Saturday, February 6, 2010
We have found on occasion that the local French people will, to a degree, open to us ever so slightly. I believe primarily because the typical interaction is limited in scope and time, that there is not more of a dialogue. We are like drive by conversationalist’s, were we to get out of the metaphorical car, we could probably have a better chance to indulge in witty banter. As a for instance, if we buy an item at the local market, or ask for an item, the interaction is limited. On the off chance there is any discussion, it may be the polite correction in punctuation, or word usage.
“Je vou drei’s un corbeau.” In my best French Canadian accent.
“ Un corbeau?” asked
“ Oui, un corbeau.” pointing to a long bread roll, reply
“ ooh, un Baguette!” the man replies then adds, “ pffffffttt” like the escaping air from a tire. ( which is the new jersey equivalent of “ Whatta you tawkin bout?”
“Oui, UN, Baguette, that’s what I said”
“non, non, monsieur, you are asking for un corbeau, a priest in his cassock.” he answers passing to me a baguette and quoting me the cost.
The local will initially look at us for clues as to are we local, then after they have decided that we are not, by a block away, they will then listen to our accent, after the first syllable has escaped they will then guess from which solar system we might be from and should we shown to the local Marie (mayor) or sanitarium. After a half a sentence, they realize that although not from around here, we are comically attempting to speak their language. They do give us some of their divided attention and follow us to the best of our abilities. Cindy for some reason concluded that she needed her hair coloring updated, “pfffffttt“, not sure why, looks beautiful to me. So on our morning round of the village baguette hunting we pass by a coiffures shop that has two dandies standing outside of it, Cindy goes inside and that then leaves three dandies standing outside, so I go in as well. She makes a rendezvous for 2:30 the same day, we continue our search for the un-reclusive bread and I pick up a immobilier flyer (real estate pamphlet) and return home. I decide to drive Cindy to her appointment, so I can scout the town for a piece of property that interests me. A beautifully built stone facade building that not only has a new roof, with all utilities, and a rare interior courtyard.
Cindy enters the coiffures and I let her know my intentions and head out to search the small town of Eymet on foot. After 10 minutes I have found the building, it looks better than I thought it would, as a matter of fact I’m sure the price has been misprinted. The facade is gorgeous, and the roof is new slate, with roof windows that belong in a story book. So I return to the coiffure shop and enter. Cindy and Gerard are in conversation, he only speaks French and Cindy is doing well. After forty minutes we are discussing world politics, and French politics, and I am now having my hair cut. When we are through we have learned about his daughter, having been shown a photo of her,, he has played a cd of her singing, and it was beautiful, actually she and her voice are beautiful. He has shown us his medal for running the New York Marathon, a photo of a movie set where he was the film hair stylist, he cut Gerard Depardeaux’s hair. Heavens if you want to know how to brush up on your language skills, have someone cut your hair with a straight razor, and ask you lots of questions. We had a blast, it was work but near the end it was delightful. Or as Cindy commented later that night as we shared a bottle of red, “For someone with such a limited French vocabulary, you had him cracking up, in a language you had no right to be telling jokes in.” French people get me. And I’m sure Cindy thinks they deserve me and should keep me. “