Day 88/89 – 34.9 km (total – 2042.9 km)
Did someone say spring is coming?! It’s a beautiful day here in Riviere-Du-Loup, but a cold day more reminiscent of winter than spring! We arrived here yesterday after a run that included being pulled over by the police! I was running along when the flashing lights of the car pulled up beside me. They started asking me a question in French. I understood enough to realize they were asking if I owned the RV ahead. The conversation changed to English as both officers spoke much better English than I did French! I told them the quick version of TMO and immediately they shook my hand. They gave me a business card and told me that the police would be happy to escort me along the TCH if I needed it. I smiled as they drove away, thinking that would actually be pretty cool – but not necessary!
To unwind last night, I decided to take in part of the Habs first playoff game. I fumbled through the little French I knew to converse with servers and patrons in the spirit of making conversation and cheering on Les Canadiens! I took French until I was in OAC (oh the days of OAC in Ontario!) and my parents even had me in French immersion from grade 1-4. Conjugating verbs and remembering what is ‘masculin’ and ‘feminin’ eludes me for the most part, but I’m trying. And being in a city that is Francophone reminded me of that time in French immersion. I had a huge crush on my grade 4 homeroom teacher… but similar to a New York Times article that Sarah directed me to surrounding playgrounds and recess, a lot of my learning came in that schoolyard during non-class hours. Perhaps not the kind of learning that involved conjugating verbs, but learning nonetheless. And although I have some recollection of time in the classroom, it’s the time in the schoolyard I remember most. Playing box baseball against the brick wall of the school with chalk outlines of the strike zone… chasing girls for no apparent reason… convincing girls to chase us for no apparent reason. My first kiss even came in that schoolyard in grade 4 (is that ok to say out loud?!).
I suppose when you don’t use a language often for about 18 years, it sort of goes on you. And I regret that, because it is such a great language to know and to converse in. As we continue to make our way through Quebec, I will enjoy some of those memories, both in the classroom and in the schoolyard. And along the way, I’ll try to brush up on those verbs!