Only in Quebec

Every summer when I was a kid, my parents would pack all 4 of us kids into the car and make the sweaty, stifling 18-hour trip from the east coast where we lived to London, Ontario, where we were born and our extended family lived.

My parents somehow handled the sweating, and complaining, and boredom and unending roads extremely well. (Except for the time they forgot my brother at a rest stop, but after hours of therapy, we’re ready to let that one go.)

The only time they truly got frantic was when we passed through Montreal. “Jean, watch the signs. WATCH THE SIGNS! Oh for the love of God don’t let us get lost here… Jean! Jean! Was that the sign for the tunnel we just passed? WAS THAT THE SIGN FOR THE TUNNEL! Kids, shush I can’t think. KIDS! SHUT THAT BLOODY BOUZOUKI!!!! Oh Lord. Not again.”

Getting lost in Montreal in the summer is not hard to do. Because of our intense winters, road construction and repair can only take place from April to November. So construction projects are jammed one atop another and the whole city is under siege in the spring and summer.

Detour signs are aplenty…or there are none at all.

Actual detour routes are only half marked…or not at all.

Lane changes are marked approximately 3.2 feet before the change MUST take place or your life is in jeopardy.

And rather than remove detour signs from the road when the detour is no longer in effect, construction crews just sort of push them to the side. We’re left to wonder, “Is that really a detour? Is it sort of a detour? Did it used to be a detour but it’s not anymore?”

It’s like Quebec construction crews have taken a universal oath to mess with us to see how long it takes for the mice to lose their minds, find alternate 3-hour routes, or give up completely in a heaping, sobbing, cursing mess.

Here’s a prime example of what I mean, seen in Montreal West Island

Only in Quebec, my dears.

Strangely, it’s part of what I love about this crazy province. Quirkiness is one of my favourite qualities…in people and places.

Welcome to summer : )