Happy Thoughts Thursday: Parlez-vous francais?

When I was in college, I minored in French.  Not because I was majoring in international business or linguistics.  Because I thought it was…romantic.  Because I wanted to travel, and I thought it would be useful.  Because I had an academic adviser who didn’t look at my English major and French minor and say, “But what are you going to do for a living?”

I had been told by my high school Spanish teacher that I had a “flair for language.”  Spanish was the only foreign language offered by my high school in a small, rural town, so when I got to college, the possibilities were suddenly wide open.  So I made the switch from Spanish to French.

For weeks I answered “Comment allez-vous?” with “Muy bien.”  But then I got the hang of it.  Even coughing up my Rs from the back of my throat.  I had charismatic teachers: an American, bearded man who wished he were French and rewarded wrong answers with a piece of chalk flying at your head.  A Swiss woman who also taught German and broke her neck while horseback riding.  She came back to class a few weeks later with all her hair cut off and a halo.  She also made our finals a potluck breakfast during which she would make crepes.

I loved every second of learning this language when I was in college.  And then I graduated.  And I haven’t spoken a word of it since.  Which is why I’m so excited about where Hubby and I are headed.

Drum roll, please.

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We’re moving to Montreal.

It’s still North America, which makes the logistics of the move a bit easier, but it’s, like, a whole ‘nother country.  And the fact that it’s a corner of the country where French is spoken and written all over the place makes it feel like we’re having a real, international adventure.

Last night, Hubby and I looked up apartments, and half the listings were in French.  I was surprised by how much I could still decipher, but I’ve got a lot of brushing up to do.

And we have about a million other things to do to get ready for the big move.  There are contracts to be signed, work permits to be obtained, boxes to pack, housing to find, international moving companies to contact.  I can’t sleep because the list inside my head keeps growing.  Even my lists have lists.

It all still seems a bit surreal, but this is happening.  Finally, we’re ready to move on with the rest of our lives.  And we’re starting out in a place I’ve dreamed of visiting ever since I learned the term quebecois.

You guys, I am so freaking excited.  And nervous.  But mostly excited.

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27 thoughts on “Happy Thoughts Thursday: Parlez-vous francais?

  1. I knew you had some more good news brewing! This is so exciting! I need to get on it with the learning other languages thing (Spanish first since I’m in California), but French has always intrigued me especially since it’s part of my heritage. Canada has always seemed like a nice place to raise little babies too. 🙂 Thrilled for you guys! Woohoo!

  2. That’s awesome news! You’ll only be about a five hour drive from me so when you need a babysitter, I only need like, six hours notice. Traffic, obvy. Anyway, I think you’ll really like Montreal. Lots of great shopping and restaurants, and cute places to live. It’s actually the most English city in all of Quebec, so you can totally get by without French at all if you need to. I have quite a few friends living there so let me know if you need any advice about neighbourhoods or logistics or anything. Oh, and welcome to the ridiculously complicated world of Canadian language politics. Read up on the proposed new Quebec secular charter so you can see just how desperate the Parti Quebecois is to get votes that they’re willing to violate the religious freedoms of large numbers of immigrants. Vive le Quebec libre! *snort*

  3. JEALOUS! Montreal is one of my favourite cities in the world–it’s so fabulous. Amazing food, awesome people, beautiful homes (that are CHEAP!). And as a French teacher, I think raising children in a bilingual environment is such a gift.

    Added bonus: You know people in Toronto, if you ever want a little trip 🙂

  4. I learned French in college and could speak it and write papers. I chose it because it’s romantic as well. And now? Zero language ability in French. I actually just saw my 3-year-old speech therapy client who is French and just came back from France after spending the whole summer there. I could understand some of the words he was saying to me. But that would be the extent. I am excited for you that you’re moving to a new place and you know most of the languages that are spoken there! I laughed out loud when I read that your lists have lists. I totally know what you mean!

  5. Well! Welcome to Canada!!! I love Montreal- so much history, beautiful architecture- I’m sure you’ll love it, too. And how convenient that you speak French! Though there is a great deal of English spoken in Montreal, I’m sure it will come in very handy. Congrats to you and hubby!

  6. So! Freaking! Exciting! I don’t know a lick of French beyond “une, deux, trois” so I can’t congratulate you in French. But I can’t wait to hear all about your adventures! This is amazing!!!!!

  7. So very exciting, Daryl! I’m thrilled for you guys. I love how everything is coming together for you and you have so many new adventures to look forward to now. Amazingness! Congrats!

  8. Congrats! I’m so glad to hear that you are coming to join us in the great white north! I’m still as east coast as you can get without heading to Newfoundland and quite a drive away, but it’s great to know you will be in Canada. Montreal is so beautiful. I haven’t been there since my high school band trip, but I’d love to go back again.

  9. C’est magnifique! Montréal est très belle….je suis très jaloux! I am Canadian now living in South Africa. DH and I have always said if we move back to Canada we are totally moving to Montréal! You will love it…but the winters are pretty strong, but magical!

  10. Oh, oh, oh!! So excited for you!! This is awesome! Montreal has always been my favorite city in Canada (growing up in straight-laced Toronto, it always seemed to hold this urbane allure…) it’s beautiful there, (oh, and so much AMAZING food there). You guys are going to have a great time. And it doesn’t hurt that you’ll have access to top notch healthcare either!

  11. So excited for you guys! I’m happy that you can finally move on to something you’ve been wanting to do for a long time and happy that you’re excited about the new location. I’ve only visited Montreal once, but I remember that it was beautiful (and that I had the most delicious crepe dinner). I hope for your sake the visa process is easier than the UK/US process! Wishing you the BEST of luck and happiness in this new adventure. 😀

  12. So excited for you! I hope your international adventure is wonderful and wish you luck, joy, and peace as you make all your preparations for the move. And congrats to your husband on his new position!

  13. I am SO FREAKIN’ EXCITED FOR YOU!!!!!! Oh my gosh. You must be on cloud 9. It’s about time you got to be there!!!! Congrats, congrats, congrats!!!

    I too took French… and use it never.

  14. OooOh that IS exciting! I’ve never been, but everyone I know who’s been there says it’s an amazing place to live. Also, even though it may “still be in North America,” I’ve heard it FEELS every European. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy 🙂

  15. Bienvenue a Canada!! Montreal is a lovely city. I don’t know how it would work with healthcare coverage, but Quebec is the only province with government funded IVF! So when it’s time for a sibling….

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