Monday, August 2, 2010

The charming hameau of Chambly, Quebec on the bassin of the Riviere Richelieu. Great people (except the bar crowd, not as friendly there; I hear tell Canadian beer is 5% alcohol. Maybe that accounts for all the red noses and bleary-eyed looks, and the bottles are huge as well.)

click pics to enlarge
Salade of fresh greens, artichoke and calamatas. soooo good.

boat bench

Well! You just never know what life has in store for ya, and dass da trufe. so sayeth Buckwheat, or someone...

Here I am stranded at the Mon Repos Motel in Chambly, Quebec, not 30 miles east of Montreal. I just wanna

give a huge shoutout to the young man, Stephan Renard, who rescued me by the side of the road, whose job, by the way, it is to do that very thing for stranded motorists (and you wonder why their economy is doing fine?), when my friggin alternator decided it had had enough of travel in the middle of hot, bumper to bumper traffic on Autoroute 10 East today. Yes, the very thing that keeps your battery juiced, dead as a doornail. And just when I was really feelin the ol On The Road Again groove pulsing through my veins. The car died, get this, right in front of Stephan, who was pulled over on the shoulder, apparently waiting for my car to die . [FYI, if you try to recharge your battery and and alternator reads over 16 volts (in a Volvo anyway) you'll fry the rest of the electrical system. ] So Stephan sends me and the tow truck to darling Monsieur Bazinet at the Voie Rapide repair shop in Richelieu and WAALAA, my new alternator will be in tomorrow and repaired by 11 a.m.


I am so very grateful. Here's a little rule of thumb for travelers who complain about how mean "foreigners" are to them in other countries and but who don't bother to try and speak the native language at all (travel makes us, the visitors, the foreigners, non?): Make sure when you travel in countries whose native tongue isn't American English that you can speak at least as much of their language as they speak of English. Then you'll be treated well. Make the effort. That's all they ask: acknowledgment that when you're in their country, your native tongue isn't their native tongue.

Kind of a no brainer, but I've heard many an American complain when people in other countries seem to resent their demands and don't speak English, as if there was any friggin reason they should if you can't be bothered to try and learn their language as well. You are after all in their country...

OK, sun's back out, Rain stopped. Gonna go exploring Chambly on the riviere Richelieu.

PS... I will NEVER go anywhere out of country again without getting a local SIM card.

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