Thursday, 18 November 2010
The Paris Review.
Mama. This is me kindly obliging you. A bit like that time you asked me to make sure that the boys wear a condom. Check, and CHECK!
So. I'm currently undertaking a project with a girlfriend called Stop November Being A Total Write-Off Month Of Shame. SNBATWOMOS for short. Neither of us are doing very well. Part of the problem was Paris. Ahhhh, Paris! Remember last time?
Oh Internet, how I wish you could have been there with me.
Having just spent so much time in Italy, I kept talking Italian at France. Which just doesn't work. The fun that was had! My head seems to have lost every word of French that awful school lessons and fluent boyfriends and summers spent in country abode and has been replaced with hand gestures. Italian hand gestures.
I kept walking into metro stations and begging, 'permesso' instead of 'pardon' and saying 'grazie!' instead of 'merci!' And as I walked arm-in-arm with my Francophile Parisienne resident Anna, through vintage clothes markets and exhibition openings of artist friends and little cafes with goat's cheese and Nutella crepes on the menu, all the way up the steps of a French house party with actual French people (Fancy that! Hanging out with the locals!) it was Italian, Italian, Italian.
Incidentally, for most of the night at said house party I didn't need words of any language. Oh! Back to my Month of Shame...
It might have been that as I flew out it was on the back of about six hours sleep in three days, such is the nature of November before SNBATWOMOS, so maybe that's why I wasn't particularly coherent. In fact, it took most of my three day visit to get into the French way of thinking, and on my final day as I bade my friend goodbye and set off to take some arty photos and practice my French alone it took me a full three minutes of stalking a couple of middle-aged women to practice asking directions in my head.
And then I said stuff aloud.
"Madame? Excusez-moi mais ou est le Musee de Orsay sil-vous-plait?" I said.
And she replied, "I'm sorry but I don't understand French." IN ITALIAN.
To recap: THE ONLY PERSON I SPOKE TO PROPERLY IN FRENCH FOR MY WHOLE TRIP WAS ITALIAN AND I HAD BEEN BEEN TRYING TO STOP SPEAKING ITALIAN FOR THE WHOLE THREE DAYS.
She only looked mildly upset when I practically screamed at her, "Capito! Capito Italiano!" and then babbled off something probably unintelligible and most certainly grammatically incorrect as she sing-songed in that way that the French are crap at that yes, I was going in the right direction and if I kept going I would see it on my right.
I practically skipped away from her, and then danced with the poetry of the moment.
And then I realised that my head hurt from all the free-poured vodka Anna had made me drink, and so I went for a sit down and smoke with the realisation that- if I couldn't even skip metaphorically without my head hurting then truly, November probably is a write-off.
Labels: house of pastelle
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