Miscellaneous Moments, Part VIII

  • Somebody help; I’m so used to typing on French keyboqrds qt work thqt I now keep hitting the Q on my lqptop insteqd of the A.
  • Normally I walk to Méchain because I’m poor, but one day I spent three minutes in the 20oF/-6oC weather and promptly climbed aboard the bus. Welcome to winter in the north of France. (As Iszi remarked, “I can hear your voice grumping about it from across the Atlantic.”)
  • I almost mowed a student over in the canteen because he was so small, I didn’t see him over my tray. I’m sorry, kid.
  • S asked if I’d help her call internship students and pretend to be an Anglophone who’d just moved to Laon, and the guy who answered at the Centre de Jeunesse told me that the student we were trying to reach didn’t speak or understand English. That moment pretty much epitomizes my experience with French administration.
  • My BlaBlaCar driver to Amiens joked, “I practice a sport that’s very popular in the US, shooting,” and I very nearly added, “Yeah, white policemen love it.” Salty? Me? Nah.
  • Two girls saw me waiting outside K’s classroom and started whispering to each other in French, “That’s the assistant! What’s her name? No, you go ask her!” while I tried desperately not to laugh. Eventually they came up to me and asked if I could speak French, and then got beyond excited when I did.
  • I haven’t decided whether it’s more distressing for me to see baby-faced high schoolers smoking or making out.
  • A museum review on TripAdvisor said, “Main issue is that all of the explanatory signs are in the French language.” Please. Who let that person travel?
  • While watching House of Cards, my inner French major screamed at the grammatically incorrect sentence “C’est une collègue à moi.”
  • Atheist me, having never been inside a church before France: “What on earth is a crèche?” (I vaguely thought it translated into “manger,” but wasn’t even sure what that word meant. After plugging it into WordReference: “What on earth is a nativity scene?” Yes, in case you hadn’t noticed, I know nothing about Christianity.)
  • By happenstance, I found myself talking to a retired Claudel English teacher, and she excitedly told me, “Come look! I have all the states’ flags and medals. I immediately went, “States have medals…? Is this another American tradition that I’ve never heard of because apparently I’m not white enough?” Then she opened her massive binder, and OHHH. This precious lady thought that the state quarters were medals.
    • N called me while I was talking to her, so I didn’t pick up, and he left me a three-minute voicemail with legitimate quotes like, “Your task, if you accept, is to create a ten-question quiz about America. It will be a very nice atmosphere, it will be two days before the holidays. Let me know if you are okay… If you are in Laon for the holidays, let me know, maybe you could stay at our house for a day and we could have fun. Bye bye, all the best.” You cinnamon roll, I’d never refuse a request from you.
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