Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Only in France, or in some alternate universe

Those are vampire ninja pumpkins in case you didn't know.
Bonjour mes amis,

So I got to thinking last night after my second dinner (I'll explain), you can't make this stuff up these things that happen here.  The guy walking down the street with a cat on his shoulder, the lady's apartment with a camouflaged door, being verbally assaulted by your 6 year old's teacher.  This is just in ONE DAY.  HOW CAN I NOT TELL THESE STORIES?!  Sure not everyday is filled with danger and intrigue, but when it rains it pours. 

I'm bursting with silliness!
                   Example #1:  Luke was invited to his friend Jean Louis' for a play date.  I have changed his name to protect his identity, pretty easy considering half of all male names begin with Jean:  Jean Baptiste, Jean Pierre, Jean Paul, Jean Christophe, Jean Fill in ze blank.  This was his second time going over there so I felt pretty good about it.  The only catch is that his mom, the very kind and sweet lady she is, doesn't speak a whole lotta French.  I have no clue what she is saying 90% of the time.   I am fond of her because whenever I pass her on the school drop off run, she flashes me her big genuine smile.  This is beaucoup awesome when you are surrounded by a population of non-smilers.  Or in the case of the grocery store cashiers the "I'm about to die" face.  Expat tip, if you want to perfect the opposite of smiling, just go to any Parisien grocery store and study the cashiers' expressions.

More juice!  More sugar!
I get a call from her about 20 minutes before Luke was supposed to come home last night.  All I heard was fatigue, dormir, mon mari, or it's possible I made that up in my head trying to figure out WHAT THE $%#@ she was saying.  Theo and I sprint over to her apartment.  It took me a good 5 minutes to figure out the 4 number door code because of the language barrier.  I'm in slight panic mode hoping Luke didn't have some kind of meltdown.

 We open the door and all is calm, well, calm for two six year olds playing.  The mom is wearing a Hello Kitty shower cap cooking up a delicious storm in the kitchen.  Apparently we arrived very fast, being in panic mode time really escapes me, it could be 5 minutes it could be 20.  It turns out if I understood correctly, that she had called me by accident when she was trying to call her husband.  Thus the mon mari I thought I heard (am I Sherlock Holmes or what!).  The boys had eaten, and she offers me a taste the delicious soup she was making.  I didn't want to be rude and I had almost no clue what she was saying so I said sure.  She fixes me an enormous bowl. Yum.  But I'm totally full from just eating dinner.  Luckily our dinner was soup also, to at least it was kind of healthy.  I'm scarfing this delicous soup thinking, wow, I can't believe I'm eating this HUGE bowl of soup at 8:00pm (late on a weeknight for our crew) when I just ate dinner, weird.

Luke, Jean Louis, and Theo are playing with the toys scattered around the room.  There was much more of a laissez-faire vibe going on compared with our place.  Laissez-faire, calm, happy.  We gather up to leave and she gives me more food, a coconut dessert pancake.  She was making at least 20 of them.  I'm still curious to know why she was making so much food, I asked but, you guessed it, had no clue what she was saying!

We are family!

So I learned some cool things: you can hang out and befriend someone with whom you have a significant language barrier, you can still have calm and happiness in a house that is a bit disorganized, and kids doing whatever they want is NOT the end of the world.

A bientot mes amis!