Friday, 25 October 2013

We won't be sleeping in our autumn beds

The colours on the trees may still be bright, but the summer is truly behind us. The last farmers' market will be this weekend (I've been stocking up on yummy veggies and baked goods there, as well as getting to chat to local people). I definitely can't leave the house without wearing a coat, scarf and sensible shoes now, even if it looks sunny outside. It's made me realise how back home, I always try to get away with wearing the bare minimum when it's cold. Over here, you just can't afford to do this - last week I had my first cold and I'm pretty sure it was because of that. Yesterday afternoon the temperature suddenly dropped by about nine degrees and the first snowflakes started falling, but they didn't settle. As I understand it, the next three weeks or so will just be glum freezingness without any snow at all. Winter still seems like a joke that everyone except me is in on, though...

School seems to be getting better and better each week. I believe there is a direct correlation between this and the fact I now have more autonomy in the classroom; the awkward "introduction" stage is over. Yesterday I started my weekly lunchtime English activities. This week it was Halloween-themed. Five students showed up, and it was a lot of fun, although I hope next time there will be more attendees.

Last night, I also went to see Lisa LeBlanc, who plays "trash-folk". She's not actually from Quebec, but is Acadian; that's another francophone culture with a whole different history, and their influence today is mainly to be witnessed in New Brunswick and also over the border in Maine. Anyway, I suppose that lyrically, in her demeanour, and in her level of fame, she's the equivalent of Kate Nash... come to think of it, she kind of looks like her too. She was a joy to watch. This song is awesome, even if you don't understand French. And if you do know French, but not the Acadian variety, it's pretty interesting to listen to lyrically.

All seems good in general. There are difficult days of course, but I push through them. I now have another long weekend, but I don't think I'm going anywhere; after spending far too much money when I went away over Thanksgiving and just being really exhausted the following week, I've decided that trips should be about quality, not necessarily quantity (not that I'm ruling out being spontaneous and stuff). Besides, this would be a good time to get to know my local area even better. There are still places in Rimouski I haven't checked out!

I need to save cash anyway, because next week I'm going to Quebec City for a few days! It's for a mandatory language assistant training. I'm quite disappointed that it will be over Halloween, because that's a huge deal over here and at my school, even the teachers wear costumes on 31st October. When will I have the chance to do that again?! But I hope to rediscover the city, and it will be nice to see everyone again.

Vocab de la semaine
  • Vous autres / nous autres / eux autres
    You lot / us lot / them lot
  • Écouter à la télé
    Still means to watch TV, but it's what people tend to say here instead of regarder.
  • Genre
    "Like" as a filler... you know what I mean. Can also be used to mean "as if!".
  • "Jean dit"
    "Simon says". I learnt the hard way (i.e. after excitedly introducing the activity to a class of kids I'm slightly scared of) that it's not "Jacques a dit" like in France.
  • Un cellulaire
    Mobile phone. In Quebec, portable actually means laptop.
  • Une chum de fille
    Learnt this from Lisa LeBlanc's stage banter! It means a female friend.
  • Fait que
    I've also got Madame LeBlanc to thank for this one. It means "so" (as in "therefore"). And now that I know it, I realise I've been hearing it absolutely everywhere.