June 7, 2013

More Notes To Self

le Château de Brécy

Nobody you meet in Normandy is ever going to understand why you left the Languedoc-Roussillon to move north. Stop trying to explain your motives. It's easier to let them think you're crazy.

Learning to correctly pronounce the word couverts* will save a lot of laughter at your expense.

When a fonctionnaire* asks you to hand over your only copy of an official ID card so they can send it off with your dossier while you wait for its replacement that they say will only take a week or so to receive, refuse.

Driving in rural #normandy. #slow

The one day that you're running late for work is the day you'll get stuck behind a tractor hauling hay. Or cows. Or potatoes.

You are never going to break the code of the French texto.*

You've been in France for 10 years now. Stop being embarrassed when you're standing totally buck naked in front of your gynecologist. He's seen it all before.

My most favorite butter!

At the rate that you're eating all that delicious Normandy salt butter, you won't be able to fit into any of your clothes by September. Maybe you should show some restraint.

Stop acting surprised when a child whom you're meeting for the first time walks right up to you and gives you bisous.*

Make sure you correctly enunciate the the word "shit" the next time you're teaching a French person the expression, "when the shit hits the fan." If you don't, they'll think the expression is, "when the sheet (of paper) hits the fan."
It's not quite the same thing.

Pommeau and Cider and Calvados, oh my!

Stop thinking you're going to wake up one day and start loving Calvados. Digestifs* just aren't your thing.

Those pesky French words that sound feminine but are actually masculine, and vice-versa, are going to plague you for all eternity. Or as long as you live in France. Learn to accept it and do your best.

Your cheese addiction means that from now on, every time you open your fridge, you will be smacked in the face with the fragrance of fromage. And that's a good thing.

*couverts - flatware
*fonctionnaire - civil servant
*texto - text message
*bisous - a greeting that consists of a kiss on each cheek
*digestif - an after dinner drink

You might also enjoy:
Notes To Self
Should You Move To France?
Ten Reasons I Love Living in France

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Ms Lemon of Make Mine Lemon said...

Jacques Torres has a problem with sheet. He says get out the "sheet" pan, but it never sounds like that, and everyone laughs.

Nina L. said...

First time I went to the gynaecologist in Belgium, I was left wondering if I should keep my pearls on, or take them off, like everything else!

creativeexfoliation said...

Oh, that butter ... it is a little smear of heaven.

Dvora said...

Words of wisdom. It's similar in Spain, but I've never had the wit to explain it so well! I love this post.

Emm said...

couverts?? coo-verr? Is there another word similar but not as fitting if you mispronounce?

Andi said...

Love the observations. I was lucky when I was living in France I was working in Switzerland so had Swiss medical coverage, their gyno practices were similar to the US, I had a little cape - how horrific to be completely naked, even if they are used it, I am not!

Jennifer Greco said...

Ms Lemon
I'll have to go on YouTube and listen to him sometime.

I would have wondered the same thing!

Jennifer Greco said...

it is heaven!

Thanks. And I'm sure it is! :)

Jennifer Greco said...

I have to say that word a lot at work..I should try to find a replacement so I can stop embarrassing myself.

I wish they had little capes or something! It is something that I just haven't gotten used to yet. I'm trying though...

La Torontoise said...

Loulou, love the scent of fromage :-)

Thank you for sharing these serious notes. It all resonates with me...
Have a great weekend!

PS. What a pity my work brought so much overtime in the past 3 weekends, just before the summer vacation season.
PS1. Reading your blog was the fun part of my short coffee break today:-)

Julie said...

Thanks for posting this! I do have a question about the fonctionnaire and your card though. Why did they need your ID? Why had you previously not had to send the original one in? What happened when you refused?

Cheryl Antier said...

Okay, I'm laughing so hard I can hardly type... our 'notes to self' are eerily similar... especial the masculine and feminine, being buck naked and he love of cheese... part of the joys of being an American in France, I guess.. In my case, Provence. But so much the same!

Anonymous said...

This was too funny and true. Vive la France. At least I said that in my interviews at the Prefecture!

Jennifer Greco said...

La Torontoise
Hope your work schedule calms down a bit and gives you more reading time.

We had moved from one department to another and needed to update my husband's 10 year Carte de Résident. They wanted his original card to send off in the dossier and thought we were totally paranoid when we refused and only offered a copy of the card before we got the new ones in our hands!

Jennifer Greco said...

It is a combination of joy and frustration being a stranger in a strange land, isn't it? Always a good story or enchanting moment, or craziness!
Thanks for stopping by to comment.

Jennifer Greco said...

They must have loved that! lol

french cravings said...

Ditto for German doctors...must be a Europe thing. Most embarrassing when you misunderstand instructions and bare all when you weren't supposed to. x Katie

Jennifer Greco said...

I hate those misunderstandings....

croquecamille said...

Oh, the doctor's office. It's not the full nudity that bothers me so much as the fact that she has me undress right in front of her, and how her office has a huge window facing the street, and how the exam chair faces the window!

rose said...

haha! The gynecologist thing really made me laugh. I used to wait for them to leave the room when they told me to undress. Now I'm just used to it :-)

Jennifer Greco said...

Yeah, I have to strip right in front of my Dr. too, but not in front of a window facing the street! That's the worst!

I'm slowly (very slowly) getting more comfortable with it.