Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bienvenue Chez Les Ch'tis!

I saw my first French movie in a French theater with no subtitles!!

Remember when Titanic was in the theaters and it was as if everyone in the nation had seen the film? Really, I don't recall if anyone didn't voluntarily go or get dragged by someone to see Leo freeze to death. Well there is a similar happening right now in France with what was thought to be a small film called Bienvenue Chez Les Ch'tis! The one major difference is that everyone wants to see this movie, it's not just women dragging boyfriends/husbands/brothers to see it. The film has been out since February 28th and we still had to stand in line on Saturday at 2pm to get into the theater. They even had to cut the line off because it was blocking the entrance to the escalator!

We have two theaters here and they both show films in their original format, so I can see American movies in English, but I really wanted Cyr to see this film because it's about the north of France. "Nord-pas-de-Calais" for those of you that know or have read my past blogs. Background: fiance is from this area and actually speaks "Ch'ti". It's an interesting sound, sort of Flemish. Lots of open mouths and "AHH"ing going on. I can't understand a word of it.

To prep myself we went and had two Leffe Brunes prior to the viewing. Beer may not actually help me understand French, but it makes me care less if I do or don't. It also helps me to believe that I have this innate ability to read body language and just "get" what people are trying to say. Sort of my super power (if I had one). Cyr had to lean over a few times, but for the most part I actually got it!! AND I loved it. It was funny and sad and actually pretty spot on from what I know about the North. Ok, that isn't much, but I can say that I moved here as an outsider and the people have been really nice for the most part. I felt cool because I knew there was Maroilles in the breakfast scene before it was even announced. I felt like I was part of a club or something. Instead of a secret handshake it's a special smelly cheese that people here eat. I actually love it. Maroilles with escargot was the first thing I ate after Cyr picked me up from the airport when I moved here. If you click on the title above and read the article it looks like Hollywood bought the rights and there will be a US version in the works. I would recommend the French version if it goes out on Netflix though.

Today was a beautiful day here in Lille. I actually did a little suntanning. The sun was coming through our windows so brightly I couldn't resist opening our two balcony doors and laying half in our apartment and half on the balcony while reading a book. I think I actually got some color too! I read for like 3 hours, well, I laid there for about that long. It was so nice to feel the sun on my face and arms. It reminded me of when I was a kid and we would go to Lake Travis for Easter. It was never really warm enough to swim, but I would put on my bathing suit and pretend I wasn't in pain and try it. Sometimes the sun would hit you for a few minutes and you could briefly remember what it was like to be hot. Mmmm...

This week will be spent dealing with what will hopefully be the last visit from Auchan for a while to fix our dryer. I'm cringing already about having to try to get through that one. I'm having lunch with a friend and also packing for my trip back the US. Looks like I might be gone until the end of May. Cyr is traveling the last part of May and it doesn't make sense to me to leave friends and family to come back to an empty apartment.

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