When I’m in other countries, I often try not to speak and just hope everyone assumes that my nationality is French. I find this to be a very good strategy until speaking is required. Then I usually say English words with a French accent. This is really what I do quite well. I have a real talent for speaking English with a French accent, like:
Oh! I am zo happy zat zo have ze bread. I love zee bread. Ze bread is like ze love. It is warm and doughy and fills zoo right zup. C’est la vie!
Basically, if I speak in English but then end it with “C’est la vie!” then everyone’s like, “Wow. What a great speaker of our language. Man, she is good.” I wish there was a job where all you had to do was pretend you were French but you could still speak English. Maybe I could see if I could be like a stereotypical French character in an American cartoon. Yes, I will look into that. I’m sure my parents would be very proud of that career choice. I know I would find it personally satisfying.
I just said the French equivalent of “totally.” I learned this at a French picnic I went to and when I said it, my French friends were tres impresse! I am unsure if this means I am talking like a French surfer. God, I hope so. I think I could really pull that off. Minus the surfing and the speaking of French. I am amazing at holding a surf board on sand.
Recently, I was in a foreign country that spoke Spanish: Costa Rica.
Here, when someone asked us where we from, I really wanted to say “France.” However, I said, “New York.” This gives the impression that I am from New York City, when in fact I am not. I am simply from the state of New York. It does not matter though. There are many ways to create a personal image and this is one of them. I like to call it “part of my brand” or “that’s just me being charming!” It’s like when I say, “I was super good at Clarinet when I was young, like nearly professional.” This is not really true. I was very good in seventh and eighth grade and then middle school ended, I stopped practicing and I became incredibly average and then suddenly, below average and then even more suddenly, no longer a part of the high school band.
I say that I want to be French, but really I don’t know. I like saying in French, “Je suis Americanne.” It’s like, “I’m American, but I’m a very certain kind of American.” It adds to my endless allure. It’s like, “I’m a hybrid species. I am the amphibian of cultures! I was there on the wall watching you, but you hardly noticed me because of my excellent cultural camouflage.”
Being in a Spanish speaking country and not speaking any Spanish except for five words (gracias, buenos dios, buenos tarde, si, buenos noche) , made me realize how quickly I need to learn French. Like super quickly. Currently, I am 33% fluency in Duolingo. I keep getting tripped up when Duolingo wants me to repeat the phrase back to them. Today I was angrily yelling into my computer “That newspaper is current! That newspaper is current!” I wonder what my neighbors think. They’re probably like, “Wow, don’t give that woman any outdated news.”
And, speaking of news, this just in: I need to go listen to a French podcast while I cook a healthy and delicious meal. Anyone got any recommendations? Also, I really like your high top sneakers. It’s cool they glow in the dark.
A bientot, tout le monde!