Sunday, 17 May 2009

Mind your manners

Rarely a day goes by that I don't get a chance to embarrass myself in some way. Today, it was a mix-up of manners. Now manners are very important here and I try my best - always saying "hello" and "goodbye" when I enter and leave a shop, "thank you, have a good day" etc.

Today, I took the kids out for breakfast. As usual there were a lot of people waiting to be served at the counter. As we slipped down the side of them to the tables at the back, I called out "bonjour" to the owner and one of her helpers behind the counter who were busy serving. Later when things had quietened down, the owner walked past so I said another "bonjour madame". She turned to me, surprised, and said "but we've already said hello when you came in!" Umm, ok! David says he has made the same mistake and been corrected too - apparently its just as bad to say too many hellos as to say none at all!

11 comments:

france said...

Hello Penny, I was cleaning my desk and found your blog. It's great to read your story and watch your movies and photos. The kids have grown up but you're still the same. How long are you staying in France ? Here in Brisbane it's still good. There are a lots of big infrastructures changing : north tunnel corridor, the second Gateway bridge, the tunnel south to north, the north busway.... so much work around Brisbane and lots of traffic.
Tehani is 12 now and finishing her grade 7 at Ascot then next year will be high school. Mahia is in her second year at Uni stuying business and Henri is working in Adelaide for a dessalination plan till December if everything is going on time. My son Tunui 22yrs is living in Pau south of France and is working in a restaurant.
I'm planning to visit my son and my dad next year if we can afford.
I'm doing my sales, soon the rentals from home and I'm happy.
Looking forward to hear from you.
France

france said...

my email francedauphin@optusnet.com.au

Ksam said...

That happened to me after only being here for a few months - my French was pretty much non-existant and I was working in a hotel. Every time my boss would pass me in the hallway, I would say "Bonjour" because I didn't know many other words and I felt like I had to say *something*. Until he finally said, all exasperated, "Why do you keep saying Bonjour to me all the time? Don't you know you only say it the first time we see each other?" Umm, nope I didn't!

Penny said...

HI France - great to hear from you. I'll send you an email :)

Sam - at least you worked it out in a few months! I'll have to pay more attention to the subtleties of language. Spending most of my days going to and from school, I see the same people all the time and I could have sworn they were saying "Bonjour" multiple times a day - but maybe its just me!

Ksam said...

Is it possible they are saying "rebonjour" to you? I could see some of the parents saying that to you if you saw them while dropping the kids off in the morning and then again at the end of the school day.

Chez Speedies said...

Hi Penny, We will be driving up to Besancon on Wednesday 20May and will be stopping for 2nights in Annecy. I was wondering if you would like to meet up for a coffee and a chat. My email is anniespe@bigpond.net.au if you're free that would be great.
Anne

Andrea said...

I had a few people say "rebonjour" to me recently. Kinda weird if you ask me.

Penny said...

Wow Sam and Andrea - I have never even heard of "rebonjour" - I think I really need to work on my french...

French for a While said...

Glad you are back. Your new place looks AMAZING. I wonder if we saw it without knowing it during our visit to Annecy. My wife would die to have a place right in the heart of the city like that. Wow.

Penny said...

FFAW - you probably did walk right past it! I love living in the centre of town but I did look rather longingly at your swimming pool in your video. Still, you cant have everything :-)

Anonymous said...

I have to say that the silliest thing i've ever heard, maybe that's why the Brits think the French are so rude and vice versa!! Too many or not enough salutations!!

K
xx