A ride on the Montreal Métro

February 16th, 2013

Here we have a rather extraordinary scene aboard the Montreal Métro.

As you can see, a woman is ranting at fellow passengers, shouting and waving her fingers at them because she suffered the indignity of having to hear a language other than French (most likely English) in a public place. This is the gist of her opening gambit: “Here in our home, it’s the same thing whether it’s at your home or ours. You are in Quebec and it is in French! IT IS FRENCH! Period! No! You speak to me in French or you don’t speak to me at all.”

One could sit down and write all day about it, but I prefer to view the scene as parody, a sort of play within a play. The woman plays the part of  Quebec, the other passengers the rest of Canada and the Métro car Canada itself. Given the opportunity of leaving the car, she chooses to remain on board and continue putting forward her point of view. Meanwhile the other passengers shuffle around wondering what to do, in the end doing not much at all. They’re particularly polite throughout, in a passive way, and the Métro car continues to go around in circles.