Miscellaneous Moments, Part XIII

  • You know you’re in too deep with your French major when you cringe at how some people pronounce “Bonjour” in that one Beauty and the Beast song.
  • There’s nothing more entertaining than listening to American college students attempt to figure out what the flavor nature (plain) chips were: “Maybe they just threw a bunch of nature in a bag!” “Can you have chips au naturel?”
  • These past few days, so many people have been asking—in English and in French—what I want to do in the future, and I’m sure that at least one of my French professors will be delighted to hear that I automatically reply, “I’m thinking about going to grad school for a French PhD.”
  • On the train, the French guy next to me was working on a paper in English, and I desperately wanted to offer to edit it for him because my inner-writing tutor has been starved for a year.
  • In the hallway, I got stuck in one of those “Sorry I don’t know what direction you’re going in and I’m trying not to walk into you” dances, which would’ve been fine, except I didn’t know which language to apologize in. I tried to say, “Pardon” and then wondered if I should be saying, “Sorry,” so instead what came out was a mumbled “Porry.” (It’s like the time I couldn’t decide between “You’re welcome” and “No problem” at the Writing Center, what left my mouth was a muffled, “You’re problem.”)
  • Shout-out to Jt for inviting me to her house to hang out with three other teachers—they fed me rose tea, apple-walnut cake, and dark chocolate, and then we played Bandido and Uno…except I kept forgetting to say “Uno” when I had one card left.
  • I’ve finally figured out the secret to being an adult: making an official phone call to the bank, in French no less, without panicking.
  • Iv, a Spanish teacher at Claudel, asked if I liked Laon and I replied, “Ouiiiii” before finally ending in “Et non,” to which he gave me the thumbs up. I mean, the city’s got a stunning cathedral and view, but, as several teachers have told me, “It’s dead,” aka there’s nothing to do.
    • He also asked if I liked the orange Cheeto who’s somehow in charge of the US, and when Iv said “No, not at all,” he laughed and said we could be friends.
  • Isn’t it lovely when you tell R, a German teacher, that you’re leaving on the 8 before your visa expires, and she jokes that it’s good that I’m escaping while I still can, before Le Pen becomes president? And then Iv chimes in, saying she wouldn’t hesitate to throw me in French jail because, as R put it, I’m American and Asian. Yay bigoted politicians!
  • A cute waiter gave me 7 pieces of candy with my bill, and I didn’t know what to do with all of it, so I left exact change, took 5 pieces, and ran. I’m an adult.
  • I’m still thinking about that flaky, buttery, still-warm pain au chocolat I ingested before leaving Rouen. I’m going to miss French pastries so much.
    • On my way to the train station, the cutest baby with a rabbit hat and two bottom teeth waved enthusiastically at me while babbling in French gibberish.
  • Sure, an open bag of madeleines marked “Mangez-nous” (Eat us) in the middle of the staffroom might be suspicious, but I ate them anyways. Here’s to hoping that nobody wanted to poison an American savoring as much French food as she can before she leaves.
  • That awkward moment when the Claudel teachers are joking about whether or not Trump will let me back into the US and F says, “She’ll be fine, she doesn’t look Muslim.”

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