Here’s a sample of a conversation I had with a guy called Phil yesterday, at a colleague’s party:
Phil: “It’s so weird. Every expat seems to know each other here in Shanghai.”
Me: “I know! I used to be jealous of how tight-knit immigrant communities were in Montreal. Italians or Chinese, for instance… They all seem to know each other.”
Phil: “Erm. Wait a minute. You’re from Montreal?”
Me: “Yeah! You too?”
Me: “Coudonc, t’es-tu francophone?!”
Phil: “Ben oui!”
So I got out my business card, and handed it to him, one Quebecois to another.
Phil: “Wow. Your last name is Roy?!”
Me: “Yeah… Oh. You too?”
Me: “Is your name…”
Phil: “My name is Philippe Roy.”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I met a Quebecois in Shanghai who has the exact same name as my brother.