Today is the first Fourth of July that I’ve been absent from my country. I’ve spent it on Île d’Orléans just outside of Quebec City. It’s nice here. To quip from Pulp Fiction a bit, it’s not that different from home, it’s just the little things. You know what they put on French fries? Mayonnaise. I’ve seen it. They drown it in the stuff. Everyone speaks French as their first language. So far, everyone that I’ve tried to have a conversation with speaks English, but not as well as French.

What I’m not looking forward to is the inevitably unpleasant exchange with the US Customs on the way back in. Every single time, I expect, “Welcome home, fellow American,” and I’ve never got it. I wonder why I keep setting myself up for disappointment.

The last time I went into Canada, I was treated better as a foreigner going into Canada than as a citizen coming home. To be fair to this incident, I was crossing at Detroit and my last name is Kilpatrick. And at a time that the surname wasn’t a popular one to have in that town.

But, so far, here, everyone has been quite pleasant and they’ve made me feel right at home. I wonder what property values are on this island. Wouldn’t be a bad place to live.