In his latest post BB wrote about how he loves going back to Quebec city, how he feels he has deep roots there.
Neither of us were born there, but our family (on both sides) hails from Quebec city for generations. So yeah, there are roots I suppose.
But unlike BB, I feel the exact opposite. Don't get me wrong, Quebec is a nice place to visit, but I would never want to live there again.
I've never felt comfortable there. I always felt just a little off, not quite in the groove of the place. As though the track is right there and try as I might I'm always six inches out of it.
And despite BB's contention, it's not because I'm into the nightlife - I got over that, like many people do, in my 30s. And I don't prefer Montreal because of Mr. Jazz - I didn't like Quebec way before Mr. Jazz ever entered the picture.
I don't know what it is about Quebec that grates on me. The fact that, other than the old town - approximately 5 square km - it's one big sprawling suburb where everything has a sort of cookie cutter sameness about it? That's definitely part of it. The fact that I've never felt I fit in? Also part of it. The francophone whiteness of Quebec city also doesn't do it for me (of course, the all white all french thing is pretty much par for the course everywhere in Quebec outside of Montreal).
Whatever it is, no roots there for me, or at any rate, roots that were very easily pulled out.
When I got to Montreal, on the other hand, I felt at home right away. Montreal has an energy that Quebec simply does not. It has a huge diverisity of people and styles and cultures. It was an easy fit for me, there is no set path. When I set foot on the corner of Maisonneuve and Peel I knew I had found my place, that this is where I was meant to be. I never looked back, never missed Quebec, and honestly pretty much the only reason I ever go back is to see my sister and mother. I'd perhaps go once every few years to play tourist, but no more. It holds nothing for me, it doesn't draw me. At all. Contrary to Montreal.
In the past 25 years, I've put down my own roots here, I've found the love of my life, and made a life for myself that I'm not at all sure I could have found in Quebec. When I'm on the highway, on my way back from Quebec, I'm coming home. It's as visceral and BB's feeling for Quebec, and for a city that, unlike me, he's never really warmed up to.
Funny that, same family, same roots and such a different take on two perfectly neutral places.