Saturday, October 27, 2007

Rain, Rain, Rain

Rainy and low clouds. Sounds of cars swishing through the streets of Old Montreal. Bells of Notre Dame toll as Saturday weddings culminate with a mad dash for the limo in between rain drops. We had breakfast at one of our favorite spots, Le Cartet, at 160 Rue McGill in Old Montreal. High ceilings and old wood floors. Long narrow space with high windows at both ends. Shared tables. Great foods ranging from a "traditional" Quebec breakfast: eggs, toast, potatoes, baked beans, and saugsage AND bacon (jerry was hungry) to fruit plates, Montreal bagels (chewier than New York style) with salmon, poached eggs etc. We read the Gazette while listening to the animated conversation of 3 mid-30 Montreal women next to us (our other table mate was a shy Asian university student reading an English spy novel). Annette was fascinated by the 3 women as they conversed in a constantly fluid exchange of French and English. All seemed to be native French speakers (because their English was slightly accented). But they slipped in and out of the two languages sometimes in mid sentence. It was really interesting (at least to Annette who is linguistically fascinated with language). An example of the "new montreal" where at least 20 percent (I think that is the number) of younger citizens are considered "allophones", which means if asked which is their native language: French or English...they will say they were raised with both. We're both hoping to take French classes once we're up here for longer periods of time than just a week Bonne Journee!

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