dimanche 7 décembre 2008

Another Lost in Translation Story

I went to the doctor recently for a sore throat, cold, etc. He spoke zero English, I think "hello" was the extent of his English. So with my continued poor French, we tried our best. He was filling out my dossier for his records,and I thought he was asking for my carte vitale which is the national social security scheme here, but what he was really asking was when my last gyn. exam was. When I finally figured out what he was asking me, I answered him. However, he either didn't like my answer or didn't comprehend it, so he proceeded to get out his medical pictorial book complete with detailed photos of a woman's body and began to explain his question again, pointing to all the different pictures. Oh la la!! LOL!! After turning a zillion shades of red, I understood what he wanted, gave him his answer and continued on till the next road bloc. I just had to laugh later as it was really quite funny!!

dimanche 30 novembre 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Somehow I miscalucalated the size of our oven and got a 7 kilo turkey - almost 16.5 lbs. It barely fit in our oven and took 9!! hours to cook!! Oh la la!! The "french" turkey was good though!

dimanche 23 novembre 2008


In Morocco, they only bathe about once a week (I didn't ask why), so they have a special wash/cleaning/sauna called a Hammam. I wanted to do this, but of course I had no idea what it involved. You are washed down by a member of the same sex (too bad!!) you come in, completely naked, I lay down on a hot floor for a few minutes. Then you are completely washed from head to toe, and scrubbed, scrubbed, scrubbed with a loofah brush. Oye!! It was rough!! She srubbed every nook and cranny, every crevice,scrubbed my head, I swear, but boy was I clean!! I don't think I needed another wash for a week!!Well.... maybe 3 days!!

Swiss bisous v. French bisous

Did you know in Switzerland (French part) they greet and part with 3!! kisses on each cheek. In France it is either 2 or 4 kisses on each cheek. If you're not sure, just follow the lead or keep on kissing!! Bises!!

jeudi 20 novembre 2008

Le Beaujolais Noveau est arrivé!!

The new vintage is here!! Enjoy!!There are all sorts of road blocks here tonight as the police have this date down on their blogs and know to watch out for drunk drivers - even in France, one must be cautious!!

dimanche 19 octobre 2008

Semaine du Goût

All this past week in schools all over France, it was semaine du goût or "tasting week". The children get to experience new and different foods they normally wouldn't have for school lunch. Some of the foods my children tasted this week for their school lunch were lamb, fish and chips, fish salad, something similar to a chinese salad. The lunches weren't too extreme considering sometimes we even have foi gras for our school lunch. Even this young, food is taught that it is an important part of one's daily life.

Mange bien!!

dimanche 14 septembre 2008

Lost in Translation

Once again, I fail to understand what someone has said to me, yet I am too embarrassed to say, je ne comprends pas. I was at a wine tasting club and at the end of the meeting, the president said something to me in French, and of course being too proud to say anything, I say "ca va". The next thing I know I am getting a bisous on each cheek!! Good thing I didn't agree to anythig else!! Oh well, c'est la vie!!

*bisous: kiss

dimanche 7 septembre 2008

Another Year Begins

Well, la rentrée begins and we are off to start new adventures for another year in France. Will write more soon.....

lundi 28 juillet 2008

On Hiatus for the Summer

No posts for awhile as stateside for the summer. However, I am missing the french bread like crazy! There's just no comparison.

à bientôt!!

dimanche 22 juin 2008

Le Café

The café - a place to take a coffee or drink and have a pause.... from the daily grind. One can idle for hours at an outdoor café here and never worried about being asked to leave. I love to people watch and no better place to sit and watch the world go by. The other morning on my way to school I saw the garbagemen (who were doing their route) taking a pause at the local café to take a coffee. Not worrying one bit about the time on the clock or whether it was okay to take a break. This is what one does here - it's normal!!. The French definitely appreciate the time they take for themselves and don't worry about production time lost - everything gets done in due time......

mardi 17 juin 2008

ATTACK of the Self-Cleaning Toilet

Yes, this is exactly what happened, to poor Rachel that is. The French have designed these great automatic self-cleaning toilets that sort of reassure you that it is okay to go in and use one of these sidewalk toilets because they are cleaned after each use. However, they are not designed for more than one person at a time, where one person goes out and the other one is left inside, only to be completely sprayed from all sides with water and cleaner (and frankly who knows what else). Rachel came out of one of these dripping wet, crying and laughing at the same time, trying to explain what happened. She was a complete sport about it, but you couldn't help but laugh with her!!I could very easily see this happening to me.

So beware la toilette automatique in France.....

dimanche 11 mai 2008

Picnics Abound

Spring has arrived in Paris and surroundings and one of the things that really stands out is all the picnics I see people partaking in. I see simple spreads of cheese and bread and then there are those five course meals complete with wine!! Yes, wine, its okay to have open bottles of alcohol here!! Hallellujah!! People seem to set up a picnic anywhere and everywhere and this is okay. No one looks silly spreading their blanket in the middle of a dirt path through a park.

So pull up a blanket, bottle of wine, cheese and bread and voila!!

une bonne pique-nique à tous!!

samedi 12 avril 2008

The Queue

Paris in the Springtime Photo

French people do not know how to line up!! When I first arrived in France I was waiting in what I thought was a line to purchase something. However, I realized I was in the same spot 15 min. later, but was continually surrounded by new people coming in to the line. It doesn't matter if you have a designated spot in what you think is a line, it is not!! I guess I obviously looked like the naive American and didn't want to appear the rude American as we are so often perceived so I politely stood there and waited and waited and waited.......

Two weeks later, I was explaining this to a French person and they said to me, Oh no, there is no need for a line. When entering a shop where you must wait for service, you simply "observe" who has most recently arrived and you take your "place" behind them. Go figure, who ever thought it was so simple!!

By the way, one should not ask where is "la queue" in french, especially to a man or they may obligingly drop their pants for you!!

samedi 8 mars 2008

Terms of Endearment

"Sit down ma petite biche". My head did a quick turn around, did I hear what I thought I heard a mom call her young daughter. Ma petite chou, ma puce.... these are all cute terms of endearment that I hear adults call a small child. However, calling my child a "biche", I can't seem to bring myself to do that. Then to double check I looked up the french translation and lo and behold, realized my mind has been in the gutter, the proper translation is "doe". So go ahead and call your children "ma puce", "ma chou" or even "ma biche". And on that note, here is a photo of me and "mes petites biches"!

chou - cabbage
puce - flea
biche - doe

dimanche 17 février 2008

The Heck with Full Fat!!

As I am sitting here eating yet another yummy cheese, I start reading the ingredients. The french version says: Spécialité fromagère française - sounds lovely doesn't it.....

Now the English version: Full fat soft cheese......need I say more. We sure have a way of ruining a good thing!!

As long as I have that glass of red wine to counter the "full fat" effect, I feel I am in the safe zone....for now!! chin chin

mercredi 6 février 2008

Supersize Me!!

I supersized my Nutella!!This is quite embarrassing actually that I would buy this size Nutella, but I couldn't resist!!The French don't have much in the way of "supersizing" things, but this is too funny!! Believe it or not, Nutella is actually a recommended breakfast choice as part of a balanced and NUTRITIONAL meal - Vive la chocolat!!

dimanche 3 février 2008

Happy Birthday !!

Happy 9th birthday
5 January 2008!!

French Haircut

When a person says to you, ah you got a french haircut, it's not a compliment!! Somehow miscommunication in French was taken out on my hair this time around. This was the second time I have visited this hair salon. The woman said to me the same as last time, and I said yes, but I also like curls and somehow that got construed as okay, let's go willy nilly with the scissors. Needless to say I watched her like a hawk as she "trimmed" Isabel's locks. At school the next day, my English counterparts said oh yes, never give them leeway with your hair they will do whatever they wish. So for those dreaming of a "french haircut", beware......
Lucky for me my hair grows fast.

lundi 14 janvier 2008

Tidbits Here and There

Here are some short "tidbits" of things that I have come to realize while living here:

Les soldes - they only come twice a year and one better be prepared for this "dog eat dog" sale time. I thought I had the day after Thanksgiving sales down pat, but these "soldes" have it beat by a mile!!

La queue - the French have no idea whatsoever how to queue a line. I'll write more about this later.

Medical Coverage - tons of paperwork, endless trips to social security explaining yourself in French no one can understand (I love watching the face squirm up as you butcher the language) but once you receive the "carte vitale" it's all worth it and makes so much sense- something our country strives to have, but not sure if we will ever get there.

La Mode - they have the best fashion looks here. Somehow my "Target" look just doesn't cut it!! I'm trying though......

I have never spent so much money on cheese!!