26 December 2015

I Don't Like The Way You Say With Your Face All Scrunched Up, "You're French, Aren't You?"

I'm half French, so why wouldn't I love the French? And they speak French! Not some bizarre Canadian language erroneously called French. The French speak beautiful, genuine French. 

Let’s have a little language lesson. In French the word for or is ou. In Spanish the word for or is o. Would you like steak ou chicken? Do you prefer roses o tulips? In French the word ou (for or) is pronounced ew . . . as in ew, that raw chicken is slimy. In Spanish the word o is pronounced just as it’s spelled: oh . . . as in Oh how I love France.

Rusty cannot abide my explanations of Latin-based Spanish words and sentence structure through comparison to French. He’s had it! He’s even verbalized several times this week that he is sick of hearing me say, Well, in French . . . .  

My Spanish teacher (who speaks French) also tries to perfect my Spanish pronunciation by pointing out that Spanish is not French – Kathy, stop with the ew-sound for 'o' and stop your French pronunciation of so many Spanish words. Fine! So on Christmas Eve I vowed to stop with the French. I would cease singing in French . . . end speaking French to Jill and to other dogs (yeah, I speak French to dogs . . . they don’t mind). I would curtail my ongoing hunt for Evelyn to speak French. And certainly I would stop practicing French (if only in my head) so that I can speak to our new friends, Philippe and Marie, when they arrive back on the mountain. 

We spent most of Christmas Day in town. Brunch with Bill and our beloved Donna, apr├Ęs-brunch (whoops) drinks with other friends in town; and then we joined several friends for Christmas Dinner (French, I might add) at a restaurant in Samara. It was a 6:00 PM seating that was running quite behind schedule. We probably didn’t leave until nearly 10:00. Most restaurants in Samara were quite crowded all day yesterday; and parking was more of a problem than usual in our little village. As we were leaving Rusty backed-out our car and tapped another vehicle. A passerby knocked on our window to say, Yes, pal, you did leave a little dent. 

Dear God. Now what? Do we leave a note? Who would write said note, in Spanish? Then it happened:

A man emerged from a nearby restaurant explaining in very poor Spanish that the car was his. Together our Spanish was terrible and very little was understood, in no small part because this gentleman’s Spanish is worse than mine. I asked whether he spoke any English. No, not really. And that’s when dawned in the east my own little Christmas miracle. The man is French! Actually Belgian, I believe . . . expatriated to France, now an expat in Costa Rica. He and his wife own the Oh La La Restaurant. BAM!

Now, my darling Rusty, who’s happy to have a wife who speaks French? And yes, I had a blast speaking French, confirming that it was far too late in the evening, that the restaurant was still too full of patrons, and that we couldn’t get an estimate to repair the very tiny dent on Christmas Eve. So today we’ll return, and I suspect that Rusty will be very pleased to hear just a little more French before I complete my no-French vow. Lo que hay.