Thanks, Justin

Okay, yesterday was officially the most surreal day I’ve ever lived. I’ve had a lot more crazy and rowdy days before, rest assured, but yesterday was hands down the most surreal. If only last week you had told me that reporters for TWO of Canada’s National newscasts would be in our apartment only an hour before a live interview on CNN, I would have looked you straight in the face and said, “Buddy, you’re on glue.” Big thanks to Nancy Wood from CBC, Mike Armstrong from Global and Kyra Philips from CNN. It was super awesome to talk to you. I’ve uploaded videos of their reports- you can see them by clicking on the link above that says "VIDEOS". Their reports were all great. I really think they captured the true idea behind one red paperclip. Sure, I’m trying to make a series of trades from one red paperclip to a house, but at the end of the day, it’s not about the stuff I trade for, it’s about people. It was very fun to hang out with Michel Barrette yesterday on radio 98,5 FM here in Montreal. Michel offered his snowmobile for all the right reasons and it was a pleasure to spend time with him. He’s going to give one instant party to his buddy that he was going to give the snowmobile to anyhow. He looked at me with a mischievous grin and said his buddy will be “choked” for not getting the snowmobile, but will get over immediately when he sees the keg of beer and bar sign on his doorstep. He’s also gonna throw in some other goodies into the instant party package to up the ante. CNNthe guys from Global tv CIMG4761CIMG4764 CIMG4759CIMG4760 Speaking French on-air was like my Quebec experience coming full circle. I only moved here last year. When I first met my girlfriend’s parents a few years ago, I hardly spoke a word of French. Learning French has been the hardest, most humbling experience of my entire life. I’ve worked on oil rigs in –40 degree weather in Northern Alberta and slept on a rock in the middle of the outback in Australia, but nothing compares to standing at the dinner table in front of your girlfriend’s family unable to understand a thing or join the conversation. Us English first-languagers are so spoiled we don’t realize it. It’s one thing to not be able to communicate; it’s another thing entirely to be totally invisible. In 2001, when I was staying at Noah’s Backpackers Hostel in Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia, I walked into the kitchen and met a guy by the name of Justin Derosiers. Justin was from a town called Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec. Like me, he came to Australia to have fun and see the world, but unlike me, he was there to learn English. We were both Canadians, but because I was from Vancouver, and he was from Quebec, we could hardly understand each other. I remember thinking about how incredible it was that two people exactly the same age who’d grown up in the same country could hardly communicate. I remember imagining how hard it must be for somebody who spoke only French to go to a linguistically-challenging place like Australia, and make do. It was easy for me, I just said ‘mate’ all the time, substituted “how ya going” for “how’s it going” and faked whatever aussie terms I didn’t get, like ‘sheila’, ‘root’ or ‘tucker’ - often to comedic and self-defacing public humiliation. But Justin was in a different league. He couldn’t fake anything. I imagined how hard it must be to learn another language. When I first came out to Quebec in 2002, I came to Dom’s village, St-Alexis-Des-Monts and got a taste of what Justin was up against. St-Alexis-Des-Monts is located about 2 hours from the US border. About 3000 people live in St. Alexis - 3 of whom speak English. Dom is one of those people. It was tough to say the least. I talked to Justin the other day, and he mentioned that he could probably store the Snowmobile when the trade was made. So yesterday, in my trademark ‘if there was no such thing as the last minute, nothing would ever get done’ fashion, I kinda forgot to call Justin and arrange the snowmobile pickup from the radio station here in Montreal. I sort of thought it was one of those things that would work itself out. But it didn’t. I pulled out my phone, and with cameras of two of Canada’s national newscast rolling, I asked Justin if it’d be cool if the guys from GoJit dropped the snowmobile off at his place. Justin, you came through huge. Thank you. You’re so getting an awesome dinner for this, PS Justin owns a concrete/cement contracting company near Montreal. If you’re in the Metro Montreal area and need some concrete work done, look no further! Cimentier Desrosiers Inc 450-278-0585 - 450-773-0495 justin fishin


Colin said...

Congrats Kyle

keep inspiring us.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kyle - with a good name like MacDonald - I expect great things from you!! Keep having fun!