… how I sort of had a conversation with my French teacher + the day’s adventure
Another week down. Oo la la! I think the subtitle of the Paris portion of the trip has to be “a baguette and a bottle of wine a day make for happy temporary Parisians.” We are in this weird hybrid world. We don’t really live here, but we’re not really tourists (although, as you will see, we did another touristy thing today). Definitely not complaining at all, just musing on the temporary life. So far, it’s pretty great being homeless (or nomadic if you prefer). Anyway, I think, like New York, Paris is a city one could live in for a lifetime and still find surprises to revel in. Of course, Paris would be better if I could … speak French!
With only 7 classes left in le cours de français, I have moments where I think, “Hey I don’t totally suck at this” and others where I think, “Now I know how my special ed kids feel!” That brings me to the title of this post. My teacher, Laurance, and I had a “conversion” in which I sort of in French said that I always imagined learning Spanish, not French, to which she offered the encouraging words: “L’espagnol est facile, le français est difficile.” Yeah, no kidding! I did stumble through a short conversation with her and that gave me hope that if I keep going, I may not sound like a total idiot some day.
The good news is I am definitely beginning to hear actual words within the lovely French sounds. Yesterday I watched episode two of “Dix Pour Cent” which translates to 10 percent, but is called “Call My Agent” in the States. While I pretty much had NO IDEA what was going on, at least I could tell they were saying words. Progress!
By this time next week, I will have taken a “petit test” that will be “très facil” according to Laurence, our excellent teacher. Of course, it also lasts one and a half hours. OK.
Today the whole class went out to lunch at le Jardin du Luxembourg (while her darling husband was at home slaving over a hot computer and watching just a couple episodes of “Better Call Saul” on Netflix), which is pretty much around the corner from the Alliance. I am so lucky (in so many ways), one of them is that the class really gelled and we all get along really well. I hope we will keep in touch and meet in other fabulous spots somewhere in the world.
After lunch, Steven and I headed over to the Catacombs. If you get lucky and get up early, you can get same-day tickets for half price. Regular price is 30€, which didn’t seem worth it to us.
We were right. It’s definitely worth going to once in your life, but it’s much better at 14€. The amount of bones piled up can really get you thinking if you’re in a melancholic mood (Interestingly, the bones were all moved from other cemeteries during the 18th and 19th centuries. The bones are from the 14th-18th centuries) . In general, it’s overwhelming but interesting and takes about an hour to walk through. The website says to dress warmly because it’s cold down those 131 steps into the former quarry so I wore a sweatshirt and brought a jacket. I ended up rolling up my sleeves. If I’m not cold, you won’t be! Maybe you’re thinking, well, it’s August. True. But it was 20 degrees (68 degrees F) today. So you probably don’t need to bundle up.
Steven thinks the apology at right, which was written on the bathroom wall at the catacombs, was penned by a French person about Emmanuel Macron. I mean, our dental hygienist (in Maryland) did explain to me that he was the antichrist. Something about Emmanuel meaning G-d is with us but Macron meaning he who values power over love. To be honest, I mostly stopped listening after the word antichrist, but I think that was the gist. I say it’s an American apology that’s been there since the president who shall remain nameless. What do you think?