More observations on Canada:
* My student from Montreal feels as much like he's in a foreign country as I do. He doesn't speak the language, everyone dresses differently than he's used to, even the traffic is different than he's used to.
* This student mentioned today that everyone seems to have iPods, and everyone seems to smoke. I guess it is just a Montreal thing.
* Canadians seem to love Easter candy. Just this morning I walked by a place with a sign that said "peep show". I can only assume that they deal in stop-motion films involving marshmallow peeps. I'm considering bringing my camera by tomorrow to get some pictures for the blog. Nothing says "family friendly" like Easter candy, right?
I also noticed an argument going on in my comments for a different post (which shall remain nameless). It's interesting that those people bring it up, because I had a very similar (though friendlier) conversation with one of my French-speaking students.
I mentioned to her that I had tried to learn some French, but I really didn't know very much. She told me that it's a harder language to learn than English. She told me, "we're French, and we had a hard time learning it!" She also told me that French in Canada is very different than French in France. She told me that when Canadians go to France, they can understand what the French are saying, but the French can't understand what the Canadians are saying. All of the other French-speaking students nodded their heads knowingly as she spoke.
I made the following comparison: in America we have a type of vehicle that we call a semi, or a deisel. In England they call it a lorry. In Australia they call it a road train. She responded by telling me that in Canada, a lot of words in French have been replaced altogether with their English counterpart. This went to further her argument that French is a very different language in Canada than it is in France, just as English is a very different language in America than it is in England.
I actually had time during lunch again, so I went down to Dunn's Pub, which was recommended by one of my students. She told me that if I liked smoked meat or if I liked cheesecake, I needed to go. As it turns out, their "Smoked Meat Super Sandwich" (pastrami with mustard on rye) was actually the best pastrami sandwich that I've ever had. Anywhere. When I ordered it, the waitress asked how I wanted the meat. I was a little confused, since I didn't think that rare, medium, well or any combination applied to smoked meats. Apparently she meant, did I want more lean meat or more fat? She also confided to me that the leaner the meat, the more crumbly it was. I told her to shoot for the middle, and she told me that that was the best way to have it. I still have no reason not to believe her.
The sandwich came with fries, which were nothing short of horrible. It also came with coleslaw which I didn't touch, because cabbage is high on my list of "least favorite foods in the world". It came with a pickle as well, which I didn't touch because it was stuck in the cabbage. I also ordered a slice of strawberry cheesecake, which was indeed one of the best cheesecakes I've ever had. It was a plain cheesecake with strawberry topping on top, and about twice as big as any normal person could eat. I didn't finish mine, but not for lack of trying.
Much to Ali's chagrin, I'm staying at the hotel again tonight, rather than walking around the town. I'm still pretty worn out. I've already ordered room service, and I'm making my way through a "corn fed chicken" as I type. The menu said it came with vegetables and French fries, but instead it has pasta and some kind of baked savory custard which isn't very good. The chicken itself is killer though. I also have high hopes for the chocolate mousse. Apparently the restaurants downstairs no longer offer cheesecake, which is probably better for my cholesterol levels anyway.
We'll see what tomorrow brings. I still have a few Canadian dollars left, so maybe I'll hit the underground mall again during lunch.