Sunday, August 8, 2010

Language Lessons in Banff



Last week my husband and I went to Banff in Alberta, Canada. The lake was blue green, the streams clear, spruce trees were everywhere, and the temperature was a perfect high 60s, low 70s. Even the chipmunks were extra cute and ready to jump on your lap for a power bar crumb or two. No, I was a good girl, and didn’t feed the wildlife. All in all, a hiker’s paradise as long as you don’t mind going up.



One thing about this destination—it attracts people from all over the world. So, for example, when I was clinging to a mountain side temporarily halted by my troublesome vertigo and the urge to scream, “I’m gonna die!” I heard, “What an idiot!” in several different languages. At least, that what I think they said.



On the second morning, we went for a canoe ride across Lake Louise. It cost about 40 bucks for an hour and they promised to charge us for a second hour if we were late. So off we went, with the rising sun at our backs and soon discovered that rowing straight requires some cooperation. Me: “Honey, you’re steering us into the rocks. They said stay ten feet from the shore. Honey!” Husband: “Wait, let me take this picture.” On the way back, the lake was full of red canoes and I realized the sun shining off the water was very, very bright, sparkling like a disco ball from migraine Hades. I pulled my hat over my eyes and squeezed them shut, rowing to beat the clock. We came close enough to the other canoes for me to hear “Anata wa baka” and “Du bist bekloppt”.



That afternoon we went to see Takakkaw Falls. It was gorgeous and quite cold at the bottom. All that pounding, flowing water had a predictable effect on my bladder, but alas, there were no port-a-potties around. “T'es un imb├ęcile!”



French is such a pretty language, isn’t it? I can’t wait to go back.

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