At one point Mr. Gregorwich started talking fondly about a recent visit to Quebec City: “I got to visit the Plains of Abraham and I was very, very moved. I got to see these cliffs that the British soldiers scaled ...” He seemed so clearly wrapped up in the victory of his side over mine that I was tempted to start throwing egg rolls.
It turns out I had got it wrong. Mr. Gregorwich, a history buff, was simply awed to be at such a historic site, just as he had been when visiting centuries-old cathedrals in England. In talking about General James Wolfe's victory, he was not trying to rub it in – to him, the place was neutral.
Then the conversation veered to the topic of Quebec's identity in this vast country. Whenever I travel in Canada, I am fascinated by its deep feeling of patriotism – the federal flag flies everywhere. Not so in Quebec, where you'll see the red maple leaf on federal buildings, mostly. Bureaucratic obligation.