noiembrie 28, 2010

me, to new hostess:  these instructions (for making tiramisu) are very specific: „take 20 eggs from the 3rd fridge at the back…” – if you take them from the 2nd fridge, it won’t come out as good”

new hostess: yeah, but they forgot a very important ingredient. it should say at the end: add love. mix carefully.

me: and did you add love, anyway?

new hostess: nah, i just spit in it.


joe, the italian cook: „the chinese, they eat cats, dogs, they eat everything that moves. so if you go to china, don’t move!”


lorraine, our french prof: „savez-vous qu’est-ce qu’on doit faire pour reanimer un ontarien?”

us: „…non…”

lorraine: „c’est pas grave!”


one of my classmates in french missed class for a week. he comes back and everybody’s curious re: why.

y., another classmate: „j’ai essaye’ de t’appeller trois fois, mais tu es comme une fille quebecoise.”


d. has tests coming up and he’s decided to hole up and study, or, as he put it, break away from civilization.

me: „but you’d better keep calling me. i’m not very civilized.”


so this was fall

noiembrie 27, 2010

my laptop died. (you guys know this, right?) so i got a new one. okay.

it wasn’t cold. seriously, everybody bitching about montreal extreme weather: the times they are a-changing. last night (-9C) was the coldest i got here so far, and was an absolute exception. next week is getting warmer again. however:

i find myself living on the brink of whatever again, waiting for things to go wrong. i’m trying to not do it, then i catch myself at it. i have no logical reason, but then when did i need one? (it’s not november, it never is november: it’s mid-january some time. crisis, breaking point.)

mornings are sunny. i have my tea with honey and listen to the radio. i walk to the bus stop, my boots make a neat sound on the asphalt, on the creaking leaves. i still can’t get over how beautiful the fall colors are here. october was amazing. sometimes at night, getting back from school, i hit on the classical music station, perfect music for the season. it snowed one night and i wrote words on car hoods. i feel like i told this to dozens of people already.

aubaines. bronze-colored gloves, woolly knits, the background music in my favourite boutiques. one cappucino a week, with a glossy magazine. strawberry-flavoured chapstick, reapplied over and over. a hot chocolate carried into french class (i always arrive late).  to-do lists. shopping lists. the hectic saturday mornings when my roommate’s energy tides me over, and after 3 hours everything is clean and cooked and i have spoken too much french and i’m drowsy with self-satisfaction. sunday sleep-ins and brunch in bed. cheap tuesday cinema.

library, the armchairs by the windows. the language stations. i exaggerate with the russian, but it’s ok as long as i can locate my madness and check on it from time to time. i reread word lists on the metro. i read ‘metro’ to keep up with the hockey scores. „we” are doing good so far, looks like a promising season.

phone calls. i’m going up and down the stairs in the labyrinth of eaton mall, laughing at the christmas decoration and describing what i see; i’m walking up the street, through the noise of traffic on sherbrooke, or on and off the 45, i’m getting in. i’m sitting on my bed in the dark, talking for an hour before i remember to take off my jacket. i heat up my food and eat while on the phone. d. is walking around his neighbourhood, which i can’t imagine except that there is a park (they used to play soccer and stuff in there still late at night, but now it’s too cold) and the rest there are ugly houses that look all the same. or d. is on his bus home, with the annoying female voice announcing the stop names directly into my ear. he keeps speaking french, and back there, in the middle of the crowd he’s in, nobody can understand what he tells me.