Voici mon secret…

5 12 2008

“Voici mon secret. Il est très simple: on ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur. L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.”

Yep, I have a secret… Yours truly can speak French. Not fluently, but if I tried, I could manage. I don’t try. I’m terrified of trying. But I can read and translate and listen and do the same… I’ve read The Little Prince, by Antoine de St. Exupery in French – and wrote a paper on it in French.

The French language has been a big part of my life. Every summer in high school, I spent the entire month of July at the Stanstead College Summer Language Adventure (sounds so much better in French – Sejour Linguistique). I was a student for 3 years and a counselor for 1. And those experiences really impacted me. I’ve talked about it before in my post on JP.

The idea is that you learn the language. Yeah, I didn’t. The Quebecois kids were always more willing to speak English than we were French. But, god, I have some AMAZING memories. When I was there, during the week you took classes in your secondary language. For two of the 4 weekends, you went on camping trips. I climbed Mount Washington on one of those trips. One of those weekends, you went to a city that spoke your second language. I got to see Quebec City, which is a gorgeous city, including the Chateau Frontenac. Beautiful.

chateaufrontenacI also got to run around my favorite Canadian city, Montreal. And take my friends to my favorite place there. A place that isn’t there now. So depressing. My dad went here when he was a kid….




Ben’s Deli was where I learned my love of warm pastrami on rye with mustard. To date, only Smallman Street Deli compares. But it’s still not the same as Ben’s… I’d do almost anything to have Ben’s back and go back there again… all I have now are memories and one t-shirt.

The one thing that reminds me of ALL of this, is this one song. It reminds me of every summer. For some reason, the DJ at our little ‘dances’ played this every summer….

(music randomly selected by Mindbling)

If you want lyrics and translation, let me know. Trust me, internet translation blows. So I have something set up for it. 🙂




4 responses

5 12 2008
Burgh Baby

Hrm. You learn something new every day, I guess. I, too, am fluent in another language. I learned Spanish when I went to Colegio in Spain for nearly a year. Good time, good times.

5 12 2008
Uncle Crappy

As in Mount Washington, N.H.? You just got Weather Freak Boy’s attention.

I’d love to spend some time in Quebec too. Montreal has a monster beer festival every summer; skiing Tremblant might be fun as well.

A minor family hassle kept me from me best chance at seeing any of Quebec. Mrs. Crappy’s family had a cabin up there, in the middle of nowhere, for years. But when her grandfather died, the oldest son kind of took it over, and never seem pleased about visits from other members of the family. It’s since been sold, so if we’re ever going, we’re going to have to find our own way.

5 12 2008
Anthony Closkey

That diner looks a little like the old Hot Dog Shop in Butler. I’m sure their food was much more edible.

For some time I’ve been trying to convince my parents that we need to take a family vacation to Montreal. They always want to go on a cruise. I’d like to take a long rail tour to or just through Quebec.

I wouldn’t care about the translation but for that mischievous invitation. So, sure, I’m your Huckleberry. Let’s have it.

5 12 2008

Uncle Crappy: Yes, Mt. Washington, NH. Have really climbed it twice. Once we made it just to the Lake in the Clouds. It was snowing. In July. Then a second time over a weekend all the way to the top.

Montreal has a killer jazz festival too.

I have no idea why I remember to this day, but there is an amazing Shrine just outside of Montreal, in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. http://www.sanctuaire-ndc.ca/index.php?Itemid=152

Anthony: I’ll email it to you. You should definitely keep trying to convince your family to travel through Quebec. It’s beautiful.

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