will France finance my therapy for all of the horrors i’ve seen in the metro?
More often than not, Parisians will switch to English if they hear an American (British, Scottish, Irish, etc. you get what I mean) accent while speaking to someone. Since I have been in Pairs, people have been switching to English less and less, which is a very nice thing from my point of view! However, lately I have noticed that when I am obviously having trouble expressing myself in French the French person who I am talking to, won’t switch over to English like they used to. So, when I am completely stumped, exchange my pride for a pice of the English language, and finally say that particular word missing from my French vocabulary in English, the person who I am talking to is a bit shocked, and usually says something like:
“You speak English? Me too!!”
I have been saying yes, but after this last month I think I might start saying otherwise for my own sick enjoyment. Anyways, when I do answer them with the “yes” (yes, I am American…) they tell me that I have a Spanish or Italian accent and thought I was from one of those two places. This has been happening more often than not and I don’t understand why! I would think that my accent would be getting “Frenchier” over time, not Spanish and certainly not Italian. Two languages I know close to nothing about.
Just about once every week at dinner my host family asks me, “So, when do you want to get married?” ”Do you want to get married?” And each week, I try my best to honestly, nicely, and in French explain, no - as in “I haven’t thought about it yet. I think I’m a little too young.”
“Yes, well, maybe when I’m in my late twenties maybe. I haven’t really thought about it… I would want to when it’s right… after I’m finished with school and everything.” is usually my standard answer.
“But that’s too old if you want kids! Most people get married in their twenties.”
Their answer every time.
I don’t understand. 20 is young? Right? Yes, it is. I really hope it is. They beg to differ. The one time when I responded, with “29” instead of “late twenties,” my answer was acknowledged with a “huuuhh!” and an “oh non non, ça c’est trop vieille!” followed by different French terms for “cat lady” and “spinster,” but presented in the nicest way possible.
Oh là là.
So I’m stealing photos from friends!
I’ve been using disposable cameras, and will see the turnout of these in June…
All of a sudden the gun went off. I had been so tense my finger squeezed the trigger inadvertantly. But I was perspiring so much the gun had slid off my forehead and missed me. Suddenly neighbors were pounding on the door, and I dunno the whole scene was just pandemonium. I ran to the door, I didn’t know what to say. I was embarrassed and confused and my mind was racing a mile a minute. And I just knew one thing I had to get out of that house, I had to just get out in the fresh air and clear my head. I remember very clearly I walked the streets, I walked and I walked I didn’t know what was going through my mind, it all seemed so violent and unreal to me. I wandered for a long time on the upper west side, it must have been hours. My feet hurt, my head was pounding, and I had to sit down I went into a movie house. I didn’t know what was playing or anything I just needed a moment to gather my thoughts and be logical and put the world back into rational perspective. And I went upstairs to the balcony, and I sat down, and the movie was a film that I’d seen many times in my life since I was a kid, and I always loved it. I’m watching these people up on the screen and I started getting hooked on the film. I started to feel, how can you even think of killing yourself, I mean isn’t it so stupid. Look at all the people up there on the screen, they’re real funny, and what if the worst is true. What if there is no God and you only go around once and that’s it. Well, ya know, don’t you wanna be part of the experience? You know, what the hell it’s not all a drag. And I’m thinking to myself, Jeez, I should stop ruining my life searching for answers I’m never gonna get, and just enjoy it while it lasts. And after who knows, I mean maybe there is something, nobody really knows. I know maybe is a very slim reed to hang your whole life on, but that’s the best we have. And then I started to sit back, and I actually began to enjoy myself.
“c’est pour rendre fou
c’est s’est c’est fou c’est fou
nez bouché, les oreilles bouché, les yeux flous et l’esprit.
à tout partir de rien physiques.”
Than the body’s weight working itself from room to room.”
-Mark Strand, “The Next Time” —