23 July 2009


For Europeans, it must rank as one of the quintessential symbols of America. Right up there with the Statue of Liberty, the hamburger and the blue jeans. With its crude practicality, wasteful use of space, and effortless coolness, it exudes the very essence of Americana, which Europeans love, and love to hate. Last night, I made first contact with the drive-in movie theater.

When my local friends invited me to join them for "le cine-parc", it took me a fair bit of Google research to even decode to what I had just agreed. But when I found out that a trip out to the banlieue of the south shore would be in the books, I was for once thrilled. It was one of the rare warm summer nights as we pulled up to the gigantic parking lot facing industrial wasteland in Boucherville, and the last rays of sunlight shone from behind Montreal's skyline in the distance as we found our spot in front of the massive screen. The obligatory stop at the concession stop followed, and soon we sat back in our cheap communauto seats snacking on popcorn and an approximated gallon of iced tea. We tuned our radio to the frequency of the soundtrack, lowered the windows... and let the magic begin.

19 July 2009

Crystal clear

If I had needed proof of my blog being read, my post a while ago about relaxing with a bottle of beer would have provided it. Several friends expressed their concern about erratic changes in my behaviour: Had I suddenly become a beer drinker? Had uncivilized America already eradicated my preference for sophisticated things such as wine? Whassup?

Not to worry, my dear friends. Don't forget that this is Québec, where things are done à la française and food is habitually accompanied by a good glass of wine. Which brings us to the cause for my short flirt with hops & malt: I simply did not own any wine glasses yet - something I corrected this weekend.

I had previously spotted a household goods store advertising a vente de faillite, and decided to check it out. Indeed there was a section where lots and lots of glassware cartons were piled up. A closer look was revealing though: Given their penchant for gigantic wine goblets, the Québecois seem to be much more like their neighbors south of the border than they care to admit. These "oversized" receptacles were admittedly cheap, but they would have been appropriate for the knights of the round table, at best. Clearly, I wanted something smaller and more subtile.

The young shop assistant was very happy to show me to a different section, where to my relief the selection looked much nicer. However, it reminded me a bit of what my Italian teacher in high school had once poignantly labled "the lingerie paradox": The less material you buy, the more you pay. Thank god it was still a closing down sale. The shop assistant kindly tried to explain the various glasses and brands available to me, but I felt sorry for her. Try pronouncing words like "Schott Zwiesel" or "Spiegelau" as a francophone! Instead, I happily perused the labels on the boxes, ranging from tell-tale ones such as "Rotweinkelch extragr. Nordamerika" to more appealing ones such as "Sherryglas hochstiel. fino", and made my pick. On my way home, credit card receipt in hand, I started wondering about whom exactly the faillite part on the sales posters referred to... ;-)

But 'tis done now, and today I stopped by the SAQ Sélection store around the corner (conveniently open on Sundays too, for that late afternoon buzz) and shopped for a first few bottles. And now, as soon as I click on the "publish" button below this post, I'll go and uncork the first bottle. Santé!

This website is Olimade.

This page is powered by Blogger.

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]