So I thought a language update was in order. Let me summarize by saying that it’s not going well. With all the enjoying France and immigrating to France business I have to say that the French study has been pretty much abandoned. I have a habit of this kind of thing, procrastinating when increased effort makes the most sense. One would think that now that I am finally here, learning French should be the top priority, study day and night. But that would be too sensible now wouldn’t it? But there is a price to be paid my friends.
The other night at the dinner on the Farm I had several opportunities to revisit my old friend embarrassment. I was asked what my plans were for tomorrow to which I replied “yes”. The Wife said “no, what are your plans for tomorrow?” (patient and smiling, god love her) and I said “yes, thank you”. Ha, ha, ha everyone laughs, including me. What do you expect? These things take time so I’m okay with this one.
A little later I gather my courage and jump in the current topic of discussion, Sarkozy and his plans for France. I begin and I’m surprised at how well I’m doing. The words flow out smoothly and unhindered unlike my usual halting and painfully slow speech. I’m up to Newfie pace at one point and I think oh now I’m cooking. I am a genius, immersion personified. This isn’t so bad at all.
Of course it is at this moment that I notice the confused faces at the table and I feel Neil tapping me on the leg. I’m thinking ‘don’t stop me now man, can’t you see I’m on a roll?’ when I realize that Neil is regarding me with a look that is new to me, amusement and pity at the same time. “Bobbi, my love”, he says, “you’re speaking English”.
And I was. Oh. Yes, I see. The reason I was doing so well was that I had been yammering away in ENGLISH! I honestly thought I was speaking French. I’m sure this happens to everyone, right? It was a very weird experience. It just goes to show that we can be completely unaware of what we are saying. So for me this is good. As I am quite famous for letting whatever comes into my head fall, unfiltered, out of my mouth, it will be good for me to stop and reflect on what I am about to say.
While I managed to laugh the whole thing off I must admit that I felt foolish and a bit idiotic. I really hope that I don’t become the goofy Canadian providing amusement for the French folks as I travel from town to town. The answer is to get busy with learning it and keep practicing no matter how stupid I may appear. So I have a sneaking suspicion that this won’t be the last post with this title…