French Kisses

February 14, 2013
I graduated to a higher level in my Oral class last week. The new teacher can’t spell (a smidgy bit of a problem for us french “learners”) and she is about 12 years old. I miss Katherine (say: Kat-er-EEN), my first teacher who could speak 5 languages and was amazing. I saw her in the bathroom today at school, brushing her teeth. I wanted to beg to come back to her class but it didn’t seem right.  If it had been the cafeteria, I might have gone there.
Joan’s been sick for two days. She missed school today which was the day of the big test. So, I guess she won’t be getting that diploma after all. The test was hard. Maybe because I didn’t sleep well the night before or maybe because I’M STUPID. But it was hard. I will get my results next week.
Valentine’s Day. I’m in the City of Love without my love.  My 12 year old teacher, Miss Daphne, decided to use the occasion to go over different ways in French to express love. It was a fun experience until–Quelle horreur!— I discovered in the essay portion of my French test earlier, I had written a letter home in which I asked my mom to give my dad a kiss on the mouth for me!?  Come on! There should be only one word for kiss “Baiser” and the verb “Embrasser” should absolutely mean “to hug”.  I could not be more wrong.  Here’s a rundown:
At the Notre Dame. His sign says "free hugs".  I could have used this little vocabulary word before the test last week!
At the Notre Dame. His sign says “free hugs”. I could have used this little vocabulary word before the test last week!

Dictionary:
Baiser – to kiss
Embrasser -to kiss or hug

Miss Daphne:
Baiser – NEVER EVER USE ALONE! Vulgar way to describe sex.
Embrasser – kiss on the mouth
Donner un baiser – give a kiss
Faire un calin – give a hug (this one is double-underlined in my notes)
February 21, 2013
My high school friend, Janet, and her daughter, Abby, arrived on the 15th. Abby was on crutches–broken bone in her foot. To enjoy Paris it is necessary to walk. Poor Abby! Despite this, we went to see the Eiffel Tower on Friday night and its twinkling lights that occur at the top of the hour. Then we went to retrieve Joan’s diamond ring that she had lost at Verjus the week before (thank goodness Laura, the co-owner is a honest person). We ate dinner at a nearby brasserie. The food was not good but we had a lot of fun with the waiter–not kidding, his name was Pierre– who fell in love with Abby. We went to see Victor Hugo’s house near the Place de Vosges on Saturday.Sunday we visited the castle at Versailles. With Abby on crutches it was impossible to go see Marie Antoinette’s hamlet which is my favorite part of Versailles but everything there is fascinating. The history. The gardens. Its massiveness. Monday night we went to the Moulin Rouge. Those poor dancers–and by dancers I mean the skinny topless women who can do the splits–are entirely emaciated. The show was Janet’s treat to us for letting her and Abby sleep on our couch. I am really glad we went. My favorite part was watching a heavy set, 60 something British women just go crazy with applause after every act.

Joan and Alison at the Grand Trianon, Versailles
Joan and Alison at the Grand Trianon, Versailles
Joan, Alison and Janet after the show at Moulin Rouge. The horse trailer is for the show there was one bizarre act with circus ponies.
Joan, Alison and Janet after the show at Moulin Rouge. The horse trailer is for the show there was one bizarre act with circus ponies.

Joan and I got up and went to school Monday morning. Strictly interpreted, that is to say that I went to school and Joan kept on going to the Luxembourg Gardens. Suffice to say that Joan has quit school. I have gone all week and have just tomorrow left. Then I’m on to a new chapter of my Paris life.

Beautifully lit on Friday night.
Beautifully lit on Friday night.
Twinkling at the top of the hour.
Twinkling at the top of the hour.
I've whittled it down to this place and one other as my favorite boulangerie.
I’ve whittled it down to this place and one other as my favorite boulangerie.
Chatelet is officially the "World's Largest Metro Station". We drug Abby threw it twice.
Chatelet is officially the “World’s Largest Metro Station”. We drug Abby threw it twice.
A patisserie in the town of Versailles.
A patisserie in the town of Versailles.
Abby and Janet inside the Moulin Rouge
Abby and Janet inside the Moulin Rouge
These stencils showed up all over our neighborhood the week of Valentine's Day!  Someone really loves this Felix character.
These stencils showed up all over our neighborhood the week of Valentine’s Day! Someone really loves this Felix character.
False advertising. This is the second time we've gone to this restaurant which boasts "serving non-stop". It was closed both times.
False advertising. This is the second time we’ve gone to this restaurant which boasts “serving non-stop”. It was closed both times.
We had to pick an ad we liked for my Oral class this week. This was mine.
We had to pick an ad we liked for my Oral class this week. This was mine.
They gave Abby and Janet free admission to the castle of Versailles and even provided a free wheel chair. We got to go through secret rooms to get to the elevators. Petty cool for everyone but Abby!
They gave Abby and Janet free admission to the castle of Versailles and even provided a free wheel chair. We got to go through secret rooms to get to the elevators. Petty cool for everyone but Abby!
A stroll outside the Louvre on a sunny afternoon.
A stroll outside the Louvre on a sunny afternoon.
World's largest eggs (the white ones in the back) at the Daguerre Market.
World’s largest eggs (the white ones in the back) at the Daguerre Market.
Very misleading signage. Place de Vosges and Victor Hugo's house were far from this corner. Not a big deal unless you are on crutches.
Very misleading signage. Place de Vosges and Victor Hugo’s house were far from this corner. Not a big deal unless you are on crutches.
At the former home of Victor Hugo.
At the former home of Victor Hugo.

4 Comments

  1. Great updates. Had a wonderful time in Arizona. Thanks again. Great blog. I tried to print it off for mom, but was unsuccessful. I told her about you being catapulted off your bed. LOL Wish I could come visit. I told Joan with us just getting back from Az Marsha being there this week or so I thought and March pretty much being spring break anymore with school. I will ck for available days in March. You said the last 2 weeks are spoken for right?

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  2. We have something else in common. Maun and I are soon on our way to Paris so I have been going back through your journal taking advantage of your knowledge of the city and I learned that you were at the Alliance Française. I was there in 1960 and then again in 1986. My 1960 stint was really responsible for my career as a French teacher. 1960 was a long time ago, no wonder I feel old.

    Normally our stay in Paris is preceded by a long bike trip, but not this year. After the ski season we spent a month in Long Beach warming up and I managed to fall while riding my bike and broke my hip. The bike trip will have to wait.

    Your journal is even more fun the second time.

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    1. Hi, David! So good to hear from you. I am jealous of your impending trip to Paris–there is so much to miss. Yes, I’m a B1 level French student of Alliance Francaise. I believe I was the oldest person in my class! Have a safe trip.

      Sent from my iPad

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