There are many ideals that Canadians have to live up to, and they sure do!

17 First Impressions On Quebecois And Their Maple Sweet Country

Bienvenue à Quebec!

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For 6 days, I spent the last week of my summer in the small but quaint Quebec City. Unlike many other tourist cities such as New York or Montreal, Quebec and its people have distinct characteristics, such as charisma, a trait uncommon to other bustling towns infiltrated with hordes of sightseers. Therefore, here are some of my first impressions during the first 48 hours of my trip

1. They love their desserts, especially ice cream.

Chocolato in Vieux- Quebec

Around every corner, especially on Rue de Saint Jean, ice cream stores line the cobblestones. From flavors such as Sorbet Gelato to Soda Fraise, these cafes are perfect for a mid-day snack after walking around in the sweltering sun. Yum!

2. Quebecois are exceptionally friendly.

The saying holds true! While greeting you with "Bonjour!" and a smile on their face, waiters and store owners are happy to help you have the most pleasant experience. No matter how many questions you ask as you try to struggle through the all-French menu, they'll be just as patient.

3. French is such an elegant language.

The Quebecois are famous for their French dialect, and for sure, their soft dialects and manner can lull you to sleep in no time. Perhaps the French is what makes everyone seem so friendly…..

4. The waiters are quite shy.

Maybe they're intimidated by the heavy French accents that mask their English, but honestly though, I was more frightened by my lack of French skills in the first place!

5. Quebec City is basically a mini European village.

Quartier Petit Champlain

The architecture is amazing. Finaminale! That's all there is to say.

6. Their pasta is better than that of the Italians.

In addition to their ice cream shops, pasta is a popularity around Quebec. Rue de Sainte Anne is where all the goodness is, and once you step foot into that pasta parlor, there's no turning back. Trust me, the squeeze is worth it.

7. Clean air is a gift to all.

Well, with the ridiculously expensive gasoline prices, about $5 per gallon, Canada is well on its way to restoring the environment by encouraging biking and using mass transportation. I thank you, Quebec, for your efforts.

8. They love the welfare of their people.

Within Quebec city, homeless people are a rarity, unlike many other metropolises. The public housing is a title for those who need it, and the free health care is a right for all. In addition, cleanliness is prevalent on all streets, and you wouldn't find a single stray pile of stinking trash in a dark alleyway.

9. Maple syrup is only a tourist delicacy.

Maple Syrup from Canada

While Canadians are renowned maple syrup lovers, the tourists are the one consuming most of the maple leaf-shaped candies and ice cream flavoring. The souvenir shops are stocked full of beautiful bronze jars of sweetness, but the regular stores gather shelves of dusty maple bottles.

10. Flies are the only monsters here.

While the town has a high standard of living, flies are the only signs of unsanitary practices. Especially in the cold ice cream shops, black insects buzz to and fro, landing on your backpacks and water bottles, yet the Quebecois never seem to be bothered. Perhaps they're insect friendly too?

11. Where are all the elders?

From the Petit Champlain to the Parliament building, elders are a rare sight. Mostly retired, blond men and women around 60 or older peruse the cobblestone streets. Not to mention, many of them are overly tan and starting to grow a slight pot belly from the wonderful food.

12. Everything is overpriced

True, canadian dollars are worth less than US dollars, so things are bound to be more expensive, but $33 for a bowl of Primavera Veal and Spaghetti? That's quite a stretch.

10. There's no need to go grocery shopping when you can eat out every day!

Dish from Bistro 1640

During my whole trip, I only saw one grocery store for Quebec residents, and even that was nothing compared to the Hmarts or Krogers back in the US.

14. They love their plaid

Plaid shirts and patterns seem to be the go to as everything seems to be from the latest Abercrombie and Fitch fall collection. By late winter, you'll probably see lumberjacks shoveling away mounds of snow.

15. Quebec city is surprisingly multicultural.

According to all the history books, the French have stuck their noses up in pride. While I was nervous about traveling to a mostly-French speaking town, the Quebecois have be so accommodating, and even the tourists there range from Korean, Chinese, Indian, Russian, Swedish, etc. The list never ends!

16. Quebecois are not great photographers.

On the many occasions I was stopped on the street or in a restaurant as the Canadians offered to take a picture, most of them turned out a weirdly cropped and blurry, but hey, at least they were nice enough to help!

17. Canada is a greatly colorful country.

From the window sills that from mustard yellow to teal blue, the various flags, plants, and signs that line the streets make even the oldest areas aesthetic.

Popular Right Now

Hailey Miller's Debut Single Is 'The One'

"The One" is available now across all streaming platforms.

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Being able to blend genres well is a true testament to a great artist, and Hailey Miller has done just that. Breaking onto the pop-country scene with her debut single "The One", the song speaks to the lessons that come out of unfortunate heartbreak, and definitely resonates with people going through one. I got the chance to talk with Hailey about her music, Nashville, and plans for the future:

1. What inspiration did you pull from to write "The One"?

"The One" was inspired by a relationship I was in. It was young love, not the healthiest relationship, and was dragged on for way longer than it should've been. I'd pretty much worked through all the heartbreak by the time it was fully over, and this song felt like the final piece to the puzzle. To acknowledge that some good came from the whole experience, and that lessons were learned. It just kind of poured out of me. It was exactly what I needed at the time. I wrote it and instantly felt peace. Like I could finally let it all go. It's a different kind of breakup anthem, and I hope that people can connect to it in the same way I did.

2. Do you tend to pull from personal experience to write or do you write using a third person perspective?

I definitely prefer to write from personal experience. I've written from a third person perspective, but it always feels more genuine for me to write about things I've been through first hand. It's just easier! It flows better, and feels more honest. Especially if I'm planning on using the song for myself. As an artist, I always want the truths I'm speaking to be genuine. I feel like people connect better that way. If I can't fully connect to the stuff I'm singing, how can I expect the listeners to? Personally, as an artist, the stories behind my songs are just as important to me as the song itself. That being said, if I can connect to someone else's experience deeply, writing third person can be just as fun!

3. What has your experience been like being a woman in the music industry?

You know, I don't have anything negative to say about my experience so far. I've felt respected as an artist from almost everyone I've personally come across in the industry. This being said, I'm very aware of the challenges females tend to face on a larger scale, especially in country. But I try to not let it phase me. In my mind, I'm just an artist…not a "female artist".

4. Growing up in Oregon, what/who inspired you to move to Nashville and write country music?

My earliest inspiration was definitely my aunt. She was singing country music professionally when I was super young, so I grew up seeing that and my family was super good about surrounding me with all sorts of music. My dad had this thing where he would always tell me to "listen to the words" and then at the end of the song I'd have to tell him what I thought it was about. It made me realize at a young age that music isn't just sound, it's stories. I fell in love with country music and its stories. Then came along these powerhouse female singer/songwriters…like Taylor Swift, and that was it. I knew it was something I wanted to do, and I knew Nashville was the place to do it. So, I learned the guitar, taught myself how to write, and made the move as soon as I possibly could! It's pretty much a 19 year old dream in the making at this point.

5. How has Nashville shaped your artistry and/or songwriting since moving there?

Nashville has already shaped my artistry and songwriting immensely. I think the biggest thing is being around so many talented artists and writers. It's super inspiring! Every time I go to a show or writer's round in town, I go home wanting to work even harder. That's the magic about Nashville. In a place where the industry could feel very competitive, the community is so amazing that instead of feeling intimidated, I feel inspired. I think that's so cool. Being able to learn your craft in an environment like that, where everybody is willing to collaborate and learn from each other. There's no room to sit still and not work hard. I think that alone has made me a better artist and writer. I've discovered my own unique writing style and sound, and can't wait to develop it even more.

6. What has your experience been like releasing your first single independently?

It's been amazing! I've had the best time with it. The process was so fun, and such a learning experience. Since it was my first release, I tried to go into it with little to no expectations and I've been blown away! The support I've received is beyond what I ever expected, and people are listening!! That's all I could've ever asked for. I think putting out music for any artist, independent or not, is always a little scary because there's this fear that people won't connect to such a personal part of you. There's so much work behind the scenes that goes into it. But it is so rewarding to read people's messages about how they connect or relate to the song. It's the best feeling in the world!

7. What are your future goals and aspirations within the music industry?

I ultimately just want to keep writing and putting out music that I love, and that other people love. Whether that's on a small scale level, or a larger scale. As long as I'm continuing to make music, I'm happy! That being said, I'd love to do some touring soon, and work towards my first EP/full length album.

8. Do you have plans to release new music soon?

Plans are in the works. I don't have a definitive date for you guys quite yet, but new music is on its way! I've been writing tons and I have some stuff that I'm dying to get out. I'd keep an eye out in the upcoming months for sure.

Listen to "The One" across all streaming platforms now and keep an eye out for future music from Hailey!


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The Movie Watchers

The Types Of People That Watch Movies

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This past weekend I saw the movie of the life time, Avengers Endgame. It was the culmination of 10 years in the making and no there will not be any spoilers in this piece of writing. I however noticed the same trends that occurred each time I went to the movies. The I saw the same people, however they were just in different bodily forms. When my eyes were not glued to the screen out of sheer anxiety and thrill, I managed to catch a quick glance at the type of people that plague our good theaters.

To start off, there are always those people that are good people and don't disturb the movie experiences of others. These are the quiet people, the ones who keep their eyes on the movie and focus on nothing else. These are the people we should all aspire to be, with their bloodshot eyes from not blinking as to not miss a single moment of the movie. While I am not always the Eyes Glued To The Screen movie watcher, I can say with assurance that I am a somewhat follower of this rule. I think everyone should learn from these people.

Next comes the traditional On My Phone Like A Idiot in the movie movie watcher. This is by far the most annoying of all the people that come to a movie. Like I came to be entertained and I paid good money for this, I didn't pay 14 dollars and 31 cents to hear some girl gossip on her phone to her friend about how her boyfriend didn't bring her flowers or some middle aged man attempt to close a business deal while his kids were watching the movie. Either leave your business at home or for the courtesy of others, at least leave it outside the theater. No one brings me more anger than these people just because they don't know any common courtesy or manners.

If your at the movie, you might get hungry or thirsty so its normal for people to bring in some food, most typically being popcorn. This is fine and all but don't chew so loudly that it sounds like Jurassic Park to the person next to you. Or don't sip up your drink in such a way that it makes the people around you wonder how your mother raised you. I call this person, the Slurper. Just, be chill and watch the movie. At least your not like the On My Phone Like An Idiot where you're an inconvenience to the whole theater.

Movies are a great way to get distracted from the horrors that are our personal lives. They are solace for some people, giving us a place to escape from reality. So please, don't disturb the kind movie goers who just need a break from that relentless school, job, or even family. Just give them their peace. So sit down, turn off your cellphone, and enjoy the movie.

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