Wednesday, January 20, 2010

the price is right

Well today should be interesting, we have our 10:00 class / senior care providing appointment. Cindy and I answered an add placed outside the local tourist Information office. It read something like. “Lady, licensed to teach English would like to make a mutual arrangement to offer French Lessons, enquire at“. And so on. We met her with her cat Lord Nelson, who was, as cats should be, very disinterested in us. She was a mature lady, we met for an hour, and she was extremely interesting, in the nice way. It is only upon reflection, and I can’t say for sure why, that I felt a little light go off in the back of my dimly lit mind. Was this going to be a mutually beneficial set up or were we, the naive American rubes, being set up. The deal is that we will help her with grocery shopping and lend a hand with household stuff, and she would help us with French lessons. There are either so many ways to spin this, or I am essentially “a ungrateful spoilt little shit“, ( Thank you Mom for providing me with that phrase, it’s really paying off big dividends now) who has no appreciation, blah, blah, blah. It’s a sad state of affairs when the offer for / to help is regarded with such cynicism.
“My what sad times we live in when voyaging ruffians say “Ne” at will to old ladies, why, there is a pestilence upon this land when even a hard working organizer of shrubs cannot make a decent living…..” Paraphrasing “Monty Python’s Search for the Holy Grail.”
So we’re going to drive her to the local Intermarche and help her shop, we obviously will learn a great deal about French products, or be told to quit lollygagging about and fetch the cat food for older incontinent cats, but with fish flavor not that smelly beef one. You see there’s no polite or funny way to spin this, I’m sure as you read this, someone; where it’s nice and hot, is routering my name on the back of a chair, in a waiting room called Purgatory.
I’m not going to post this until I return and write about how it went, so right now as you read this I’m Driving Mademoiselle Fleur (The French version of Driving Miss Daisy ) in a 2008 Citroen not a 1949 Packard. May God have mercy on my soul.
I’m back:
O.K. so it wasn’t that bad, she really is a dear. Cindy had a fun time conversing, learning about different French produce, products, and shopping methodology. And I, I mastered the French version of shopping carts, gliding next to a woman of advanced years with walking aids, while I steered an independently minded four wheel steering cart. I never once ran or nudged into her. Well, if I did, I pointed inconspicuously to the elder man with the nose bubbles beside us.
There was a false start, when the card reading machine wasn’t accepting her card, after about five attempts I gave Cindy a glance, she was looking at something else, bastard that I am. I’m thinking how subtle I am, and this nice elderly woman is having doubts cast on her from the slow learning one in the group. Another good thing was learning about three different places to shop. Believe me with the hit we’re taking on our U.S. dollar to Euro conversion, we need any help we can get, and isn’t that the first step to recovery.

1 comment:

  1. Driving Miss you are one cynical bastard as tho you had gotten in bed with a Nigerian Mobster. I was waiting for the "Hank, mon petite, can you front me some Euros svp" as the punch line to the marketing outing. If I were learning French, I would much prefer to be in the open air, conversing with the locals, buying Wonder Bread and Bologna rather than sitting around a table practicing my conversational French. Sorry I have been missing in action for the last few days....but bought myself a Kindle Reader for my 65th and it turns out the learning curve is a bit more complicated than opening a book. I will try to be more timely and attentive in the future............nice car