There are about 60 teachers here and it is truly a global and diverse group. There are people from just about every continent and tons of interesting countries, including Ecaudor, Saudi Arabia, China, Columbia, Belgium, Brazil, Iraq, among others. Since there are so many languages, we all speak French together, which is pretty cool...people (including me, I'll admit) have a tendency to think that French is only useful in Europe, but this experience is proof positive that that is not the case. I could have run into any of these people during my travels and been able to communicate with them in French.
|Welcome dinner, aka. mini-UN.|
As far as the city itself goes, I feel like I haven't really had much of a chance to truly explore. What I've seen, though, I really like. Montreal seems to be an extremely vibrant, energetic place with people that are incredibly friendly, entertaining, and open. The accent is a bit difficult to decipher (some people have a stronger accent than others), which leaves me scratching my head sometimes, but it's good practice for my listening comprehension.
Today, we visited a market...yes, I know...I'm obsessed with markets. But isn't admitting your addiction the first step towards recovery? The market was really pretty...tons of flowers and yummy things to eat, such as Lime-Coconut-Ginger Sorbet. Délicieux!
We also wandered around Little Italy and got a chance to see some houses in the traditional Montrealais style...apparently around the turn of the century, the style was to put the stairs on outside of the building. Not sure why, but I suspect maybe it has something to do with the amount of snow that they get here in the winter...maybe so they can leave the house via the second story if need be? The rest of La Petite Italie was somewhat underwhelming, but it was fun to walk around a different neighborhood.
Last night, on the other hand, we visited Le Quartier Latin to see one of the most animated neighborhoods we've seen so far. There were restaurants everywhere and tons of outdoor tables with people milling around and chatting between tables. We struck up a conversation with the people at the table next to us and learned some great Québécois expressions, such as "mon chum/ma blonde" (my boyfriend/my girlfriend), "des pièces" (slangy way to say dollars), "c'est correcte" (cool, that's good). I'll have to keep working on perfecting my accent, though....
|Dans le Quartier Latin avec des nouveaux amis|