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Around the World in 210 Days

French 101

FRANCE | Wednesday, 26 September 2007 | Views [1729] | Comments [15]

In case anyone was wondering, we made it to Paris no problem.

Okay, I say no problem, but I really mean we woke up at 3:45am, took a taxi to the airport, took off at 7:00, arrived at 9:00, arrived by bus in Paris at 10:30, and then spent two hours trying to figure out the train system on our way to our temporary home.

It was ridiculous.

But we have since managed to learn the trains to some degree and now have a pass that allows us to travel from our house throughout Paris proper with no additional charges. And yesterday we discovered that supermarkets close for lunch, and that supermarket clerks will assume your credit card is European, causing them to tell you it does not work, sending you to the atm, which is closed, therefore sending you to the bank across the street, which is out of order, which sends you back across the street to the market, which along the way you notice you left your credit card at the store, then the store manager realizes the card is international and must be swiped, and THEN you get your groceries. I don't know if it's like that every time you visit, but it sure was like that this time.

Oh, there's another funny little difference, which is the shopping carts that are locked together. You have to pay a euro to get one unlocked, and we were telling our host couple about how we carried our groceries in our arms because we did not want to pay. After a good fit of laughter, they explained that the euro is a deposit to make sure people do not run off with their carts and return them to the corral. Oops.

Speaking of our host couple, they are really nice people, and we love the place we are staying. It is still on the third floor, but that is about the only similarity to our hostel we have found. The home is three stories, with the entryway, restroom, and garage on the ground level, a living room, kitchen, and restroom on the second, and the bedrooms on the third. Our bedroom has a living area and a fourth staircase to the loft-style bed area. I like it a LOT. It's like sleeping in a tree house indoors!

Today was our first day exploring Paris, and we spent it viewing Notre Dame (we will enter it later), walking down the river Seine (past where they filmed a scene in Ratatouille!!), exploring the botanical gardens, searching for--and eventually finding, the Eiffel Tower, and a quick trip to the Musee de Parfum (that is, the perfume museum-- it was free, people, okay?). It was a nice full day and I don't quite know what is on our agenda for tomorrow, so I instead will list the only french words we know as of yet: **spelling not necessarily even close**

bonjour- (bone zhoor) Hello, good morning, good day.
bonsoir- (bone swah) Good evening.
bon noit- (bone nwee) Good night.
o'rervoir- (or rev wah) Goodbye.
carte orange- (kah (really make a hacking sound) rlt-or anzh) It means Orange Card, which is the weekly travel pass for all of the trains.
we- (we) Yes.
merci- (mare see) Please.
par le vous englais? no? are you sure? because we need to ask you a question.- (par lay voo on glay no are yoo shoor be coz we need too ask yoo a kwes chun) Do you speak English for crying out loud?!?
bon bon- (boh boh) candies!

That's it for now, perhaps we will have another french lesson soon, so be practicing!


Tags: Culture




You didn't tell me this would be a scarey story!


"which along the way you notice you left your credit card at the store "

I am going to go cry now.

  Rrrricardo Sep 27, 2007 8:09 AM


Although the spelling is waaay questionable I love the descriptive pronunciation. Entertaining mais oui.

  Sandy Sep 27, 2007 8:48 AM


Okay I know I am on here WAY too much but it facinates me.
I think the most exotic place I ever went was Pittsburgh PA.
I want to hear everything.

I want you to go somewhere and ask if they have FRENCH toast. I want to know what they call their fries.
I want to know all about that fancy kissing I have heard so much about. (Sandy claims she knows all about it but won't teach me)

I will tell you that the word WE meaning yes is spelled Oui but I won't tell you how I know. Maybe Parker can explain it.

Remember if you need help with living in another country I can have Daniel come teach you.
He is quite experienced, very successful at it and has not left his credit card anywhere.

Meanwhile if Alex gets bored while being in the city of lights she can read a short book by the Frenchman Frederic Bastiat called THE LAW. Warning...It may change her politics.

Each day as you get up. Look in the mirror and say this:
"I am the foreigner here."

NOW get to reporting cool stuff.
If not for me do it for Coco the wonderdog and for Abby (who has french roots you know being a great pyrenees)

  Rrrricardo Sep 27, 2007 10:25 AM


Oh my gosh I bet you never take advantage of the carts at the airport either do you, same thing, deposit so you don't steal it (as if I wouldn't spend twenty-five cents for one) You really need one of those keychain credit cards so you can hook it to a retractable cord attached to your belt loop. You really sound Texan in you spelling of how you are saying the words. Instead of you guys pretending to be british you should maybe have pretended to be parisian. And I don't belive for a second that in paris anyone would make a hacking sound for a word, they are so soft spoken and it is the language of love, I don't see love blooming with a sound like your going to hack a loogie. And I see nothing wrong with going to a perfume museum, I bet it smelt really nice and hey free is nothing to turn your nose up at. I do hope you guys budgeted for shoes during this trip as you are going to wear them out pretty quick with all the walking. And I'm with Rrrricardo I to want to know about the toast, fries, kissing but here are just a few more that i want to know if the french have:
french bread, french braid, french onion soup, french dressing, french dip sandwich, french horns and something called a french ticklers, and the biggest thing if they say something off color do they really say excuse-moi? Rrrricardo to learn about the kissing there is a site called French Kiss 101 @ www.LifeScript.com, who knows you may learn what it's all about. love you both and miss you. tigger and coco say bowsy wowsy and they both know how to french kiss, love mom

  mardi Sep 27, 2007 12:10 PM


Try this one:
Je suis American. Non, je n'ai pas voté pour Bush.


I am American. No, I did not vote for Bush.

Warning: my French is basically nonexistent.

And I totally get that "hacking"--it's hard to make the 'r' before a 't' in French, in my sucks-at-French-opinion.

  Kyle Sep 27, 2007 3:49 PM


Kyle is right.
You need to tell them that you voted for Jerry Lewis.

  Rrrricardo Sep 28, 2007 6:16 AM


This one made me laugh out loud! It's great to hear how the trip is going! Have fun for me too! Be safe!

  tabitha Sep 28, 2007 7:04 AM


Andrew have you been looking for our spaceships in all your travels, please be advised they are still hanging in our Lubbock sky and around 2-3am there are as many as 8-9. So please let me know if you spy any. Thank you your fellow ship watcher, mom

  mardi Sep 28, 2007 1:27 PM


okay yu had me almost feeling sorry for you over it being so cold and all, but the game is up you blew it. in the photos you showed roses that are quite beautiful (not fond of cold) beautiful yellow flowers without a bit of damage from cold, wild berries, no frost bite noted and then the old man swimming in the water without i may add any protection from the frigid waters due to the very cold weather and last but not least the dog playing in the water, so Dallas and I rest our case about Shannon and Andrew being able to truly say if it is cold or not. To prove it you must blow frost from your nose or mouth while breathing, or at least have a red nose from the cold. the pictures are really great, the foam on that last beer look like whipcream it is so thick. Now Shannon let us hear all about Paris and the wonderful french people and french stuff. I want to see some french poodles and such to see what the lastest fashions are so tigger and coco can go for their next beauty appt. love mom

  mardi Sep 29, 2007 1:09 AM


Your French spelling is amazing. It's way better than real French spelling. I'm taking French now. I'll be sure to tell my prof about these.

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