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Is It True...?

Gorham, Maine
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804 posts
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Is It True...?

I've heard from a couple of people that Montreal can be unfriendly to Americans. I'd like to hear from Americans who have travelled there about the experiences.

I am travelled enough to know that often you get what you give. Americans who go up there "all big and bad" I'm sure would get treated rudely - as they would anywhere. However, I'm looking for the straight dope on what I might expect.

My wife and I went to Quebec City last summer and couldn't have had a nicer time. Everyone was pleasant and charming and we loved the place.

Thanks for any insights. To any Montrealers - please don't take offense, I'm just acting on what I've heard.

-dragon

Montreal, Canada
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508 posts
31 reviews
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1. Re: Is It True...?

Despite what you may hear from the media, the vast majority of Montrealers are not anti-American. Montreal is a key tourist destination and as a result, the city is very tourist-oriented. Nowadays, providing good value and service is critical for success and Montrealers understand that...this is why they continue to be one of the most important tourist destinations in Canada.

You are right in that anyone who comes to Montreal with an attitude is inviting scorn and poor service...but that goes for everyone, not limited to Americans.

At the same time, I am sure that there is also a part of the Montreal population who may be indeed anti-American or just plain rude. There are these types of people everywhere and if you do happen to come across some of them, please accept our apologies.

All in all, I am confident that you will find Montreal to be a tourist-friendly and charming city; you will have a great time here.

Montreal
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2. Re: Is It True...?

"My wife and I went to Quebec City last summer and couldn't have had a nicer time. Everyone was pleasant and charming and we loved the place."

TD

If your personal experience at Quebec City is so good, then what makes you believe that people in Montreal would be rude or any different? Actually, Montreal is more multi-cultural than Quebec City and more tourists visit Montreal as compared to QC because it is a bigger and more vibrant city.

Don't go by the media rumours or hearsay from a few. We also hear a lot of rumours about people going from here are being harrassed at the border and detained for hours. There might be isolated cases and media sometimes blow news out of proportion and create mountain out of a mole.

Delhi, New York
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212 posts
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3. Re: Is It True...?

When I visit Montreal in under two weeks, it will be my 10th trip to that city. I've never had a bad time or bad experience there. In fact, I've always been treated with the utmost respect and I don't anticipate it changing any time soon.

We've met people we've kept in touch with and become friends with -- and try an see them each year we come up. I've also been to both sides of town (even with my bad French) and it's been the same.

If you show respect, you'll get it. If you act like a fool and like someone who owns the place, expect it the same back. That's the same everywhere though.

Hoboken NJ
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304 posts
4 reviews
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4. Re: Is It True...?

I concur with Softball and the others as a regular visitor (i.e. 2-4 trips at least per year for the past six) I have never been mistreated by any Montrealer. The closest thing and it wasn't even all that was I asked a young man on the street in the Plateau for directions to a restaurant and he asked me to converse in French rather curtly, however, I am aware that French is the official language in QC so I was not offended. With that said everyone in the service industries, hotel, restaurants, reatil stores, etc are very kind and accomodating. You can use your high French, although in my experiences the savvy Montrealer can detect a language neophyte a mile away and will usually switch to English without missing a beat. I so admire that quality since I have a tin ear when it comes to others languages. You will have a great time in Montreal. I love Quebec City as well!!

Hoboken NJ
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5. Re: Is It True...?

P.S. retail store and high school French...guess I should add dyslexia with that tin ear :)

Gorham, Maine
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804 posts
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6. Re: Is It True...?

Thanks for all the replies. I pretty much assumed the stuff I've been hearing has just been from Grumpy Gus Americans. :-)

As for speaking high school French I hope that's not required since the only bit I remember is "la singe sur la table" and I doubt that will come up in conversation all that often. :-) Hopefully "je ne parle pas Francais, pardonez moi" will get me by in most situations.

Thanks!

-dragon

Delhi, New York
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212 posts
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7. Re: Is It True...?

I have two years of French in college and don't speak it well at all. However, I've found when I'm drunk in bars I get a little more gutsy and rattle some stuff. Apparently I do OK. At least in the past. However, I can barely say "my name is" in French anymore, so I think those days are numbered!

I'm horrible with languages for some reason, besides English. I've tried to learn and I get all wacked out. I'd some day like to really learn French as I find it an amazing and great language. Who knows. Maybe one day.

But yeah, I think you've met some Americans who just think everyone non-American is rude to Americans. It's not that way in my travels, unless it's provoked. I've had some good political discussions in Montreal though. Seems many Canadians I've chatted with are interested in U.S. politics. Kind of funny, considering I hate politics and usually can't stand about it. :D

8. Re: Is It True...?

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