Je ne parle pas Francais

That's the French sentence I remember the most. I trained myself to say that over and over again before I was even off for France. It means: I can't speak French.

The other day when I was taking pictures on my own in the Petite France, downtown Strasbourg, I was standing in front of a building and drinking my Fanta orange. A middle aged lady came to me and started to speak in German.

"Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah... Blah blah blah blah blah blah?"
It sounded like she was asking for a direction.

I let her speak some more.

"Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah?"

I said, "Do you speak English?"

She said, "Ooh, only English?"
And then she left.

The next day I was walking around the Capucins neighbourhood near Vincent's apartment. I felt a little tired after a while but I couldn't see any benches around for me to sit on. There was no park in sight either. So I went to this bus stop and sat there while examining the bus routes.

An old lady suddenly turned to me when a bus stopped in front of us and asked in French, "Blah blah blah blah blah?"

"Je ne parle pas Francais," I gave her a little smile.

She just waved her hand and left.

And last week, Vincent and I attended a barbeque party held by his friends, most of whom I happened to know because they were in Bali when I met Vincent. And still, a lot of them had trouble communicating with me.

But one of them, named Nicole, I guess, came to me, laughed and kissed me and spoke in French delightedly, "Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah, Carla!!!!"

My magic sentence: "Je ne parle pas Francais."

This time the reaction was more pleasant than the other previous experience, maybe because they knew me already.

As soon as they heard me saying that, everybody cheered. And one of them who could speak a little English remarked, "Carla, you can speak French now!!!"

I thought Je ne parle pas Francais means I can't speak French. Hihi...


    I can't believe you don't even use your chance, 1 month in Strassbourg, to join a language school???

    There must be a beginner's class that you can join, say, 3 hours a day while waiting for Vincent... after 2 weeks you should be pretty good to go... at least to ask for directions and answer with MORE than just Je ne parle pas Francais!!!
    Maybe you even get new swear words in French too,

    anyway, I'll see you on Friday. TWO MORE DAYS TO GO, hoorayyyy!!!! I think our hotel's address is already in your e-mail.
    It's going to be the Mercure Sud France something?

    You have my number.

    Strassbourg, I'm coming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. yeah well, Vincent only worked the first week I was here. Then he's been on holiday. Why would I waste my time taking a language course? :P But I'm learning independently. Vincent bought me this book with a CD of how to pronounce things. I'm learning very very very very very very slowly. Hihi...

    But swear words? I know one! MERDE!!! That's a must to know!

  3. Orang sana irit juga ya kalo party, wonge sitik :p. Gak kek di sini, ngumpul kabeh rame kemriyek.

  4. ya kalo orang sini kan cuma party kalo ada acara tertentu lens. ultah ato merit gitu kan? kalo ngundang banyak orang, hadiahnya kan juga banyaaaak.

    mereka ngadain house party begitu mereka ada wkt luang. dan yang diundang pasti ya bawa sesuatu, tp normalnya wine ato snack gitu, yang buntut2nya juga diminum/dimakan sendiri. entah kenapa, rasanya kok lebih hangat begitu ya?

  5. iyo, kekeluargaane lebih terasa, timbang tamune akeh tapi gak kenal kabeh sopo sing disalami.

  6. hihihi...u made me laugh reading this, La. Salute for having been able to retold everything in such an honest way.

    c ya soon.