Two years of high school French did not make me comfortable attempting to communicate with people in Quebec. Fortunately, the hostess at the Visitor Information Center assured me that being an English speaker in Quebec was not a problem as English was commonly used. With this assurance, I boldly went forth with my attempt to reserve a camp site for the evening.
My first two phone calls were met with recordings which I didn’t understand. So, problem number 1 . . . I need to understand what is being said to me – not just what I say to someone else.
My third attempt did get me a person on the other line. In English, I boldly asked if a campsite was available for the evening. Problem number 2 . . . Did the person hang up on me or did we get disconnected? I didn’t phone back to find out.
On the fourth attempt, my “Bonjour. Parlez vous Anglais?” was met with a hesitant “Yes”. Getting through all of the obligatory questions was less painful than I expected. I was about to confirm my reservation with a credit card number when I was asked “Do you know that this is a nudist camp?” A quick glance at the the brochure confirmed that it was Centre Naturiste. So problem number 3. . . Be sure that you know what kind of service you’re requesting.
This whole situation provided just the right amount of humility and comic relief that I gave up on my concerns and just tried to ‘do my best’ communicating with others. The fifth attempt at finding a site was successful. The campground was beautiful. Our neighbours were delightful and we had a lovely stay in Quebec.