Now that I’m back home

A few observations about my month off:

I shouldn’t take two language courses back-to-back. This has naething to do with language confusion or with encountering any difficulty in studying two totally different languages. The weight of my luggage alone is the judge in this decision. Even before I bought a single book in Breton, my suitcases upon leaving Switzerland were very heavy. (They still had lots of room in them, but they were heavy. Just ask that woman whose foot I ran over.) And then I went nuts buying books in Brittany and Paris. Granted, my second visit to Brittany will not result in such a wildly successful shopping spree (just as my second and subsequent visits to Switzerland did not see me bring home the same number of Romansch books as during my first visit) yet if I consider the weight of my suitcases even before I left on holiday, I should realize that lugging around that much weight is not a fun way to spend a vacation. One language’s requirement of books that I have to bring from home is enough. My next language holiday will be to study either Romansch or Breton, not baith.

There was a scale at the Roscoff train station and before I left for the Hôtel aux Tamaris I decided to weigh my suitcases. They weighed 53 kg combined. The limit on Air Canada is 23 kg each bag, so I would have to sling 7 kg over my back in my backpack, in addition to whatever I would buy at Coop Breizh once I got to Paris. When I repacked my bags at the Paris hotel I did a very good job in reorganizing as when I checked in at the Charles de Gaulle Airport my two bags weighed a combined 46.4 kg. And I did this without a scale! Had the check-in clerk made a big deal that I was 0.4 kg over the limit, I would have just taken out a couple books and put them in my second carry-on item. In addition to my jam-packed backpack, I also had a double plastic bag filled with books.

My choice in Breton courses was rather limited as I needed to find an introductory-level course that either immediately preceded the Romansch course or immediately followed it. I found a few courses that fit this schedule yet in the future I will choose from the whole range of courses and choose the course that I think is the best, versus having to pick from such a limited selection. My Breton course took place in the virtual ghost town of Plésidy, where I saw no one on the street and had no interaction with anyone who lived there. Nothing was open in the village except for the grocery store. I felt like a prisoner since there was no way of getting around, even though the city of Guingamp was only 15 km away. Laax, Switzerland, on the other hand, is a small village as well but at least there is regular bus service, two grocery stores, a post office that was open, a fitness centre, a lake and other businesses. My next level in Breton will take place in a Breton town or village that has some level of functioning infrastructure. I would like to study in the department of Finistère (Penn-ar-Bed in Breton) which has the highest Breton-speaking population in all of Brittany. When I was in Morlaix (Finistère) I was overrun with Breton books, so perhaps my next course will be in a town near Morlaix. I will take Breton again, yet I am not a fan of the program I just completed.

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