Today I leave my friend’s place in Trois Rivieries to move to a small village close by for my first Help X experience. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a short-term exchange programme. I’ll help them with cleaning and cooking in return for free accommodation and food. I’ll be there until the 12th June and although I’m excited, I’m also pretty nervous.
Being here in Trois Rivieres for the past week has been so much fun. I’m happy that I have friends who can show me around parts of the world I never would’ve visited on my own. I was very worried about knowing no French other than “bonjour” but most people have been lovely about speaking English- some have even apologised for not being able to speak English which I was surprised at. Except one guy who called me privileged (désolé bébé).
The buildings in this city are very old and there’s lots of history here. My friend took me on a tour of the city and even into her old high school which was like one of those bloody mansions that you’d see on a movie. It made me laugh when I compared it to my old school in Scotland.
After driving around the city all afternoon we went to a yoga class with my friend’s mum. I expected to just have to copy everyone else but my friend’s mum had told the instructor in advance that I was coming and didn’t know French. He welcomed me when I came in and translated everything he said during the class after he’d said it French. That was super sweet of them. After the class my friend’s mum invited us to dinner at her place the following day. While it was a really kind offer, it filled me with dread. Being in a room full of strangers when I can’t speak their language sounded like hell.
I couldn’t have been more wrong- I had so much fun and they were nervous to have me! They were keen to impress me and practice their English which was so sweet. When we got there, her dad told me the story about when they were in the airport during the Florida shooting in January. As he was telling it I again realised how short life is and that we need to make the most of every moment. The rest of the night was fab and I laughed so much. They showed me their pictures from a recent trip to Kenya and taught me some French swear words. Obviously I had to teach them all some ridiculous Scottish slang. So funny.
The rest of the week was filled with adventures to waterfalls, national parks and Quebec City. In Quebec (beautiful place with European medieval vibes), we saw a Chinese lady taking a photo of some weeds. My friend said “Asian people take photos of everything”, which sounds a little racist but I couldn’t disagree. I told my friend about the time in Bali someone wanted to take a photo with me when I didn’t even know her, and the Asian woman who took a photo of my hair bun in Las Vegas. I kid you not- 2 minutes later this Asian woman comes up and stands in front of us. We asked if she wanted us to take a photo of her to which she replied yes. When we tried to take her camera for the photo, she said no, gave the camera to her friend and sat in between us. I found this so hilarious that I gave the friend my phone to take a picture too:
My life is still a movie.