Thursday, November 19, 2009

Northern Spark

Just back from class & coffee with Caroline.
I don't know if I've mentioned Caroline (sounds like Caroleen)
Caroline is a Swedish girl from my French class.
On Thursdays we go to a café after class, talk, drink café cremes, and get our homework out of the way.
We only speak french together. We decided it from the beginning, which was good, because if you don't decide on these things out-loud, you always fall back on the convenient; English being trés convenient.
It's great practice, these Thursdays in the café. We're more or less at the same level, so we're not embarrassed to stumble a bit or take our time to search for a word.
It takes longer to get to know each other, of course, but as our French improves, we are finding more and more to talk about.
Today we had a great talk about my country and hers.

These are my favorite conversations: hearing someone describe their own country, especially when it's one I've never been to. There are so many things to find out: what is school like? what is food like? how much is a studio there? how big are the cinemas? are there different accents in different regions? what's the winter like? what's the summer like? is the water cold? can you drink from the tap?
Maybe that's not so interesting to you, but we spent ages in that café, today.
Those conversations are the best way I know to find interest in a place; the stories of a native. It feels like a real organic interest. "Oh it's like that? How cool. I'd like to live in a place where that was like that".
That's a little vague, but you get the idea.
I like the spark of interest I get from these conversations.
And between Swedish Kaly and Caroline, Finnish Koko, and David&Hiro in Denmark, I can't wait to head north.