10.11.13 Tea-houses, tutoiement and tutos

Hello all! So, I’ve put up last weekend’s recipe – I’m sure Henry would be more than glad to give this dish the seal of approval so click the picture below to check it out! Henry is a friend from Liverpool now working in Paris, and he came for lunch on Saturday (I made a spinach and feta strudel with tomato coulis and mi-cuits au chocolat), after which we went out to meander round the Latin Quarter in the drizzle until we found La Fourmi Ailée (the Christmas tea there and is very good!)

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Miam miam!

Last Monday, I ended up doing okay in that Version vocabulary test, and finally contributed in class! We usually read through an (English) literary text and then put forward translation suggestions in French, phrase by phrase, but most anglophones I know (bar my friend, Tilly) struggle more with Version than with Thème… so basically, this was an accomplishment for me! As for my other classes? My Italian teacher is permanently frustrated by us not already being fluent in Italian, while my Spanish teacher sounds like Kermit in French (his voice is so distracting that I learn very little from him). On a completely unrelated note, I still haven’t mastered how to deal with the whole vouvoiment-tutoiement transition but I get the impression other French people find it hard too (Cyprien’s done a rather entertaining vlogpost about this dilemma if you can understand French!)

Kermit la grenouille (Kermit the Frog)

Kermit la grenouille (Kermit the Frog)

On Tuesday I did a DST on ‘Lettre a mon juge’ in thème, where I was essentially clueless. Apart from popping back to my flat for a camembert baguette, I spent the whole of Wednesday speaking with Victoria Wolff in Galerie Vivienne, and came back late that day to chat with Véronique from Les Sœurs Sucrées who very kindly gave me some petites meringues (photos below) Thursday consisted of getting covered in petites brûlures in judo, having to talk in bad Italian in front of my whole class, and failing miserably in a DST for a another Version module (on journalism rather than literature). I’m praying that scrawling ‘Erasmus’ all over my work will bump up the marks somehow. A good friend back in Liverpool, Sarah, said hi on Friday. I may have stalked her a bit and found some very informative tutos (tutorials) she posted. You’ll appreciate them better if you’re Francophone (warning – some inappropriate content). More to the point, she reminded me of how much I miss Liverpool. I speak to people from home pretty regularly and I hadn’t forgotten that I miss it -it’s hard to- I just tend to put it out of my mind.

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Les Halles feels like home, mostly because there’s rhythm to life now (albeit a very frénétique rhythm). Seeing Souheil and popping into the boulangerie for meringues is as routine as climbing all those flights of stairs to my front door. I know which SDFs I’ll bump into depending on my route through Forum des Halles, and that I won’t get through my day without mumbling “non, ça va merci” at some South Asian bloke trying to sell me a rose by poking my eye out with it. I know I’ll need to hold my breath down the escalators if I’m going through Châtelet (due to the cheesy stench perforating the air) or that I’ll have to push (in a rather epic manner) through a huddle of clueless tourists fumbling at the barriers to get to line 4. It is definitely home. But I can’t walk around Lark Lane and see the leaves falling off the trees in Sefton Park. I can’t sit in the pub with LUJJC after training or wander down Bold Street in the rain after class. I can’t ride down Parliament Street on my bike at a stupid time of night either. I know that when I leave here, I’ll be longing for Paris in the same way, but I’m aching for Liverpool now.

Anyway, I’ve been reading a book called 365 Expressions Expliquées and will now be posting a few random phrases and their origins/meanings from this book (and elsewhere) on a regular basis! My friend Jason from fac called me yesterday, and I had to rush off the phone before finishing explaining something. He used the following phrase: Tu m’as mis l’eau à la bouche means literally ‘You’ve put water in my mouth’ or as we’d say in English ‘You’re making my mouth water’. I wasn’t discussing food at the time, so what it actually meant in this context was ‘You’ve got me intrigued now’, so there you go – phrase of the day! With that I must retire to my cave to carry on working. Much as I enjoy learning vocabulary, and I really do because I’m a little sad like that, I have to say that I’m not in the best of moods as regards the quantity of work I have laid out for me over the next few weeks… here’s a song to express my current feelings towards translation: Words are Dead ;)

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