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

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Vive le Québec!

That's right: I've thrown off the shackles of my Alberta-loving ways and have converted to Parti Québecois-brand separatism. I think it has something to do with these crazy French keyboards, where there's actually a key for the letter "é" (accent included), and you have to press shift to type a period.

Anyway, sorry for the lack of posts over the last couple of days. They have this strange rule here where if you want the internet in your room, you have to leave your laptop with them for anywhere up to three days while they scan it for viruses (apparently the fact that I have a Mac doesn't factor in). I left it there yesterday and just walked over in the pouring rain to see if it's ready yet (they can't call me because the phone in my room doesn't work), and it's totally not.

And speaking of the rain, I have never seen weather like this before. You know how when it rains at home it gets really cold and still manages to feel dry? Not so here, my friends! It's absolutely pouring right now, and 33 degrees (I just checked the Weather Network--that's how exciting this is to me). I don't think I've ever walked around in the pouring rain while sweating--I guess all you newly converted Torontonians understand this, but it's pretty crazy for a naïve Edmontonian like me.

Anyway, things here have been pretty okay so far (much more okay than my insane tendency to assume the absolute worst is going to happen whenever I put myself in a situation like this had led me to assume--just ask Chris). I have to admit I was still absolutely terrified on the plane over here, but there was something about just getting here and seeing it that automatically made me start to feel better. I met a few people on the bus on the way in from the airport, including Mattthew Wildcat, that lone Native Studies counsellor at the U of A who always wins his seat with one or two votes--he totally knew who I was from the Gateway! For the most part, though, I've been hanging out with three girls (I know--girls!!) who I met on Sunday. They're okay and everything (I quite like one of them, Jaime, probably because she's 29 and I can't seem to make any friends my own age; another one, Stephanie, seemed kind of lame at first, mainly because she kept talking about how Catholic she is, but then she got drunk with us last night, which kind of changed my opinion--yes, I'm incredibly shallow, and base all my opinions of people on how much they drink; and the third, Katrina, is, well, 18 and just out of high school. That's probably all you need to know about her).

Needless to say, I'm looking forward to classes starting so I can meet some more people (yep, that's right: I've been here for three days and classes still haven't started). We spent yesterday writing our placement exams, and then in the afternoon had to go to a welcome ceremony, which involved some guy playing a guitar and singing a song whose chorus was--get this--"un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq, six, sept, Québec!" Good times. We then stood in several more lines, to get our bursaries, student ID cards, etc. The strangest part? Instead of giving us meal cards, they gave us slips of paper ("cheques," if you will), that we then had to take to the bank to exchange for $600 in cold, hard $100 and $50 bills. This strikes me as a terrible idea for the younger, more irresponsible people among us, but whatever, I guess. Then, in the evening, there was a welcome soirée (I'm learning French!) that was just as lame as the welcome ceremony (and involved the same guitar-playing, French folk music-loving guy getting everyone to make fools of themselves by inducing them to dance to his terrible music). We escaped early, though, and I went to Le Pub (the originally named bar on campus) with Matthew and a couple of his friends.

Then, today, we got up early yet again (do you know how long it's been since I've had to be up at 7am five days a week? Since high school, at least) to get our placements. I made it into an intermediate-level class (yay, I guess!), and then we went to meet our profs and take oral and written exams so they could see where we're at. Then, because everything is incredibly poorly organized here, we had the entire afternoon off with nothing to do, so I spent most of it sleeping in my shitty res room. Good times.

Anyway, all in all this seems like it's going to be relatively fun. There's some sort of "activity" every day, except for Sundays, and on the weekends we get to do things like go whale-watching and go to places like Île d'Orléans and Trois Rivières, which I hear from Fresh is AWESOME. The one thing I really want to do first, though, is actually get off campus and go see the city. Luckily, Jaime invited me to come into town tomorrow along with her and her friend who lives here, so it'll be nice to do that with someone who actually knows the city.

Anyway, I'll start posting more regularly when I get my computer back. In the meantime, bonne chance, or something.

Oh, wait, before I go, here's a fun fact: the radio station here is called CHYZ. Hilarious? Oui.


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