could not refute anyfacts,other than what he heard on CNN.
I like the Canadian people I met. I will, however, spend my money in the USA on my next vacation. If I'm going to be insulted, I'd rather it be one of my own. That I can accept!!!!
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Old Aug 23rd, 2003, 07:59 PM
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celtic, wherever you go that will happen. Unless you plan to never leave the US again, you just have to stay away from those discussions or ignore the boors!
We have had this happen to us in London and in France, although in France, we were mistaken for French (at least my husband was) until he corrected the person !
Happily, we have never had this happen in Montreal.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2003, 09:59 PM
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My parents being Quebecois and I being first generation American and having visited Quebec many many times, I will simply say that most all Quebecois are warm friendly people .
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Old Aug 24th, 2003, 08:54 AM
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Celtic, I'm sorry you had a bad experience in Halifax. Try not to be jaded by that. I'm Canadian and have had the same sort of thing happen in other countries.
One observation.....
It's only on the Fodor's forum that I've ever heard mention of what colour sneakers, clothes, socks Etc to wear in order to fit in.
Until I started reading this forum, ( and I'm now addicted) I had never heard such drivel. It amazes me the number of people asking what to wear, and the number of people that seem 'scared' to wear what the want.
I'm visiting NYC next month and will wear exactly what I wear at home.
Sistra, have a good time in Quebec and don't worry. I think you'll find the people just fine.
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Old Aug 24th, 2003, 09:52 AM
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Celtic - you will encounter ignorant rude people everywhere - just ignore them and refuse to get into pointless discussions. My husband travels frequently to the U.S.A. on business He has had people there launch into heated attacks on Canada's international policies. He just refuses to discuss politics.
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Old Aug 24th, 2003, 12:36 PM
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I agree with the sentiment that you can find nice and rude people wherever you go. Unfortunately, one or two unpleasant encounters can color your impression of an area - especially if they are early in your trip.

By and large, I have not found people from Quebec unfriendly exactly, but in some areas, as Bob B. described, they are not too patient with those who struggle to communicate.
I think that it helps to at least make an effort to speak in French, instead of expecting French-speaking Quebec natives to master English to your benefit.

During our trip to Alberta and British Columbia this year, my husband and I ran into several people ready to launch into political discussions. I shy away from such conversations, but my husband really loves to discuss and debate politics! The discussions were all polite, and not one individual expressed any personal hostility toward us as Americans.
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Old Aug 24th, 2003, 12:47 PM
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A few years ago, my husband and I were having dinner in France, when the waiter got annoyed at a customer (American)..he came to our table and started to vent about Bill Clinton!!
My daughter was in London last November and had two different episodes with young Englishmen telling her what a rotten President she has.
This sort of thing happens, it is hardly enough to make me stop travelling though!
Canadians have something to complain about, what about the boorish behavior of American baseball fans??? Don't be so sure that "your own" country is so guilt free when it comes to unfriendly behavior.
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Old Aug 24th, 2003, 01:43 PM
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Last April I was in Florida when one guy, on hearing I was a Canadian, launched into an attack on Canada for not joining the 'Coalition of the Willing' (or whatever it was called) against Iraq and then blaming Canada for everything from SARS to 9/11. While he was an easy mark for my highly honed political debating skills, even if he was not I still have to say that it never would have occured to me to not return to the US because of being abused by one boorish individual. And Celtic, nor should you.
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Old Aug 25th, 2003, 10:54 AM
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Yes, Quebec is friendly toward Americans for the most part. My wife and I returned from a 1-week anniversary vacation trip to Montreal and Quebec City.

We preferred Quebec City for its quaint, historial areas like the Lower Town. You should have no problem in either city. In Montreal, English is widely and well-spoken even by native French speaker.s In Quebec, English is fine at the major hotels and some restaurants, but a little effort at French will go a long way. Outside of Quebec City (in Charlevoix), you may have more difficulties with using English.

Since my wife and I are both Asian-American, we did receive a few stares in the towns outside of Quebec City where non-Caucasian faces are rare. But we were pleasantly surprised at how often Quebeckers assumed that we were from North America. They did not make the hasty assumption that we were from Asia, as almost always occurs in Europe.

You will enjoy your time there!
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Old Aug 26th, 2003, 12:44 PM
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Having spent time in both Montreal and Quebec, I agree with most of the postings here. I found by and large Quebecors are cordial. I'm always intrigued by Montreal because it has that Anglo-Franco mixture to it and that it is extremely cosmopolitan, but not "generic" like many large American cities.

Being in the food service, I am also very drawn to their food and beverage. For one, my favorite beer is Boreale - a local, Montreal product!

Too bad for one of our friends here that got offended in Halifax (I'm going there in a few weeks). But dicussion in politics in a foreign land is not necessarily the best topic to get to know the locals. I would rather stay with food!

Just a special response to KODI, who is coming to my NYC - if you want to fit in, just wear lot's of BLACK. It is the defacto official color of the city.

Again, if you want a mini European vacation without leaving north America, go to Quebec!

foodiechan.
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