Paul is a student at BoostMyFrench. He’s currently on vacation in France and he is sharing his adventure! Here is his verbatim testimony.
My frantic and fantastic French vacation
There is so much to share so far!
You’ve really helped me progress with my French and my experience here has been very satisfying. Both my comprehension is better than on my last visit to France and so is my language production.
Many times now when I can’t understand something I now at least understand the word I don’t know and can look it up later or ask for clarification. So often before I would just get lost in the sea of unfamiliar sounds. This for me has been the biggest advantage of our work on my new tenses - conditional, subjective, and simple future. I may not use them much yet but I can often recognize them in conversation and not get lost in the exchange.
Three small language victories…
<img src="/images/news/paul-taxi.jpg" alt="In a taxi."/> <figcaption> <p>In a taxi.</p> </figcaption>
I had a 45min conversation with a very nice North African taxi driver with a beautiful accent. We discuss politics, weather, his work, and I joked around about the intense driving and drivers in Paris. He told me I had a good accent and I gave you credit. Ya!
In Paris, I managed a long complex exchange at the Orange store getting my iPhone setup with a new SIM card for France. It was nerve-wracking for me because the store was packed. I feel like I’m on stage somehow when speaking in French in crowds. Oh well. The woman helping me was super nice as most people here are I’ve met.
<img src="/images/news/paul-breakfast.jpg" alt="Petit déjeuner."/> <figcaption> <p>Petit déjeuner.</p> </figcaption>
I checked into my house in the tiny town of Barbizon all in French. Lots of detail…
But after about 10 minutes of basic conversation she asked me where I was from and I misunderstood and said Paris. But she meant from what country and then she quickly ASKED ME IF I WAS FROM FRANCE! Jesus Christ. Then my brain melted and I promptly forgot the phrase for “the United States” and accidentally substituted the Spanish version and my cover was blown. LOL!! I must have just been mumbling just the right code of “D’accord”, “Bien Entendu” and “Ouais”…
And an epic fail…
<img src="/images/news/paul-supermarket.jpg" alt="Self-serve scale at the supermarket."/> <figcaption> <p>Self-serve scale at the supermarket.</p> </figcaption>
My daughter and I went to a giant Super Marché today and wondered all over the place looking for various grocery items. The store was truly MASSIVE, acres, and the line to check out was highly organized in a weird way and we were nervous that we were some how in the wrong line.
<img src="/images/news/paul-chocolate.jpg" alt="Chocolate aisle at the supermarket."/> <figcaption> <p>Chocolate aisle at the supermarket.</p> </figcaption>
Finally at the check out the cashier grabbed my lettuce right off and ask me something that was totally mysterious. I just did a Hail Mary and told her the cost. She said something else that was also a mystery. I felt pretty small. This was how the whole thing went. I just couldn’t understand anything she said. In mist of this she charged my credit card as a debit card and at the end of it all I realized that we had to BUY sacks. F*ck! See image below - but we just had to fill our trunk with groceries in a most unconventional way and have a big laugh.
<img src="/images/news/paul-trunk.jpg" alt="Unconventional groceries stacking :)"/> <figcaption> <p>Unconventional groceries stacking :)</p> </figcaption>
To be continued…