Sunday, July 09, 2006

Lost In Translation

Okay, it's our last day in Montreal and I think I finally have this french thing understood. You see when I was younger, I fancied myself as pretty close to bilingual. I even went to France for a week when I was 16 and seemed to get along fine. But know that I am older, whenever I come to Montreal, I feel like I am in a Quebecois version of Lost In Translation.

Top 5 Bill Murray Movies
1. Tootsie
2. Quick Change
3. Stripes
4. Lost In Translation
5. The Royal Tenenbaums

The first time I came to Montreal, the amount of french I heard would make me panic. Too fast, I will sound stupid if I respond etc etc. I once bought a book there, and the guy asked me in french if I wanted a bag. He merely said "un sac?". I looked at him like he was speaking latin. I was so lost. J-Mac answered him in french and i then said to him in English, "I swear to God I used to speak french in high school." People around who spoke english thought this was funny but he had no idea what I said.

To be honest, Montreal is a very biligual city. Most people in the service industry will great you both in French and English. "Bonjour, hello". At first, out of respect, I would respond in kind. "Bonjour". But, as I have recently found out, my accent is horrible. Which would explain that when people hear me speak french, they still respond in English, "yeah buddy how you doin?"

J-Mac and Coglero and I were in a cab headed to Gibby's on Thursday night. I said something in french, i can't remember what. Something basic. You gotta understand, between the cab driver and the other two in there, I was the least french person in the vehicle. Anyway, my attempt at french was so pathetic, that it elicited guffaws first from the cab driver and then from my other two amis (you see, that is french). Well, that was the last time I tried to speak french for the rest of the trip.

On our final night in Montreal, we saw Dave Brubeck at the Place Des Arts. For an 86 year old he put on quite a show. When he closed with his big hit "Take Five" (trust me, you know it), there was such a roar from the crowd like I have never heard at a jazz concert in my life. Our plan afterwards was to head to the Whiskey Cafe. However, getting to that part of Montreal proved to be impossible. You see the Place Des Arts was in the middle of where the Montreal Jazz Festival was. There were concert stages, closed off streets and people milling around everywhere. This created such traffic chaos, we would have had to walk most of the way to this place in order to get a cab. So instead, we went to this brew pub called Les Three Brassuers. The crowd was pretty young there but it was still pretty good.

So overall, from my time in Montreal, the highlight was seeing Katie Melua. She put on a great show. If I may make some song recommendations to listen to, she does a great cover of Canned Heat's On The Road Again. Other good songs include Nine Billion Bicycles and Closest Thing To Crazy. All these clips are only a minute long.



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