The Great Poutine

Poutines are one of the most popular foods on the Canadian east coast. A Poutine is made with French fries, cheese curds and gravy but sometimes people add other ingredients like fried chicken or bacon. You can get the generic Poutines at almost any fast-food chain on the east coast; McDs, A&W, Burger King, New York Fries and even KFC. This French Canadian food is a delicacy in Quebec and New Brunswick, but you can find it sometimes in Nova Scotia.

It all began in rural Quebec in the late 1950s. Fernand Lachance of Warwick, Quebec claims that one day in 1957 an impatient customer ordered cheese curds while he was waiting for his French fries. To mask the fact that the French fries were cold they decided to put hot gravy on them . When he got his order he decided to combine the fries and hot gravy with his cheese curds. While combining the ingredients Lachance hollered ça va faire une maudite poutine (“this is gonna make a fucking mess!”). Linguists have no record of the word being used before 1978, but from this time on it’s been associated with the cheese covered French fries topped with gravy. And golly wee it tastes good!

Learning Japanese: Respect, Modesty & Politeness

I started learning Japanese three years ago from a girl studying to be a Japanese teacher. She was teaching people introductory Japanese, e.g., hiragana, katakana, and self-introductions. Eventually, I enrolled into Japanese classes at St. Mary’s University (SMU) in Halifax, NS for two years. I had/made some Japanese friends, so I had chances to practice outside of the classroom in natural situations.

I recently bought an electronic dictionary (Casio XD-V9000) off a fellow NOVA teacher from Halifax, NS in Japan! Coincidentally we also went to the same junior high school. He was a grade above me, but I remembered his face, and he remembered mine. It was an awesome coincidence and it was nice to catch up with a face I remembered from long ago.