Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Ambush French Interview!

I just make a big giant fool of myself on French television.

I got ambush-interviewed by these two men on the street with a video camera, who asked me if i spoke French. I said, 'un peu?' and they went ahead and asked me anyway what I thought about the name change of Parc Avenue. I had heard about this, but my research had gone as far as the signs I saw on the street and people telling me about it. So I said, "oh, I know--oh wait--decided?" and I was so bumbling that the interviewer said "C'est fini, c'est decide--it's done." There's nothing more humiliating than being talked at in English when you are trying to have a dialogue in French. So I go on, in French,
ME: "Oh, well, you know, I think it's pretty stupid. Why change the street? We already have a metro station called Henri Bourassa, so it's just going to be confusing for everyone."
HIM: "It's going to be Robert Bourassa Street. Henri and Robert Bourassa are not the same person."
ME: "Oh, uh, oh, I thought it was. So, Rue Bourassa? That's still confusing."
HIM: "Rue Robert Bourassa."
ME: "Oh. Well, anyway. I think it's stupid. it's not a huge political issue for me."
HIM: *blank disapproving look* roughly translated as "stupid Anglo skirt."
ME: *realizing i'm acting like a total n00b: "Well, except for the history! Lots of history! and history is important! So, uh, I'm not happy about it!"
HIM: "Thanks."

Oh man. I can't believe I had a television interview about something I knew absolutely nothing about that changes the city's face, political statement and history, *IN FRENCH!* I managed to come off sounding like I cared more about the difficuly for tourists to get around in a place that had more than one Bourassa than the political implications for Montrealers. At least my French was good. Ironic: my French gets brilliant as soon as I start talking like a retard.

if any of you get ambush-interviewed in the next few days, prepare yourselves!

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