Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Only in Montreal...

.....do we have an ice storm one week and spring/summer weather the next! Finally my crocuses are blooming! Daffodils are not far behind.


Only in Montreal......
do we hear 3 different languages spoken in the same 5 - 10 minute conversation.

I was in the changing room after my Aquafit class this afternoon. It was a fun class as usual. This time the instructor had us kicking our legs and thrusting arms to the rhythm of some old Country and Western songs which propelled me back to my high school days. Now some of these songs were just fine, but we thought ourselves too "cool" to actually enjoy this kind of music. The Beatles ruled back then. Plain and simple.

 Opening my locker I hauled my gym bag out and groped around for the container of body lotion, but came up with my water bottle instead. Might as well sit for a minute and re-hydrate. No rush. I'm retired. I closed my eyes for a minute and drank deeply. Hairdryers droned and I could hear water flowing from the showers a little further away. Locker doors banged cheerfully. Conversation flowed around me.

A change of rhythm, different intonation, foreign syllables, had me sitting up short. Who was speaking Arabic? I opened my eyes, but the two Middle Eastern ladies were changing at another set of lockers.  I listened for a minute or two enjoying the rhythm of their voices, the pattern of their speech, secretly hoping I could decipher what they were saying (as if).

Then one of them switched over to English. They were talking about aches and pains. Oh. Rather boring. I tuned out and went on with the necessary business of putting my clothes on.

About 30 seconds later, these same two ladies switched over to French. Well, it's not unusual for people to do that here. Start a conversation in French and then continue in English, or the other way around. Or one person speaks English and the other answers in French.

We hear so many languages spoken on the streets of Montreal it shouldn't be surprising, but it struck me as funny to hear 3 different languages in one short conversation.

I wonder if the ladies involved noticed.

6 comments:

Anvilcloud said...

And then two days of deluge.

You sound pretty fit for someone old enough to know the Beatles like you do. I could resent that.

I am taking some very low level (very very low) classes, and the old music is the best.

That's great about language. I left Montreal in '62 when there were still the two solitudes, and I never learned the other language. I had thought to try in my retirement, but my hearing is not discerning enough anymore.

Rose said...

Good to see that spring is finally arriving in your garden.It certainly has been a long wait for all of us this year.
We must be about the same age--I was crazy about the Beatles as a young teenager, too. Yesterday I was thinking about downloading some music on my phone to listen to during a 5K walk I'm doing tomorrow night, and all the songs that came to mind as peppy and motivating were oldies. But I will throw in a couple of Bruno Mars' songs as well:)

Funny that whatever the language, we can all relate to the aches and pains of getting older:)

mxtodis123 said...

Spring seems to be arriving here as well after a crazy spring that sounds much like yours. Was getting up in the 30's last week; now waking up to temps in the 50's. Hubby and his sisters will do that. They will start a conversation in Spanish, switch to English, then back to Spanish. I took some Spanish classes for awhile, but it just didn't work out for me. No classes for me today. Tomorrow I'll go. Today is my WW meeting. It's so good to be back and connecting with old friends.

Cheryl said...

I loved the Beatles......I fell in and out of love with each one of them as a young girl :)

Glad you finally have Spring like weather and some blooms in your garden.

Changing rooms are interesting places. So many different types.
Love your interpretation of it.

Bonsoir my friend.

Celia said...

Good for you, I am just starting to go back to our YMCA with a pool and yoga classes for the woefully out of shape. I envy you living where you do, but it might take me a long time to adjust to the winters but they have their beauties too.

Elephant's Child said...

Loving your garden display. And wishing that I had more than one language and teensy snippets of others.