So I didn’t wind up writing a blog post this past weekend as I had planned. Things have been busy with the holidays just around the corner; between that, a recent cold that’s been rather stubborn to cure and the ridiculous running around at work, I’ve been feeling quite drained as of late. I’ve basically been taking solace in binge-watching InuYasha again from the beginning. In response, I’m going to be doing something a bit different and writing a general update post, something I’ve been thinking of doing for a while. I may make a habit of this and file it under a new category.
Currently, I have a post about another tea in the works, covering an aged and roasted Tie Guan Yin oolong I acquired not too long ago. I’ve also ordered a green tea from O-Cha which they call Sakura Sencha, though since it’s made mostly from Sencha-grade stems with a few leaves, it’s more a Kukicha than anything; I’m excited to try this tea in particular, as I’ve been searching for a possible replacement for DavidsTea’s Sakura Cherry green tea, which they stopped selling last summer. I’ll be getting it after the holidays, so anticipate a new article then as well!
Now for the aggravating news, assuming you have not already heard of this given its coverage on an international scale at this point: Quebec has elected to be ridiculous and fan the coals of old flames once again. Now as a result of a truly convoluted and patently absurd series of events which rolled down river into Quebec City, store clerks are “invited” (read: expected) to greet locals and international customers with “bonjour” instead of the customary “bonjour/hi” that we’ve become accustomed to. If you can’t see why that is a problem, let me explain.
Montreal is in essence a bilingual city, regardless of whether you argue that French is the official language of Quebec or not; it is ingrained in its character, its history, and its culture. While I and many of my peers are capable of speaking French, even if our first language and the one we speak at home is English, it is a common courtesy to greet in both languages: French first, English second. To put it quite simply, it is an expression of both the unique character of Montreal and an inferred inclusiveness to those we are greeting: a verbal handshake that invites others to communicate with us in the language they feel most comfortable with. Whether you like it or not, Canada itself is (on paper) a bilingual country.
Of course, you can try telling that to the language police around here, and it will fall on deaf ears. Any perceived Anglicism is fair game to them, especially when they’re going after Italian restaurants for having ‘pasta’ on their menus; you’d think after that last one they’d want to keep a low profile. Indeed, the OQLF seems to do nothing more than piss locals off at every turn, being fed pedantic complaints from sovereigntists (ie. French Nationalists) who get their kicks tattling on every imagined slight against the French language, treating the English and foreigners like barbarians for “sullying” their precious language. Ne t’en fais pas mes chums, you already do a good enough job of that on your own!
Simply put: the same animosity that has existed in this province since the 18th century continues to endure, and no matter how we try to heal the rift there’s always some knuckle-dragger that wants to keep it ripped wide open. Shame how that seems to reflect the world at large these days; I look at Britain with Brexit and the flames of hatred it stoked as Nigel Farage threw gasoline on them, and the U.S. with the Orangina Comb-over grabbing everyone’s rights and freedoms by the pussy, and I think to myself, “Damn it all, why couldn’t you lot learn from the mistakes we already made?” To say nothing of how Native Americans were and still very much are treated these days in Quebec and across the rest of the Americas. Here’s to hoping that we (and more to the point the money-grubbing, sleaze ball corporations) can one day put aside petty and selfish ambitions to make tangible, permanent change for a better future… it’s starting to look more and more like we desperately need it.
And not trivial and inane changes like changing the name of the Russian Federation’s president to Vladimir “Poutine” for fuck sake! (Yes… that actually happened.)