Saturday, October 07, 2006

Vivre le Québec libre

Many years ago, I spent 9 extremely fun and beer-filled months in Québec, Canada.

6 of these months were spent at the local university in a little town called Trois-Rivières, learning to speak French (and pick up men – I met Pépé there!). As a result, my French is littered with joual that only a Québecois can comprehend without bursting out laughing or looking at me oddly.

For the past 2 weeks, we’ve had visitors from Québec staying with us and I relished at being able to say things like:

· souliers (shoes)
When French people hear me say this, they just laugh as it’s supposedly a very old fashioned word.
chaussure in ‘France’ french.

· magasinage (shopping), magasiner (to go shopping)
This isn’t used at all in France, so I just get weird looks.
shopping in ‘France’ french

· la fin de semaine (weekend)
This literally means “the end of the week”.
Most people here get what I mean but just look me and say, oh you mean ‘week-end’.
week-end in ‘France’ French

· Piastre (usually pronounced piasse)
One of my bad habits.
This means the Canadian dollar but I use it for everything from the Euro to the Australian dollar!

· Chum (Boyfriend or friend)
I get weird looks for using this in France

· Blonde (Girlfriend, blond or not)
I get really really weird looks for using this in France

And the list goes on and on.
Even after being in France for over a year and a half, getting weird looks is still part of my day.

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