Day 8

Trip Start Jun 30, 2008
Trip End Aug 02, 2008

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Where I stayed
universite laval

Flag of Canada  , Quebec,
Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Today we had one hour less of lessons in the morning, because we had a one hour assembly. This really isn't as bad as it sounds, it was actually quite funny. The animateurs basically listed what we were going to be doing that week, and what was available, by acting them all out. They also gave birthday presents to people who had had their birthdays in the last week. I'm glad my birthday is on october, it's nice here but it would be rubbish not to be with all my friends or my family for my birthday!
We then went off to lessons where we worked a little more on our grammar presentations and then worked in different groups to assemble and fill-in a cartoon strip that had been emptied of words, cut-up and mixed-up! It was quite interesting, but difficult to do at first. We also got to listen to Renan Luce as we were doing this, who is one of my favourite french singers! In her classes Carys has been doing some tongue twisters, which sound interesting, and she and her friend invented the most difficult tongue twister of the class!
One thing that I have noticed when the canadians speak French is that many of them add in 'like' as they translate what they are thinking. I never normally notice especially (unless people do it a lot) when people speak English, but I find it quite annoying in French! they keep saying things like: 'C'était, comme, cinq minutes'. Do French people do this too? Or is it just an americanism - please reply to this as I am interested to know!
In the afternoon we went on class trips, the first of two we are going to have this holiday. My class went to the citadel in vieux Québec to have a guided tour. It was quite interesting, it was built by the British, based on a French design and housed the 22nd regiment. The oddest thing about the citadel is that its mascot is a sort of goat, which always has the same name (unfortunately I have forgotten this, although I can tell you that it began with B!). If the goat dies then they have to get a new one, and it has to be male for some reason too. Anyway the queen gave them the first one and it came from London zoo!
We also visited the highest point in Québec from there. We could see the river and all of the town below us. At this high point they had put a cannon, this could fire a cannon ball that would explode on landing for over 2km! However, this hadn't been used since the end in the 19th century. The reason for this is that the last time it was fired in a practise demonstation, it was in winter. The river was completely frozen over. The cannon was fired, just a short distance to show it could. The cannonball landed on the ice, instead of exploding there, it bounced. It bounced right onto the house of a little old lady and exploded there instead. Luckily she was out at the time, and no-one was harmed, but they decided never to use it again as a consequence.
After learning some slightly surreal facts about the citadel and its goats, we came back and did some washing. This was very successful, I was a little nervous, as I didn't want to shrink/make all my clothes grey. This didn't happen luckily, and even the tumble-drying passed without any shrinkage! Monday night is now washing night.
On my return from the washing room, I discovered something very odd. Instead of having dropped my key (as per usual) it simply wouldn't fit in my door! On closer inspection it was clear that it had been bent! I'm not entirely sure how it had got there but it had a kink in the key now that stopped me from getting into my room - I was effectively locked out. I went down and presented this problem to the animateurs. After some very odd looks Jack handed over my spare key. This now means that ON NO ACCOUNT can I lose this key - if I do I have no spare to let me back in. Judging by our current key-luck this could be rather interesting, To help combat this I have a little poster on my door now, saying 'OU SONT LES CLEFS?' so at least I wont lock keys in my own room!
In the evening the animateurs put on a show for us. It was absolutely hilarious. Unfortunately I didn't take my camera along, but I can roughly remember what happened. The idea for the show was that one of the animatrices was having a series of really odd dreams, all acted out by the other animateurs. It was very surreal. There was a small green elf with a maraca (an animatrice wearing a fake beard) who seemed to keep popping on randomly, there was a 'strip tease' with a banana, some weird cave-women who were doing magic, some crazy dancing, balloon fights and belly dancing from the three male animateurs (this provoked quite a lot of screaming from the crowd and they now have lots of marriage offers and declarations of love on their comment pages at the residence!). I think the less I describe this, the more funny it will be so I shall leave that here.
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