Saturday, April 9, 2016

Ave Papineau - 45° 31' 48" N 73° 33' 57" W

Le neige à la Parc Lafontaine
We are very much enjoying our French classes.  Our teacher, Thomas, is excellent, very funny and very effective.  He is French so is able to teach us the nuances between le québécoise and le français.  He has also been most effective at teaching us to swear in both too! We are the only Canadians in the class.  Our fellow students are made up of immigrants learning French (from Jordan, Australia, Brazil,  England) and those who have come to Montréal specifically to learn French (Brazil, USA, Italy, UK and NZ). Over half the class are not native English speakers which is a great help with accents and pronunciation.  We are both confident we will be able to speak and understand, read and write a sentence or two by the time we are finished.

Outside classes, we have plenty of homework and lots of vocabulary to learn. Our apartment is looking very festive with post-it notes stuck all around in an effort to facilitate our learning. We are lacking someone to correct our pronunciation so we will end up with weird anglo-Google Translate accents!

The weather has been quite bitter with a freezing wind whipping through and sub-zero temperatures.  Our desire to be out and about has therefore been dampened so we are spending a lot of time in the gym.  Today, we went to the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal.  As with any contemporary art, some was fabulous and some, we failed to appreciate.

I particularly liked two video installations by Ragnar Kjartansson.  One called A Lot of Sorrow, was the performance of the song Sorrow by The National played over and over for six hours.  Whilst we did not watch the whole six hours, it was a great song and interesting to see the variations in each repetition. The second installation was The Visitors where a group of musicians played a song in a large mansion.  Each musician was in a different room (including one in the bath) and each was displayed on a different screen.  You were unable to see all the screens at once so you moved around. Très cool!

Sweating it at the gym. Not a bad view from 27th floor!
The pool on 27th floor of our apartment block.

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