Learning in Québec

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I'm someone who began learning French when I was 53. I took a BA in French at 60 but wasn't happy with my level of comprehension (though I read very well). So, having really become comfortable with Spanish only by living on the Mexican border, I'm spending more time in Québec and near the border of Quebec, in Vermont, to see if I can do that here with French. I want to encourage others to do the same.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Encore une fois, mais ceci avec photos: Don't Cry!

Dans la rue St. Jean-Baptiste:

Back on November 19th I mentioned the Don't Cry graffiti. Today on March 17th, a gloriously warm and sunny St. Patrick's Day -- the first I've gone without my coat in order to wear the only thing I have in my closet that's green, a wool blazer -- I bring you two pictures. (Below them I'll copy from the November entry.)

It's a great day for Don't Cry, by the way, the first day when it's legal to take off your snow tires. (Heard that on radio.) So, even if you're walking, especially if you're walking in the Faubourg St. Jean Baptiste...

you can see a new entry on the building that houses the elevator that takes you down to Basse Ville -- that you can use if, for example, you're going to the Bibliothèque Gabrielle Roy. (It's named for her whom some call the greatest writer of Québec, whose 100th birthday is March 22, this coming Sunday.)

It's not too bright, or the sun is too bright, but you can see it. You can also see a small poster for Café Faux Bourgeois -- Fake Bourgeois! That's a little coffee shop at the bottom of the elevator that you have to go through to get back out onto the street, rue St. Vallier. And also you see me taking the picture:

from Nov. 19th:

In Quebec City someone has taken the time to write in many places, in English, "Don't Cry." It's there on rue St. Jean, again back by steps going up from Basse Ville to the Faubourg St. Jean Baptiste, and elsewhere — perhaps throughout the city.

I told my young friend Mathieu how much I appreciated this graffiti, and he said he liked it too. In the first place, it's refreshing to see something you can read. The ubiquitous tagging is so tiring. (My favorite before "Don't Cry" in Quebec City was "Don't Diet, Riot" — seen long ago in Germany, the only time I was there.)

Graffiti, by the way, is the plural of graffito. I suppose it was once an archaeologist's term for such as cave drawings.

"Don't Cry" is a kind of socio-cultural cave drawing, n'est-ce pas?

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