Tuesday, January 10, 2006

"La meme chose"

For those that hope to learn some French words through me..."la meme chose" (with a little carrot thingy on top of the first m) means "the same thing". I constantly am saying it in my head. I love how it sounds when people say it out loud. The "meme" sounds just like the Hebrew letter. I also like to hear people say "d'accord" which means "okay". It sounds German and I haven't been able to say it correctly yet. I constantly want to pronounce each and every letter and that is VERY wrong.

On Monday, I got very frustrated in class. Our prof was repeating the word for money (l'argent) as well as rubbing her fingers together (the international gesture for money) to illustrate what she was saying, but I just wasn't getting the word. After about a minute of me looking at our teacher as if she were speaking another language that I could not understand, the Brit sitting next to me snapped, "It's 'money' for god's sake." Duh...I got that. I suppose I was sitting there hoping that the word would begin with a "mon-" sound. I was annoyed that I wasn't able to officially change the French word right there in my class. "Oh Emily does not like it? Let's change it."

One of my classmates asked me if Annecy is similar to Lake Tahoe. I never thought about it, but actually believe that they are very similar. Darin believes that Annecy is a much larger town/city than Lake Tahoe and I would agree.

There is a set of brothers in my class who are from Israel. It took me a few days to feel comfortable enough to approach them regarding our religion because I am slightly afraid to tell people that I am Jewish. The younger brother told me that Annecy has a small synogogue. I am interested to check it out, but am afraid to go there as well. I told them that it is going to be hard for me to not be with family over certain holidays (especially those that require massive amounts of delicious food) and they mentioned that we should all get together for Passover (yea!). I wonder if I will be able to find gefilte fish in Annecy...

After class, Darin and I had the incredibly exciting experience of doing our laundry at the lavomatique. Washing clothes is expensive! 15 kilos to wash costs 8 Euros and 7 kilos costs 4 Euros. To dry, it's 1 Euro for 10 minutes and our loads required 20 minutes in the dryer. But before we put our clothes into the dryer, we had to put it into this spinning machine to suck out all the water that the washer failed to do during the spin cycle and that costs 50 cents. It was so incredibly interesting to watch the water being sucked out of our clothes and travel down the pipe into the ground. Much better than TV! Last night, I learned how much Darin enjoys pouring detergent into the machines. He put so much into one of our machines that at one point all we could see was white foam in the circular window of the washing machine. We were hoping that the machine would be able to get out the immense amount of soap before all the cycles ended.

Today was my first day to have class in the morning. Annecy is FREEZING at 7:45 am. Getting up so early is difficult. I thought I was on vacation?! My professor was quite hyper which made the morning all the more fun and easier to stay awake. My professor (and Darin) tell me that I speak French with a Spanish accent. Someone from India speaks French with an Indian accent. Another woman from Russia speaks with a Russian accent. I, from California, speak with a Spanish accent.

This afternoon, Darin and I went to the Prefecture to start the process of obtaining my resident card. What bureacracy. Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork. I suppose I'm now experiencing what immigrants to the U.S. have to experience. First, we have to get our marriage license and birth certificates translated into French. Darin spent a few hours translating my birth certificate (which has like only 10 words on it) last night, but it was not good enough. The woman we spoke to wants us to fork out 65 Euros to have it translated by someone "special". Frustrating.


Alicia said...

Sounds like the British person in your class is really nice! :(
At least Angela represents British people favorably. So what city is your class in? Is it far from Annecy? I was in Lake Tahoe this summer! So I will equate Annecy to that until i see it for myself! :)
Why are you afraid to let people know you are Jewish?

R_Claw said...

Hi Em, this is great! You should write a book! Good way to make some $.

Miss you in the states. Love, R
P.S. My bedroom looks comfy.

Ben said...

Great blog Emily! You have an uncanny ablity to describe nuance. You manage to turn mundane personal events into amusing and intresting stories. Very impressive. As your freind already suggested perhaps you should write for money. Then maybe we will be able to go to expensive beer places and stop praying that the cheap place open! Very shortly you will be blogging in french. How do you say blog in French? best get yourself prepared.
Sorry to have provided your husband with yet another engrosing historical novel that will send him off to fantasy land. Hope you can forgive me.

Jill said...

Hi Emily - Great blogs, btw.

You writing about your Spanish accent with French words reminds me of people trying to identify my accent while I was in Australia. Maybe it had to do with the loud music playing in the pubs or the mass amounts of beer people were drinking, but I kid you not, everyday I got asked if I were Irish. At first I thought it was funny. But then when it kept happening I became puzzled, because I worked with 3 girls from Ireland with thick Irish accents and I know I sounded nothing like them. The girls didn't believe me when I told them this was happening. Well one day, they happened to be next to me when I was asked again, if I were Irish - they couldn't stop laughing. Now yes, of course people got it right the first time by asking if I were American or Canadian, but the best is when the following scenario would happen.

Man at bar: "You one of them Irish ones?'
Me: "No"
Man at bar: "Scottish?"
Me: "No"
Man at bar: "English?"
Me: "No"
Man at bar: "Canadian?"
Me: "No. American."
Man at bar: "Yeah, I thought I heard the accent."

Really cause he only mentioned 4 countries before I told him.

Can wait to read the rest!