Tuesday, 1 August 2006

La Humoriste

19 July - Another decent sleep in despite the inhospitable surrounds. Ate the hostel's excuse for a breakfast then got in touch with Alex, a Vancouver girl who's a friend of Jolene's, who has kindly offered to put me up for the balance of my stay here. She didn’t live very far from the hostel so I transported my gear via bicycle (i'm beginning to think that bringing Celeste along was an absolutely fantastic idea). Alex had the afternoon free so she accompanied me to the Musee des beaux-Arts de Montreal where we both got a healthy injection of culture but were also suffering from a bit of art fatigue by the end of it so couldn’t really cope with the idea of doing another one. Went down to the tourist information centre to sort out a day tour to Quebec City then a few more errands.
My French obviously leaves a bit to be desired - ordering a coffee seems to pose not too much of a problem - 'Petite cafĂ©, sil vous plait' usually meets the response of 'One small coffee?' with raised eyebrows or a flurry of French which means I have to admit that my ability to converse is limited to ordering a few select food items. Apparenty even the French immersion Canadian kids get similar treatment - apparently the Quebecois have an innate ability to sniff out anyone who isn’t a francophone and they don’t deign the other Canadians worthy of being able to speak French. Apparently the actual French also fare pretty badly, as Quebecois French is as incomprehensible to them as Ozzie Marcus's accent is to half of the couriers. One thing you can say about French speakers whether they're from Paris or Montreal - you can pretty much always guarantee that they will be snooty.
Did a little bit of wandering (but not much) and in the evening headed down to the dark side of town to fetch Roach (was provided with a very nice made from scratch quesadilla for dinner) then we rode down to the 'Just For Laughs' festival downtown (took a bit of an effort to keep up with him, Roach rides like a courier) - in order to take in the stuff that was free saw some very impressive Asian break dancers (not exactly sure what was funny about it), a rather unamusing dog doing some very unimpressive tricks, a bunch of side shows and parades and finished it off with a hypnotist - first time i've ever seen a stage hypnotist live and I have to say that i'm not completely convinced of its authenticity - without a doubt the people are doing things they didn’t expect they’d be doing but it seemed that the ones who weren't eliminated were mostly playing it up for the crowd. Maybe i'm just a cynic but I won’t believe it until its done to me and the language barrier excluded me from this guy. Tabernac, pretty f**king funny though.

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