Saturday, 19 May 2007

Ça suffit!

Back in Brisbane, I always said I would have to make the effort to practice my french as much as possible. In fact, it hasnt been an effort to try. While my french is still not very good, I am relatively comfortable using it and I dont have to force myself to do it. Maybe its because there are so many tourists in Annecy but I have found most people quite patient so far. My first words of french were spoken outside the Baggage claim in Paris while I waited for Dav to sort things out. And whilst it might have only been a few words about the bébé to a little 18 month old I was so chuffed with myself for jumping straight in! Since then I do try not to rely on David for little things, although I was glad he was there to help me out when I was trying to buy a SIM card for my phone.

I've had a couple of funny stuff-ups already. Back in Brisbane, I would say a few little phrases in french to Lily. One of them was "ça suffit!" which means "that's enough" and you often hear it from exasperated mums. At the Gare de Lyon in Paris while waiting for our train Dav sent me to buy some lunch. After studying the array of baguettes I managed to order two. The attendant then said something to me which I didnt understand but was obviously "is there anything else?". Instead of simply replying "non", my mind was searching for the words "c'est tout" ("that's all") but what I came out instead with was "ça suffit! Merci Madame." Not the right thing to say in the land of politeness. She didnt say anything or even look at me funny so it wasnt until a while later that I realized just how rude I had been!

And yesterday, I took Lily and Jasper to the Paquier while David caught up on a bit of work. And after a play at both playgrounds, a look at the carousel and a mini-train ride along the lake I took them to Quick Burger for some lunch (Bad mother, I know, but I was in need of red meat and couldnt face sitting in a restaurant with Jasper on my own). I studied the menu whilst I waited in line and decided on a burger meal - a Menu Supreme Cheese (try saying that with a french accent - it sounds so dorky). So I ordered and the woman asked if I wanted "pommes frite" (or so I thought). Now, I already knew I got fries with my meal and I'd sussed out that fries came in "normale" or "rustique" (rustique looked a bit like wedges). So I replied in french yes, please the normal ones. When it came time to pay I handed over my carefully counted out 6 euro 50, only to be asked for another 65 cents. Puzzled, I handed it over and she said it was for the "grandes frites". OK, I thought about that for a bit and then it dawned on me. She'd said "grandes frites"...not "pommes frites". She'd supersized me!! Still when she came back with my meal I was able to say "je comprends maintenant...les grandes frites" and she gave me a smile and I left having learned something else and having had a bit of a giggle at myself!

No comments: