Yesterday we spent some time at the market with two friends: he is Quebeçois, she is Latin American. We rode our bikes to Jean-Talon to meet them, spent a couple of hours sampling a special tasting-display of Quebec wines (those ice-wines made from apples are really delicious) and cheeses, indulging in an order of deep-fried smelts and calamari, and watching as our friends tapped and selected a rolling-cart-full of melons, corn, peppers, cauliflower, apples - all the heaviest things the market had to offer! Switching back and forth between not two but three languages is also the best practice one could hope for.
They took the metro home, we rode, and then worked for a while before meeting them again in the evening at Le Sommet de l'Harmonica ("Harmonica Summit"), a festival of Quebeçois and traditional music and dance - this year with an emphasis on master harmonica players - which is taking place this weekend at Park Lafontaine.
"After we left you," said E., "we got on the metro. I realized after a while that there was a kind of crazy woman at the other end of the car, and she was imitating D. - you know, talking with her hands and so on."
The woman of this pair is, to say the least, very expressive.
"I was watching her, kind of, but then she got up and approached us. I didn't know what to expect. But in this very heavy Quebec accent she said to me - looking at the big bunch of basil sticking out of my bag - 'You have verduuuure!'" (You know: "greens".)
I said, "Yes, it's basil, it's delicious."
She looked at me and then said, "You know, that stuff gets a lot of fleas in it."
"Yes," I said, "I know. And this one is COVERED!"
E. said that didn't faze the woman in the least, and the three of them ended up having quite an entertaining conversation before they got off the train...