“Vous parlez français?”
A confused-looking tourist had flagged me down on the pedestrian bridge that crosses the Rhone with a hopeful look in his eyes.
“Un peu,” I replied.
“Vous êtes d’ici?” he asked. (Are you from here?)
“Oui, j’habite a Genève.” (Yes, I live in Geneva.)
It turns out the guy was desperately looking for a Swiss chocolate shop and let’s face it: I’ve spent plenty of time scoping them out. In broken French, I gave him directions to Läderach chocolatier (aren’t I lucky that we started our directions unit in my French intensive yesterday?) and he thanked me and set off.
It felt pretty good, especially after a translation mishap earlier that day.
The corner of one of the shift keys on my precious MacBook got stuck over the weekend and, though the key still works, a “genius” had told me that Apple would replace the entire keyboard, trackpad and battery, and would call me when the parts came in. Fast forward to this morning, when I got a voicemail during French class that I *thought* said the delivery had arrived and I could bring in my laptop. But when I showed up at the store a few hours later and finally got to the front of the chaotic queue, I found out that, indeed, a delivery came in, but my parts weren’t in it. Whoops.
Every day has its ups and downs. And often it has everything to do with how quickly someone speaks. Do you remember what the adults’ voices sound like on Charlie Brown? Well, that’s a pretty good depiction of what I hear when someone starts speaking to me in rapid-clip French. Last week, I was on a mission to track down a fan because friends had told us all the stores sold out during last year’s heat wave and I knew I would not be a happy camper in our attic apartment if such events repeated themselves.
“Vouz avez des ventilateurs?” I asked the salesman. (Do you have any fans?)
“Non. Wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah…”
Well, he didn’t have fans, that much I knew. But were they coming in next month? Did another location have fans? It beats me.
And so continue my adventures learning French. But, on the plus side, I did just successfully order my Frappuccino en français at the Starbucks down the street to snag an hour of free wifi (technical difficulties at chez nous).
Heck yeah, I’m making progress: One overpriced coffee drink at a time.