03 October 2011

Je ne comprends pas?

Brad has decided to learn French ... from our GPS.  For two reasons, I can only see this ending badly 
  1. he'll only ever learn street names; and 
  2. the GPS has quite possibly the worst French pronunciation ever.  Montreal is pronounced as three distinct words Mon, Tree, All, with the emphasis on Tree. Um, ok.  On the topic of the GPS, after missing several turns Brad confessed he's started tuning the GPS out.  
I talk at least as much as the GPS, but probably about less important things....

Parts of Montreal that might be interesting to read about (at least in our opinion)
  • Dinner with Claude, a former colleague (boss actually) of Brad's - good company, Creole food and a few bottles of wine.  Brad got to talk boffin, something he's hardly had opportunity for in 4 months.  I got to learn a lot more about what Brad actually does, I'm not being sarcastic, the boffining actually interesting.

  • A bike ride along Lachine Canal which didn't end in me crashing spectacularly.  Ok, on one occasion I did try to get on the bike, and ended up on the ground on the opposite side, but it doesn't count as I was stationary at the time, and I only got one normal size bruise.

  • Friday night with Aisling and Matt - great company, lots of laughs, beer and gin (not together of course), more good food, an Aising tour, a Kid Koala book launch, more beer and gin, all finished off with a yummy late night supper and Brad attempting a nap in a strangers lap on the train trip home.  
  • Breakfast crepes at John Talon market with Aisling and Matt, and the acquisition of beautiful organic and/or locally grown produce (Mum and Dad, I've found the second place winner in the tastiest tomato competition).
  • The commencement of bagel testing.  To give you some background, apparently you're either a New York bagel person or a Montreal bagel person and in Montreal, it's either St. Viateur or Fairmount bagels.  We therefore needed to try both.  On experience St. Viateur won, the bagel we shared was still warm from the oven, but Fairmount was the overall winner. Brad, who only eats bagels as a last resort (ie when the bread goes mouldy) has been lamenting that we ate them all ever since.  We shall report on this again when testing resumes in New York.

Despite being in a big city, where we didn't even speak the language (my almost forgotten high school French does NOT count), we felt far less lost in Montreal than we had in Chicago and left feeling like we'd done the city justice, and maybe even wanted to move here.

From Montreal it was on to Quebec city, where we had perfect sightseeing weather for our one day there,  then Riviere-du-Loup in time to see the sun set.

By the time we left Quebec and Brad had perfected one French phrase 'Parlez-vous anglais?', well almost, he's still taking more notice of the GPS's pronounciation, so it comes out as 'parlez-vous engli?' But on nearly all occasions, it has been met with a response of "Yes, of course".

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