Saturday, October 4, 2008

Difficult French

Currently I am trying to type but I have a very strong urge to blow my nose. Which by the way, won't blow when I blow it. I just end up forcing air to the top of my throat, then my ears threaten to pop. Of course there is that odd running thing every now and then so you have to keep a tissue near so you don't drip on yourself and offend the people around you.

Cyr took me to the pharmacy and I got some kind of spray and some pills to take. These are serious pills too! Four times a day then one at night for four days. Maybe tomorrow I won't be the irritating mouth breathing person you can actually hear.


Ewe...that's me.

I also discovered something interesting about the French language. It's virtually impossible to speak French as a non-native speaker (ok, complete beginner) when you have a stopped up nose. It's like my mouth can't form the words because the pressure is off or something. I have suddenly forgotten how to form the words. Example: We went to lunch and I wanted a hot mint tea. You would have thought I was trying to order a 5 course meal. I could not get it out, I had to say it I think three times before the waiter got it. Cyr was so patient, he just smiled and let me talk loud and spray spittle on the waiter. I think the waiter thought it was amusing. He had that raised eyebrow (both of them) look and a smile. Like I was a three-year-old trying to do a magic trick. For a person who really doesn't like three-year-olds.

Cyr didn't try to order for me because he knew I was already irritated at the lady who sat us and offered "Shall I bring you a menu in English?" said in French very quietly to Cyr. My poorly tied scarf must have given me away as being non-French. Cyr declined, saying; "No thank you, she understands." (in French of course) Then the lady says; "I'll bring you one anyway."


Granted, maybe I'm a bit touchy because someone filled both of my nostrils with cement glue last night, but I was offended. Seriously lady, guess you people don't get the "no means no" thing here eh? When she came back with the menus I gave her the one eye brow raised look and Cyr reaches out and takes the English menu. sweet is that?! Low and behold I was even able to find my agneau (lamb) without a problem.

Of course she was not our waiter, that was the guy mentioned above. Darn it...I would have felt much better getting a little spittle on her and forcing her to hear my stuffy nosed French. Oh well, maybe next time. Even if I feel fine. :-)


Steph said...

Hope you're feeling better! Sometimes the "I'll speak English to you because I think I'm doing you a favour" thing really gets on my nerves too - Once, I flipped out because I asked (in French) what kind of eggs a restaurant served and Mme. Waitress rattled off her list in English. grr. If I can ask the question, I can understand the answer :P

As for the gym, there are a few of them in this city, but I hit up the one in Euralille. Do you have "a Chti"? It's a guide to the city made by university students - It's great, it's got info about gyms, clubs, restaurants, etc. There's a few others listed in there too.

Kate said...

This is a very good lesson for me that I need to stop talking to my students in Spanish as soon as we hit a snag.

Marie said...

Hahaha ! It's so funny, I haven't noticed that language problem coming with stuffy least you won't have problems with "les nasales" sounds !! (Just a joke !)

That's the problem with English...I can tell you there was no menu in French in Panera Bread for me !!
You should tell any waitress that you really really want to learn French.
At least you didn't get like me "can you spell it for me ? " !
Hope your nose gets better (and do use the saline spray, I swear it's great !)
Your hubby is really sweeet !!

Marie said...

I forgot to tell you : next time we meet, I won't talk to you in English, I promised !!
Je parlerai avec toi en francais ! Promis !!

Susan in Lille said...

Steph - That is so funny about the eggs, that happens to me, one little thing will set me off on the French...Oh - I do have a Ch'ti - I didn't think to look in that. Dur...

Kate - Glad I could help! I would be you are fantastically entertaining teacher!

Marie-J - You are so funny, I love how you always ask how things are spelled. French spellings don't help much, you guys never pronounce the letters!! Oh no! You must speak English a little, we can call it "practice" for you. ;-)