Notes to Self

Today’s entry is reposted in its entirety from Chez Loulou: A Taste of Life in the South of France, the blog of Jennifer Greco.   Jennifer lives in the south of France with her husband, two dogs and a cat.  She is a chef, writer, photographer and French cheese addict.  

by Jennifer Greco

Olonzac Market Day

The expression “I almost had to give up my firstborn child” does not translate into French. Use it and they’ll think you’re certifiable.

Your neighbors and your hairdresser will never stop commenting on your weight gain or loss.

There’s a reason behind la priorité à droite. You will just never understand it.

The type of bra you prefer is a balconnet, not a banquette*.

As soon as they learn that you’re American, they’ll assume that you’re rolling in dough. The expression “rolling in dough” doesn’t translate either.

Stop trying to order your steak à point*. It will always arrive bleu*, no matter what.

That sweet looking, little old lady standing uncomfortably close to you in line at the boulangerie is trying to cut in front of you. Stand your ground.

It is de l’eau* or un verre d’eau*. Get that through your head already.

The day that you’re running late for an appointment in town is the day that all the streets on your route will be shut down for a manifestation.

You will never be able to pronounce the words grenouille* or moelleux*. Stop embarrassing yourself by trying to.

You will continue to have those incredible “oh my god I live in France” moments. Savor them.

As soon as you get comfortable and think you’ve got this whole living in France thing all figured out, remember that you really haven’t.
And remember to breathe.

*banquette – seat
*à point – medium
*bleu – rare
*de l’eau – some water
*un verre d’eau – a glass of water
*grenouille – frog
*moelleux – soft or mellow

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4 responses to “Notes to Self

  1. Hi Jennifer
    Unpronounceable word: rentrer
    Untranslatable phrase: un train peut en cacher un autre.
    Best wishes
    Phil (Kevin and Matt’s neighbor)

  2. Hi Phil! (this is Jennifer)
    Rentrer isn’t a problem for me.
    Ecureuil (squirrel) is a nightmare however! And our French friend says that the English word “squirrel” is a nightmare for her. :)
    Never heard that phrase before….

    See you in a few weeks!

  3. regarding “You will continue to have those incredible “oh my god I live in France” moments. Savor them” i tend to agree

    i guess every foreigner living in paris will never get tired of being thankful that he is actually in the city of love ;-)

    cheers!

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