Thursday, June 09, 2011
franch is not terreebl
My French Friend has returned to London. This is just so exciting. After working together in South Africa, she left the company to take a sabbatical in Morocco for a year and now she's back in London.
Like all French people, she comes across as mysteriously layered. Shrouds of layers that make French people - initially - seem impermeable. Once you peel off the layers, you get one of the most lovely friends you could ever hope for.
So to celebrate, we went out last night with a whole other gaggle of French ladies.
I loved the fact that I was invited into the Franco Fold last night.
I have a French name and surname as it is, so it was a night spent talking in quasi tones of Frenglish.
Double kisses on cheeks, and everyone just assumed I was French.
Me in stealth mode, playing a Frog.
When I confessed that I was actually 'Sud Africaine' they still spoke French to me. Just too glorious for words.
Took me right back to my gap year where I remember sitting around a table of French people, all speaking at a thousand miles an hour about the benefits of Socialism (you can't make this shit up), and me wondering what the fuck I could say in their tongue to contribute to the conversation.
Errrr...oui.....Karl Marx...j'aime Karl Marx. Il est hot.
Anyway, there we were last night, in Chelsea, drinking red wine and bitching about how demanding mistresses are.
As in, mistresses of husbands can demand things like apartments and porcelain tooth veneers, and it's so much better than being the actual wife of somebody.
Sounds like ...they make a valid point.
More importantly though, I smashed a cheese. An entire wheel of camembert found its way from the clutches of a Norman dairy farm, onto my plate, and then into my cake hole.
It was magnificent. There's nothing quite as satisfying, or gooey and warm, as a baked French cheese. Washed down with a dry red, and Franco conversations about mistresses and holidays in the south of France.
The high point of the evening was telling ze girls zat my Francais has cretinously become very very shite over the years. And my last trip to France, I sounded like a douchetard when I tried to ask simple stuff like "I'd like the roasted duck."
The best part was having them all admit to me that because they lived in London, and were surrounded by English people all day long, that they even find that their French has gone to shit.
One even said she was scared to do a presentation at work in French, and she is one hundred percent native, the real deal, croissants and baguettes, Napoleonioc, French.
In fact, this is what she actually said: Oh la la, my Franch 'az bekom so terreebl. I 'ad to mek a [presentation] pwezarntuhsseon [sic], and eet woz so tereebl.
Eet woz like mooseek to my Anglo-Saxon ears. It lets me off ze proverbial hook for forgetting my second language.
Dude. I know I'm only half French.
And I say this about five times a year, and I'll say it again: one day I will live there again. And do this cheese and wining and whining every single day.