Monday, 5 November 2007

On the synchronicity of timing and how to avoid it

I don't like the travel section of my Saturday newspaper that much. Too much about where to go on what is usually an expensive exotic vacation that sounds attractive but ultimately isn't my cup of tea. However, this Saturday it had a significant article that was very relevant to the planning of my trip. To be precise, it was an article about next year's 400th anniversary of the founding of Québec City. (How time flies. I remember going to see the tall ships' parade for the 375th anniversary!)

I had completely ignored the fact that my proposed trip would coincide with Québec City's quadricentennial. I had known about it, but I hadn't put two and two together until last Saturday. Now that I know, I don't know how to incorporate this event into my planning. On the one hand, it would be fun to participate in the festivities to some degree. After all, centennial parties don't come that often and, as a historian, it would be fun to bear witness to it all. On the other, I don't enjoy crowds. Nor do I enjoy the often paternalistic and nationalistic flavour such celebrations often take in this province. Compounding the matter is the fact that these festivities will increase the cost of lodging in Québec city and surrounding areas, or at the very least make it imperative to book well in advance. This in turn requires the Montreal to Québec City leg of the trip be much more planned than would otherwise be.

Apparently, July 3 is the official day when the international dignitaries (including the French prime minister but not the Queen) will be present. This is very close to the traditional, start of Summer holidays in Québec of St-Jean Baptiste / Fête Nationale (24th of June) and Canada Day / Moving Day (July 1st). I don't know if I want to be involved in all this or not, but these events cannot be ignored in planning the trip. Another holiday to be taken into consideration is the Québec Construction Holiday, namely the last two weeks in July. My ideal timing would be to not be on the tour in the Province during this period, especially not near the start or even worse near the end of the period.

However, it might be a good thing to take my vacation during this time as the cataloguing side of library work slows a bit in the time. One of the reasons for this is that my library's book binder shuts down for a number of weeks in July. (I catalogue French books. A majority of them need to be bound before my library can circulate them.) If I could plan it so I am out of the province duringJuly, maybe it would easier for me to get the full four weeks in a block.

Anyway, there is still plenty of time to plot, plan and ponder. Not to mention pontificate.

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