I feel like I am beginning to find my rhythm in Québec City. It usually takes me a while to get adjusted, but in the last couple of days, I’ve gotten better oriented in downtown and I finally understand how the bus system here works.
School has been going well – my classes are very small, but I actually prefer that. The morning class I am taking has only three students (myself in included) and we’ve been learning about the evolution and history of the French language. It is fascinating! I learned today that during the 18th century in France, the elite would gather amongst themselves to elevate their status by speaking elaborately with each other. Basically, saying a lot to express something very simple. For example, instead of saying “teeth”, they would say “mouth furniture” (l’ameublement de la bouche)! HAHA!
I don’t know if that is amusing to you, but I sure got a kick out of that.
Anyway, today I wanted to talk about a new friend I made today that I’ll probably never see again. Her name is Louisette and we met in the most peculiar way.
After school, I walked along Rue Saint-Jean, a beautifully charming area in the heart of downtown, to watch the concerts for the annual music summer festival. After walking from one show to another (and doing a little shopping in between), I found myself a bench and rested for a while. Next to me was a petite elderly woman with large glasses, dressed neatly in a turquoise cardigan that complimented her dyed strawberry-blond fluffed hair. She must have been at least in her 70s. I saw her trying to open her bottle of Coke with a bottle opener, so I offered to help. Unfortunately in doing so, I spilt some of it on myself – thankfully not a lot, but enough that my jeans were splashed.
This led to her apologizing and helping me clean up. She even gave me candy because she felt so bad. Eventually, she introduced herself as Louisette. I learned that she was born in Québec City, she has lived here all her life, has never married but had a full and rewarding career, and she has faithfully gone to the music summer festivals in town every year. She learned that I am from Alberta and will be staying in Québec for the month to study. We talked for a good amount of time and soon after we decided to accompany one another to see the later evening shows (I was amazed how she was able to manoeuvre through thick crowds on cobblestone). But before that, she showed me a unique antique store full of Québecois memorabilia. Towards the end of the night, we discovered that we took the same bus, so we got to spend two more minutes together before she kissed me on the cheek and said good-bye.
I’m a bit wistful that I didn’t ask to take her photo, but I guess that’s why I’m writing about her now – so I can remember her. I’m very glad I met Louisette today.