Thursday, June 13, 2013

Ma Femme Parle Francais Ici

Our vacation to Montreal continues...  One of the delights of Montreal is that French is by far the main language here.  My French is poor, but just good enough to be able to order food (etc.) in a pinch, although almost everyone connected to commerce (even little stores) speaks English.

My wife, on the other hand, speaks very good French!  She lived in Paris for over a year when she was younger.  So she is enjoying using her language skills, and tonight is seeing a movie in French.  But, the accent here drives her up a wall!  I have heard from others that Quebecois French is indeed fairly different than standard (Parisian) French, but it all sounds the same to me...

I have found the people delightfully friendly.  Food is good too.  Highly recommended!


One of things I had wondered about before coming was whether or not folk-singer Leonard Cohen would be omnipresent here, as he originally came from Quebec (he is now a part-time Buddhist monk in California, uh, no, I have no other details...).  He sang a great song about a wandering Canadian, missing home.  Unfortunately I could not find a "clean" version if Cohen singing it (for free on YouTube), but here are some of the lyrics to this beautiful song, the part of this song that I like the best:

Un jour, triste et pensif,
Assis au bord des flots,
Au courant fugitif
Il adressa ces mots:
"Si tu vois mon pays,
Mon pays malheureux,
Va, dis à mes amis
Que je me souviens d'eux.
"Ô jours si pleins d'appas
Vous êtes disparus,
Et ma patrie, hélas!
Je ne la verrai plus!

(English translation):

One day, sad and pensive,
Sitting at the waters' edge,
To the fleeting[4] current,
He said these words:
“If you see my country,
My unhappy country,
Go tell my friends
That I remember them.
"O days so full of charm[s]
You have disappeared,
And my country, alas!
I will never again see it!

Despite his fame here, I saw only one picture from the street and just once did I hear one of his songs being played (by a street musician)...  It was also hard for me to find a "clean" link to this song by him on YouTube just now, other than this (hey, if you do not have a sense of humor, just close your eyes!):


Here are some pictures:

View to the north from where we are staying (a part of a building at McGill University and a piece of Mt. Royal (for which the city is named) at the left):

A view to downtown Montreal from the top of Mt. Royal, the St. Lawrence River is in the background:

Enjoying dessert "avec ma belle femme" (don't tell me I'm not lucky, fellas...) at juliette & chocolat, mine is the vanilla ice cream at left and Peruvian hot chocolate at right, her dessert crepe in the middle:

Yes, juliette & chocolat is one of those places where young guys take their dates...

Some of my readers probably think that I am a complete BS-er who never really does any of this stuff I write about, hmm...  Well how about this to prove I am in Montreal, Canada (Tim Horton's duking it out with Starbucks, LOL)?



I went to the headquarters of Osisko Mining Corporation located here in Montreal.  They gave me the below two pens, what is that yellow stuff in there?

Now why would I visit something like an office while on vacation?  Hmm, let's just say that is a hint, perhaps, of something to come...

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