I got up this morning and thought to myself, “It’s too goddamn gorgeous outside NOT to take Torn‘s advice,” and I also told myself, “Fuck the environment and the cost of gas: You’re going on a nowhere.” So, I fired up Google Maps and tried to decide where I might want to go.
I had heard about Stanstead before moving to Montréal, but the last time it came back to mind was in the Fall of 2008. That was the autumn we had a(nother) federal election in Canada, a few weeks before the U.S. election that saw Obama win the presidency. CBC anchor Peter Mansbridge went to the library in Stanstead to talk to Americans about the Canadian elections and to Canadians about the American election. They sat in a room that has a black line going through it to mark the Canada-US border, so the Americans stayed on their side while the Canadian did the same.
It’s totally freaky! I didn’t go in the building but I did stand at the intersection where one could walk into the other country. There’s no customs office there; just a camera. I’m sure it’s being monitored and all, but it’s just an intersection and a big sign on the American side warning of prosecution and a $500 fine if one crosses here. (How so Canadian that there’s no such “threat” on the Canadian side — just a warning that one is not supposed to cross at this point.)
Prior to that, I also visited downtown Magog, next to Lake Memphrémagog, and had a small cone of soft ice cream. I also saw some of the most cheesy art ever on exhibition in a park off the main street. Coming back, I almost got into an accident when a police car that had pulled off a speeder just jumped into the lane without looking if anyone was coming — in the case, ME! I had to slam on the brakes, and I simply couldn’t believe what had just happened.
Anyway, I’m heading for my second shower of the day — it’s damn HOT today! — and then onto the métro. I may go mingle around Place des Festivals, where the Jazz Festival is in full swing, or go directly to the Village to stand next to the Jacques Cartier Bridge for the fireworks competition. At the rate I’m going, it’ll be after 9:00 by the time I reach downtown, so I may just go straight to the Village. (There’s something wrong with combining the word “straight” and “Village” in the same sentence.) Tonight’s fireworks are being put on by a company from the Czech Republic.