California Crazy

Shortly after our arrival in our new neighborhood, we went out to the car to find this envelope affixed to the windshield:

Clearly someone had noticed the Quebec license plates. Inside was the following letter:

Welcome to Silicon Valley, where everyone has a startup company and is an entrepreneurial genius.* Which means, of course, that they’re out to get a piece of you in the guise of “opportunity.” Let’s examine this “opportunity” with a “big” “company” “in” “Quebec.”

There is one power company, Hydro-Quebec. It has a sweetheart deal with the province, which also means that provincial residents get artificially low power rates through provincial subsidies. Hydro has that notoriously awful Quebec web design, yet it is still pretty easy to pay your monthly power bill online. Or by check. Now–assuming that this isn’t some completely BS investment scam designed to separate us from our money–let us consider it as a serious proposition for a moment. Why would Hydro Quebec start make some special deal with a parasitic company whose sole purpose appears to be to skim money off of commercial transactions? Why would the entrepreneurial geniuses behind such a venture need to resort to hand-written letters to strangers with Quebec license plates in order to secure venture capital? And do any of the people involved actually speak French?

In the local internet vernacular, I’d have to give it an epic FAIL.

Oh, how are we doing, you ask? Just fine. We set a goal of being set up after a week and we pretty much are aside from a few small remainder things. The condo is lovely, the center is breathtakingly beautiful, Carrie is managing her new addiction to bubble tea and rediscovering her gardening skills, my studio is set up, and we are floored by the ease of consumerism and the speed of restaurant service.

All of these matters will be topics for upcoming blog posts. The original theme of the blog was “Another American in Montreal.” This year’s theme is clearly going to have to be “an American immigrant to Montreal rediscovering the US after being gone for six years.” It’s not like we haven’t visited, but living here is a whole other matter.

* For the record, I’m not guaranteeing that I won’t have my own startup by the end of the year. Anything can happen on sabbatical!

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