Saturday, November 05, 2005

strange things about living in france

1. Lollytop

2. A travel commercial for Cuba.

3. Seeing Jodie Foster speaking french during an interview. She speaks really damn well, by the way.

I went to Shopi, the small-ish grocery store that's next to my building, for lettuce and bread. I go rather often, as any good french lady, and have come to recognize the 4 employees very well. There's a girl who I see almost every time I stop in after noon. She always gives me a familiar smirk, like, "You again?" -- but not in an unfriendly way. Today, she actually asked me what I'm doing here. "Are you a student at the dairy school?" (a professional school for cheesemaking and dairy analysis); "No, I work at the Lycee Friant." "Oh, you're the english-language assistant?"

I wanted to say, "No, I teach french." But I don't think I'm at the level of humor yet.

"Yes.... I learn french, also. It is very difficult."

At this point, I looked to my left and realized that there was a line of 6 people, all watching me an smiling. Everyone loves a helpless foreigner!

Similarly, yesterday I went to the market and bought some pears from the woman who runs the small produce store in town. She was at the market table with her husband, and after I asked for pears, I said to him "She help me learn french!" Immediately after that, I knocked over a basket of mushrooms. But you know what? People weren't mean about it! Who can be mean to a helpless foreigner who usually doesn't conjugate her verbs? An older man leaned over to pick up mushrooms and held one up to me, saying "Champignon...mooshroom!"


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