Showing posts from June, 2012

A slice of Paris-- à la mode

A few days ago Sylviane at the Guerlain cosmetic counter reminded me of what I should be about this morning. On July 10 my family and I will be boarding a plane for Paris and my plan was to review what little French I know before then, particularly the polite phrases. (Ignorance is more palatable if spread liberally with grace and humility, I’ve found, in a non-English-speaking country.) So until the particulars of my daily routine went awry, I had been spending 30 minutes a day with Pimsleur’s tapes, about as basic as one can get.
I thought I was doing well. Bonjour. Au revoir. Comment allez vous?Ou est la rue Saint Jacques? You know the drill. Sylviane has been in the states for 35 years, and has lived in the south much of that time, but it has not slowed her Parisian accent one millisecond. I could barely manage to understand her English, and certainly if I had tried my French, she may have doubled over laughing. I simply smiled a lot as I listened to her rapid history of the specia…