Thursday, July 26, 2007

L'amour rouge d'Antoine

I need some eggs so I drop by the neighborhood whole food store. I spy some potatoes and rocket greens and grab those as well. I'm at the checkout, located next to the cheese counter. I can't help but look. And what do I see? Since I'm in Germany: deutscher Käse.

But at the edge, almost hiding, were it not blushing so to speak, was L'amour rouge d'Antoine. How can I, a French student in earnest, pass up Antoine's red-hot love? The name is French but I see that the cheese is indeed made in Germany. "Ich nehme Antoine," I say and add Anton's (as the Germans actually do call him) love to my purchases.

The smiling cashier looks at me and asks if I'm French. Hmm, I wonder to myself, is THAT cheese French? I nod no but smile back pretty pleased that at least he's mistaken me for a Französin. Is it because of my Japanese Onitsuka Tiger shoes that I got in Nice? Because that's the only remotely "French" thing I'm wearing or have on me at that moment. I'll never know the reason because he's suddenly speechless and blushing himself when I ask, "Why, are the French really loyal to their cheeses?"

"Tschüss," he says his polite goodbye and I happily skip out the door
with my French goodbye, "Au revoir!"

Maybe I make a better French impression the less I say in Français?

La photo: Merci monsieur_foufou. À Ubud, Indonésie. Septembre 2006.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Close, but no cigar!

A refresher lesson about the pronouns qui and que in relative clauses has me trying for the proverbial French cigar. I want to hear those French congratulatory words: tu as fait un tabac.

I try. Close, but no cigar. After a few more botched practice sentences for qui and que I want to at least be able to say "close, but no cigar" in French. Turns out that if you can't get it right- the French don't even want to mention a cigar.

C'est presque ça, mais pas tout à fait.

tu as fait un tabac to be a success; literally: to have made a cigar
C'est presque ça, mais pas tout à fait one of many ways to say: close, but no cigar; literally: it's close to it, but not completely

La photo: Beer-thirsty bee. Avril 2007 en Allemagne.