Our dirt bikes bring all the boys to the yard. Damn right, they're better than yours.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Quelque chose creatif et francais

Hey! I'm still alive! And I'm sure you've all been waiting on the edge of your collective seat to hear the gripping conclusion to what happened at the street performers' festival! Well, I'm sorry to have made your weekend both stressful and disappointing as you checked this blog every five minutes to no avail, but you can relax and get on with your lives now (well, actually, not until you've finished reading this, but soon enough, my friends—soon enough).

So anyway, I believe I mentioned how Chris told me that French kids' shows are very strange and nonsensical. Naïvely, I'd pictured a bunch of bright-coloured puppets yelling at each other in French, and secretly thought to myself that English kids' shows are much the same way, only they only yell at each other in French when they're trying to teach us words like "ami" and "chat." But how tragically wrong I was. You see, this performance consisted of five people: a guy dressed up like a sailor who was attached to those bungee ropes you can use to jump on trampolines at West Ed (this would have been much more interesting if he could do more than jump really high and spin around sometimes—we kept waiting for the awesome acrobatic stunts, which never came); another guy dressed up like a conductor who kept yelling at the bungee-rope guy to be careful; a girl dressed as a '20s flapper who kept dancing on picnic tables for unknown reasons completely unrelated to the rest of the show; a girl dressed up like a stereotypical Vietnamese person, hat and all; and, finally, a girl dressed up like a Steve Urkel-style nerd (something the Québecois seem to find endlessly hilarious). So, basically, the show went like this: bungee-rope guy would do some shitty tricks, conductor guy would yell at him to be careful, girls would dance, and so on. This was confusing but still vaguely resembled something you might see at home—until the gargoyles showed up. This was what made it so hilariously Québecois: see, the bungee-rope guy was just hanging out, minding his own business, doing some shitty stunts, when suddenly everyone starting acting really scared and yelling at him to stop jumping and stay hanging in the air. At this point, everyone in the audience is all like, "Oh my god! Maybe this bungee-rope guy stole some money from someone and now he's coming to kill him or something!" So you're waiting for an angry guy with a gun to come running around the corner when all the lights go down and this eerie music starts playing. Suddenly, five people on stilts dressed up like gargoyles come creeping through, and everyone's all like, "Shhhh!" Then they walk away and the show continues. This was quite possibly the highlight of my trip to date, but unfortunately my camera sucks at night so I only have some blurry pictures to show for it. Still, those will be up here as soon as I get home, I promise.

Anyway, back to what's been going on recently. Things are looking up here, as I've managed to avoid seeing Joanna for four days in a row now and she's stopped calling me as a result. I assumed this would ultimately result in everyone else getting mad at me for constantly ditching out while they're still forced to hang out with her, but none of them really seem to care (yet, anyway). So, in conclusion, Kristine—1, Joanna—0. Other than that, school's going well (I think, although I haven't gotten any marks back yet), other things are going well ... we went to a baseball game on Friday (the Québec Capitales versus the New Haven Cutters. I assume they're in the same league as the Cracker Cats, although it might even be a lower tier—turns out baseball isn't really a big sport in Québec), where we paid $25 for our ticket and all we could eat/drink pizza, hot dogs, and beer for two hours. Needless to say, the time limit on the free beer made everyone drink as much as possible as fast as possible, so the night kind of turned into a gong show. I have some excellent pictures of Capi, the Capitales' terrifying cat-like mascot, as well as various people passed out on picnic tables. Several hilarious things happened over the course of the evening, so I'll just relate the two highlights here. First, I spent part of the night talking to this absolutely retarded girl from Syracuse who could not get it through her head that Alberta isn't part of BC, and that Wayne Gretzky is consequently not from Vancouver. Secondly, as the cut-off time for free beer drew nearer and nearer, we started to build up a bit of a stash so we wouldn't have to pay the exorbitant price of $5 (!) for beer after 7:30. I guess one of the security guards got wind of this and starting to come around from table to table pouring out people's stashes. When Mississippi Jed found out about this, he came sprinting back to our table to warn us, but before he even said anything he downed a good chunk of his stash so it wouldn't go to waste. This resulted in him passing out on the lawn outside the field for a while, at which point some Québecois called him Johnny Cash and told him to go home.

After the game, we headed down to la Grande Allée to check out this place called Chez Maurice, which is, believe it or not, Maurice Duplessis's old offices converted into this ridiculous three-story club, with a lounge on the main floor, a dance floor on the second floor, and a stage for live Latin American acts on the third floor. It was worth seeing, although I felt incredibly under-dressed and a tad on the ripped-off side when I decided to be generous and buy drinks which, for three double gin and tonics, came to—are you ready for it?—$36. We then decided to go downscale a bit and end the night with poutine, Chez Ashton styles.

Yesterday, I finally managed to escape everyone for a while and went downtown alone to do some shopping. Feeling much rejuvenated (or something) after buying several things for myself and presents for Chris, I decided to go see Goldfinger with Jon, this guy in my class who somehow won tickets at the baseball game to go see them. Knowing they were playing out in the relative middle of nowhere (for some X-treme sports thing that's going on in Beauport this weekend), we left around 7pm to leave ourselves lots of time to get there. On the way down, we met up with Pierre-André, one of the animateurs (animateur is French for "asshole who's job it is to freak out at you everytime you utter an English word") who was also heading down, and spent the next hour making awkward conversation in French while getting horribly lost in Québec's equivalent of Refinery Row. By the time we finally found the field Goldfinger was playing at it was 8:30 and, for some reason, they were already playing their encore. So, essentially, we spent almost two hours getting lost just to hear Goldfinger play a cover of 99 Red Balloons in some mosquito-y field in the middle of nowhere. Most likely feeling guilty about how strange all of this was, Pierre-André invited us (me, Jon, and two girls in the program whose names I can't remember) back to his place to drink and—gasp!—speak English. This was honestly the first time I'd heard an animateur speak English since I got here, so it was pretty scandalous. At the end of the night, he told us not to tell anyone what he'd done, since apparently he did the same thing last year and some girl actually told on him, getting him in a lot of trouble. So it was an interesting evening, all in all.

Other than all this, not much is new here. I have to run and do some homework (which reminds me: Iain, or anyone else out there who's spent some time in Québec, any idea what the term "Se montrer la fraise" means? We were given a bunch of Québecois sayings and we have to find out what they mean), and make a salad for yet another potluck tonight.

So, uh, yeah. How are things at home?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Votre message ennuie très. Augmente la discussion de Oilers, s'il vous plaît. Les spectacles de marionnette sont absurdes, non? Bientôt. Je mange dans le cateteria.


PS -"Se montrer la fraise" means "I am of the strawberries."

2:38 PM


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