Saturday, 20 October 2007

Une nouvelle amie

A few weeks ago, while waiting in the crowd outside Lily's school for the doors to open, I found myself standing next to a woman who I was sure was the mother of a little girl in Lily's class. Lily talks a lot about her friends and I always try to introduce myself to their parents. So when I saw M's mum I said hello and that I was Lily's mum. She said hello and turned away slightly. Hmmm, I thought, like that is it? But I'd started so I thought I'd continue. "Lily talks about M a lot" I said. And she responded by saying what I thought at first was "you don't speak very good french!" And then I realized, she was telling me that SHE didn't speak very good french! It turns out the family is from Bosnia and like me, she is still learning. Imagine if I hadn't pushed on and had just left it at our first words - I'd have gone home and told David I met some snobby french woman when that was not the case at all.

Since then, we have exchanged a few words when time permitted. Until yesterday, when after we dropped the girls off, she asked me to her home for coffee. I'd been planning on getting Jasper back home asleep so I could have a break but I gladly accepted. They have a nice apartment in the vielle ville with some really interesting views. She served me a really strong coffee and we chatted away while the babies slept, woke, fed and played. She speaks very little english and of course, I speak no bosnian, so we struggled through with our french. There were a few sighs of frustration as we each abandoned sentences that were unable to be understood but there were also a lot of laughs. It was actually really relaxing to be speaking french without feeling sorry for the poor french person on the other end of my conversation! And it will be nice for Lily to be able to play with her friend out of school as well.

5 comments:

SylvChezPlum said...

Good on you for trying again !
Isn't it great the way we get to make new friends with the other mums ?!!

Milie said...

Hi Penny,
That's often easier to make friends who experience the same process as you, isn't it? Well done!
I find it hard to make Australian friends (I mean without my Australian partner), but I keep working on it!

Rupal said...

I know how intimidating it is to talk to the other moms you are sure speak the native language. I applaud you for continuing with the conversation - don't know that I would have had the guts. But what a great reward: someone in a similar boat as you!

guera said...

Good on you! Its almost always worth perservering, but not always that easy to do. And great to not only meet French people but others from all over the world. Its not everyday in Australia you have a conversation with a Bosnian in French!

Miles Away In France said...

oh how lovely, it will be really good for both of you to practice your french language.
Racheal x