Beware the Langue de Boeuf
Our Frenchness knows no bounds now, and our French experiences continue to amuse us. Geoff hasn’t found things so funny this week, when I chose a tin of what looked like nice beef in a Madeira sauce for him. Poor Geoff isn’t getting much red meat these days as I don’t eat it, so occasionally I find something to feed his habit, and this little tin looked like just the thing! On cooking it I must to admit to thinking it was liver, but after he’d finished I decided to look it up in my French dictionary, only to find to Geoff’s horror that it was in fact cow’s tongue. He had actually enjoyed it up to that point!!
Being in France is like going back to the 70’s in the UK. Lots of people smoking in bars, restaurants etc., and dog mess on every pavement, all the supermarkets selling food with so much colour in, and also lots of mono sodium glutamate. (I tried to buy some taramosalata, it was cerise pink, and the guacamole was fluorescent green.) The good part of this journey into the past is that small village shops are still in existence with lots of fresh produce, which is generally local and truly stunning in quality and taste. Of course, they also have the strikes and riots to remind you of that part of our history, too!!!
My French is coming along nicely, or so I believe. I certainly know the words for fuel shortage, pension reform, and strikes!! Before leaving for a trip to the shops, I’ll practice my likely conversation; only to find when I get to the shop and execute my phrase they answer me in English!!!!! How do they know – I thought I was word/accent perfect!!
This brings to mind a time a few years ago, when I was on a boat with my sister in Boulogne. She too believed her French was good, in fact better than mine at this stage, she wrestled with me for the radio to call up the port control, she asked in very broken French if we could proceed to the Marina, the port controller immediately responded “Madame I think its better you speak English”. I was elated!!!!!
J and G xx