Summary: Jack takes Bitty to Montréal to meet his parents. A non athletic!Jack fic, where grad student and history nerd, Jack Zimmermann meets the cute Samwell student/baker Eric Bittle at the Bread and Butter Bakery. Final part of the On History and Pie series. Also on A03…
“Jack, sweetheart! I was actually going to call you this evening. How’s school?”
“Euh, it’s good. Busy but good. I have a presentation coming up for the Historical Society.”
“That’s wonderful. What’s the topic?”
“Churchill and America– but that’s not the reason I’m calling.”
“No. I… met someone.”
Alicia walked into the kitchen where Bob was slicing some fennel which he was going to braise and serve with meyer lemon and parmesan.
“Hmm?” The sharp sweet scent of fennel filled the kitchen.
“I just got off the phone with Jack.”
“How is he?” Bob said as he continued his prep work.
Alicia stood still, feeling somewhat stunned and giddy.
Bob stopped working and rested the knife point down onto his cutting board. “What? What is it? Is he okay?”
“He’s in love.”
“What?” Bob replied, a wide grin and look of disbelief blooming on his face.
“He’s seeing someone, and he’s in love.”
Bob wiped his hands on his apron, and walked up to Alicia.
“Are you sure?” he whispered.
Alicia nodded enthusiastically. “Yes! I asked him twice because I assumed I may have misheard him. Bobby… he’s serious about this. He actually said, ‘I’m in love with him, maman.’ Love, Bobby! Can you believe it? Love!”
And in that moment, hockey legend and multi-Stanley Cup winner, Bad Bob Zimmermann held his wife, Alicia Zimmermann’s, hands and jumped up and down like an excited five-year-old at his own birthday party.
I live in a neighbourhood that is adjacent to one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in Montreal and it’s incredibly weird and often uncomfortable but on the plus side this beautiful park is just a 15 minute walk away! I always feel like someone is gonna come up to me while I’m there one day and be like, “excuse me, this park isn’t for people from NDG, it is for Westmount residents only” though.
For the argument that ‘because Canada has two official languages, Québec needs to incorporate more English into the province. I’m tired of Quebecers not serving me in English when I go there, English speakers have the right to live there’, here’s a guide to why this way of thinking needs to disappear.
Canada is bilingual only at the federal level. Each province has the right to decide what its own official language will be at the provincial level, to date there is only one province that is officially bilingual at this level, and that’s New Brunswick. Provinces can chose to have one language as their official language (whether it’s de jure or de facto). Such as Alberta (English) and Québec (French). What does this mean? It means that private businesses, provincial level and lower governmental services, most recreational shops, restaurants etc will offer services in these languages, unless a member of a non-official linguistic group opens up their business. When’s the last time Alberta has been criticized nationally for ‘not being bilingual enough’ or ‘not supporting everyone’s life to live there’.
Yes English speakers, you do have the right to live here. But like any immigrant must understand, the majority cannot bend to accommodate the wants of every single immigrant. For instance, if you were from Québec and wanted to move to Winnipeg, even though French is one of the official languages of Canada on the Federal level, you will obviously not be able to live in Winnipeg only speaking French. When you move to a new country/region/province where your native language isn’t spoken by the majority of the population, you learn this area’s language or you get used to be isolated. Similarly to how you wouldn’t be able to live in Manitoba only speaking French, if you move to Québec, that is the language you are mostly going to be hearing. The majority of our population speaks French, which means the majority of our businesses, restaurants, tv shows, books etc will be francophone. No immigrant can assimilate themselves completely into the larger québécois society without learning to communicate in French in the same way that not speaking English in Manitoba would keep you from being an active member of Manitoban society ****UNLESS you find a group of people who share your language, then small little isolated societies coalesce, i.e. Westmount***. However, I strongly believe that immigrants should be encouraged to keep their mother tongue alive in their own homes and in safe spaces, I cannot think of anything worse than having to sacrifice your native language to live somewhere. But there is definitely a balance between being willing to speak one language at home and one language in public (as many, many people do) and rejecting a language all together (being from Montréal this happens so much).
When is the last time a francophone walked into a restaurant in downtown Vancouver and demanded to be served in French? Never. That would be rude and illogical because French is not a very largely spoken language there. So why would you expect a québécois restaurant to offer service in English? Because English is just that important? No, it’s really not.
Yes, a lot of québécois are able to communicate in English (especially the younger generation—among all of my friends from primary school, a least 2/5 of them are now able to speak English at a high level). But this does not mean that all Québécois are ready to communicate in English at any given moment, especially in the work place. It can be frustrating for us to try and express ourselves in English because it is after all not our native language. Some of us are afraid of speaking poorly, with weak grammar, thick accents, and lack of vocabulary. So even though many of us are able to understand English because of English education since primary school all the way to Cégep (for some people, but it’s still more education in English than most English speakers receive in French), we might be afraid of using English outside of the classroom, especially when our jobs are at stake. So if you stop a Québécois in the middle of the street and ask us something in English, or if you go into a boutique and ask questions about a product in English, some of us don’t respond not out of spite or because ‘we hate English speakers’ but because we might be insecure about our English abilities, particularly if you’ve had an English speaker complain to your boss about ‘how incompetent you are for not speaking English well enough’. I and many other Québécois are ready to do our best for an English speaker who is friendly and in need of help.
That said, English is not the language we speak everyday, French is the language of our society and our culture and to native Québécois, English is not the language we use to speak to each other in every day life. Sure, I might occasionally write my Québécois friend a response in English on tumblr, but it would just feel really awkward to speak English to my québécois friends consistently or to walk around addressing them in English on the street. When I know someone else is a francophone, my natural reaction is to speak French with them, and that’s just the way it is. However, I do know that there are Québécois who are proud of the fact that they can speak another language (English sometimes) and thus do enjoy using it as often as possible, because learning another language is hard and it’s super cool to be multilingual!
If you want to talk about making Canada as a whole more bilingual, let’s look at the numbers. About 1/3 of the entire Canadian population is francophone, which leaves the other 65ish percent English speaking, and the rest is allophone (having a First Nations language as their mother tongue, or an other language like Chinese, Arabic, or Russian). This makes francophones, one of the two national official languages, the minority. When you have two things that are supposed to be important to a country and one of them is in such a large minority compared to the other, the logical thing to do would be to protect the former. French speakers are a minority when compared to the rest of Canada, which means IF anyone should be complaining about Canada not being bilingual enough on ANY provincial level, it should be us francophones. If anyone should be learning the second official language of Canada, it should be Englsh speakers—people may argue that francophones should learn English because it’s more widely spoken, but that’s exactly why French should be valued more in Canadian society, because it is NOT as widely spoken and therefore French is the language that should be encouraged more through education, politics, and social events. English doesn’t have to be protected because it has more than twenty million people readily speaking it; if you want Canada to be more bilingual, it would be logical to raise the number of francophones past 11 million people. Bilingualism is not achieved by encouraging francophones to speak English, it only contributes to the erasure and stigmatization of the French language. Québec is a safe place for francophones to come and live, because it guarantees the ability to speak, work, and live in French—but even though this is about Québec— it is important to realize that there are French speaking communities all throughout Canada that deserve the right to a life in French, and that’s why the nation as a whole should do more for French speaking people.
In conclusion, if you want to talk about the linguistic situation in Canada, let’s talk about federal officials or services not using the two official languages, let’s talk about how immigrants can better be included into the Canadian society, let’s talk about dying First Nations’ languages and rights instead, because attacking Québec for things that are done in English speaking provinces every day is not helping anyone.
hi everyone!! my name’s drew and i’m super happy to be here! some of you might remember me from westmount and yeah, it took me a while to make the transfer, but better later than never, right? under the cut is gonna be some facts about river and a link to the basic plots page i’ve made for him!! (tw: camming, things of sexual nature!!) just like this post and i’ll send you an im!
Their first date in Montreal takes place on July 2nd 2016. Bitty and Jack arrived on the 30th of June late at night and then spent Canada day with Jack’s parents. Bitty insisted that he didn’t mind, he absolutely loved the Zimmermanns, but Jack was very adamant about spending the Saturday just the two of them. After they’d had lunch, they made their way to the metro – which Bitty had tried to call the subway until Jack almost bit his head off – and after navigating across different cars and platforms and stations to find a couple of empty seats and to make a line change, they finally emerged from the underground in the Old Port. Bitty was absolutely enchanted by the old buildings and churches, and the cobble stone streets where crowds of residents and tourists walked, biked, or were even enjoying calèche rides. Bitty’s hand itched to grab Jack’s as the taller man gave him a guided tour – commentary included—as they ventured through the streets, and stopped occasionally when either of them wanted to snap a photo or go into a shop.