French 101

Trip Start May 28, 2009
Trip End Jan 01, 2009

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Flag of France  , Provence,
Friday, June 12, 2009

French 101

Mike and Lorlinda are now in deep French country, and those French lessons better work because now it’s sink or swim. For the most part they’re staying afloat but there have been some near drownings.

To save on the Euros, they’ve been purchasing food at local supermarkets and storing it in a small ice chest, which Mike cleverly found in a boating store. However, the two did not expect that finding ice would become their daily challenge. It turns out buying ice is an American thing and not very European, or at least not French. It took awhile for them to learn this, and in doing so they encountered some very comical situations. Ice in French is "glacon" which sounds similar to the word, "glass" in English but with an "on" at the end.

One morning when they embarked out on their daily ice mission, they came across a huge supermarket/department store, similar to a Sam’s Club, called, "Carefor." When Lorlinda asked an employee in the frozen food department if they sold ice, she was looked at as if she was from outer space. So instead they purchased some staples, such as beer, etc. And Mike picked up some cheap T-shirts.

As they were checking out in the express line, Lorlinda decided to ask the checker if there was a store nearby that sold ice. The checker was very confused by her request, and assumed that Lorlinda must be asking for something else because nobody buys ice. The checker was determined to guess what Lorlinda needed, because her store sold everything, and it just wasn’t possible that there was something that could not be purchased from her store. The checker must have also seen this as an opportunity to practice what little English she knew on an American as she stopped ringing up the people who were waiting in the long line behind Mike and Lorlinda to assist them. Assuming that Lorlinda was mistakenly asking for ice, the checker started throwing out every English word she knew that rhymed with glacon or at least started with a "g." In reply, Lorlinda kept repeating in French, "No, glacon." Seeing that the line behind them was getting quite angry, Lorlinda tried to politely cancel her request. Then the checker in the next line, having overheard the conversation, decided to chime in and stop her line as well. Both checkers were determined to guess what it was that Lorlinda, "really wanted." Now there were two angry lines. When it looked as though another employee was about to join in on the puzzle game, Mike and Lorlinda made a quick exist. It was clear no one could understand each other. A bit of a Babel story.

After leaving the huge supermarket, they were both hungry for breakfast. Tired of salami and cheese sandwiches for breakfast (the typical French breakfast), they broke down and decided to go into the McDonalds (for a little comfort food), which happened to be in the same parking lot as the huge supermarket. Unfortunately, when they walked up to the front door it was closed and would not open till 10:30. Denied.

Lorlinda went back to the car and ate a salami sandwich. Meanwhile, Mike decided to wait it out till 10:30. When McDonalds did finally open, Mike without Lorlinda’s French was left on his own. Remembering all his French from the movie, "Pulp Fiction," Mike tried to order a pounder by asking for a "Le Royal." This not being on the menu, Mike then settled for the "petit hamburger." As he pointed to the rolling menu screen, Mike got confused and said, "Yes, se, oui." The clerk thought this was very funny, and when Mike pointed to the ice bin below the drink station, she gladly gave them for free. So, from that day forward, they got their ice from McDonalds.

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ozziesescape on

Re: Ice Stories
Back to work menana. Thanks for the comments.M

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