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Friday, May 21, 2010

Oui, C'est Ca!

Hey folks,

Well, I'm going to be away all next week -- off on a wonderfully-romantic vacation with my wife to La Belle Province.

Yes, this'll be my first time travelling to Québec but I'm really glad that I finally have a chance to check it out. We don't have a whole lot of time, unfortunately, only 6-ish days to split between Québec City and Montréal so we're open to suggestions on the best places to see (or eat) while we're there.

Please feel free to shamelessly promote in the comments section.

On the other hand, the preparation for the trip's been a bit interesting as I try to dust-off my public/high-school-level Français.

Okay, let's just say there are more than a few layers of rust.

Which means I've been struggling to re-acquaint myself with the language I once loved.

Yes, many moons ago, there was a time when I was actually pretty good at speaking the language -- You see, back in public school I was on the 'French Team' (GEEK!).

We'd travel across the county going from school to school challenging other 'French Teams' to brutal battles of vocabulary in our second official language. It was a whole lot of fun and I was actually pretty good at it.

Okay, really good. Heck, we won a whole bunch of matches.

In truth, we were a bunch of bad-ass 12-year-old wanna-be Francophones.

I was young though, and the good times? I thought they'd never end.

But, as they say, C'est la vie.

Soon I was graduating and being shipped off to bigger ponds.

High school.

To be honest, when Grade 9 rolled around I couldn't wait to get into a French classroom, to dust off the ol' skillz and get into the swing of it again.

That was until 'she' came along.

Though her name has long escaped me, the image of her face is burned into my brain.

Simply put:

My Grade 9 French teacher killed the French Language for me.

The very first time I met her all I saw were those cold, narrow eyes. She was a veteran, one of the old guard and she'd totter around the classroom with that... limp.

It soon became obvious that whatever the kids before had done to her had left scars (mental or otherwise) that we would be forced to deal with.

The thing I remember most about her was the thick, nasty retainer she always wore, it clicked around when she yelled at the class and caused her to always seem to have this thin line of drool running down the corner of her mouth.

That drool, more specifically, was her weapon of choice and she used it with flair. Whenever I mis-pronounced something she was there and she was mad, as if personally offended that I would dare defile the language.

She'd stand there fuming for only that brief moment before getting in my face and letting loose. I'd recoil, of course, watching in horror and disgust as, with every hard 'P' or 'T', she showered me in little droplets of salivary rain.


Yeah, somehow I eked my way through the course, pulling off a solid 'B' but when the time came around to choose next year's classes... I just couldn't do it.

I decided 'never again'... and I vowed that for as long as she was teaching there I'd never take French class.

Unfortunately, that turned out to be pretty much the rest of my high school career.

So, yes, this trip is, in a way, exactly what I needed - a chance to pick up where I left off and maybe re-ignite an old flame.

Hopefully all goes well on my trip but I feel I should probably apologize in advance to Québeccers, 'cause as things are going right now... yeah, it's going to be interesting.


P.S: Feel free to pop on by next week as I've set up a few things for auto-pilot while I'm gone... nothing too big, but hopefully worthy of a few minutes of your time in my absence.

1 comment:

deborah Nathan said...

If you like caribou - Aux Anciens Canadiens restaurant in old Quebec City opposite the chateau. Love it.