Theater class is just over and I’m sitting in the Métro on my way home. A goodlooking Italian woman who wears a lot of black eye-liner sits opposite me. She happens to be one of the participants in my theater group. Her rolling r’s and her loud voice and melodious intonation put her in the center of attention of the whole train. She’s been in France for 5 months and is still working diligently on improving her French. She has therefore bought a colorful little note-book in which she jots down all the new words and expressions that she hears or learns. I ask her to show me her list as I’m dying to see what new words she has learnt.
Me: What is that word, raquin?
Her: Don’t you know it? My colleague taught it to me, it means “cheap”, as in “cheapskate cheap”. You can say je suis raquin.
She is proud to teach me a new word in my native language. But I’m puzzled. I have never this word before. I hesitate between blaming her for not hearing her colleague properly and blaming her colleague from coming from some very remote village in deep Belgium.
A woman who sits next to her and who’s apparently been listening to the whole conversation without being invited to, looks at me and moves her head from left to right meaning “no”, this word does not exist”. It makes me feel better as for a second I almost thought that might be a word I didn’t know.
Me: Are you sure? Because I’ve never heard this word before. Are you sure you don’t mean radin?
Her: No, no I’m sure, my colleague is French so she knows.
Have you ever thought that the first person who says something to you is always right and if someone says something different later, they’re necessarily wrong?
We continue looking at the list.
Me: And why did you need to learn the word prépuce*, if I may ask? to read the rest of this entry click Continue reading
I think I forgot to mention that I’m on vacation. Hence the lack of regular posting on this site. Plus I have so much to talk about, I don’t know where to start. First week, I went to Barcelona, last week, I was at my parents’ place in Bordeaux and now I’m headed for Morocco. Life is exciting. Everything would’ve been perfect if I didn’t have this killing sciatica that paralyzes my lower back, my right fesse and my leg. I’m supersticious. Sometimes. Last time I had sciatica, I went to the movies. It was the MK2, Quai de Seine in the 19th. The seats there are so comfortable that the sciatica suddenly left my body. So yesterday, I was in such pain, I decided I would go to the same movie theater, sit there, whichever movie they played and hopefully get rid of my sciatica. They happened to show a fantastic movie there. Two Days in Paris. I highly recommend it. If you already hated France, you will hate it even more after having watched this movie. It’s great.
Believe it or not, when I left, the sciatica was gone.
All my friends say,
I’m a serious basket case it’s all in my head. I swear, there are good spirits at the MK2 Quai de Seine.
Sciatica is back today.
Talking about good spirits, it reminds me of my trip to Montserrat outside Barcelona. Yes, you know Montserrat, a little monastery hanging from a cliff where Virgin Mary went “hi ya’ll there!” one day in the year 880. Well, I went hiking there. I know it’s weird to actually see the word HIKING on this blog. First time I think I’ve mentioned something about sports. Well, if you exclude the time when I jumped into a ravine full of turd and saved the day, that is… While hiking, I saw beautiful sceneries. There were definitely good spirits out there in those mountains.
The Hills are alive!
Backtrack. The 7 of us rented an apartment in central Barcelona for a week.
People usually tell me that for a Frenchman, I’m friendly. I don’t know whether I should take that as a compliment, but since I’m a Frenchman and therefore lies do not scare me, I decide to take it as one. So even though I am generally naturally friendly, when the alarm clock rings at 3.45am to catch a plane at 6, I usually turn into a bitch (although the more appropriate term here starts with a C and ends in UNT). But I’ll tell you one thing: Never sleep with me! and if you do, never stay the night! Leave before you wake up next to the Beast without the inner beauty. At 3.45am, I hate the world, I hate myself, taxi drivers, friends, airport employees, flight-attendants, nasty overpriced croissants at the airport, cheap charter airlines, passengers who clap their hands upon landing etc, etc, etc. This feeling usually lasts until a more reasonable wake up time around 2 in the afternoon.
As a whole, I was as usual a pain in the ass all morning. Complaining a lot, sighing a lot, breathing really loudly and uttering the sounds pffff and rrrhôôô a lot when the charter tourist behind (he was a charter tourist, I wasn’t of course, I was just a misplaced first-class passenger fooled by a 60€ round trip) ordered 3 beers in a row at 6.05am.
But then, we arrived in Barcelona and for some strange reason, it all stopped. I don’t know what’s wrong with these Spanish/Catalan people, but they surely know how to put you in a different mode/mood as soon as you touch the ground.
I counted last night. I’ve visited 42 countries so far and I must say that Spaniards must be the most civilized people in the whole world. How can a country have so many friendly, handsome, polite, patient, playful and creative people all gathered in the same beautiful country? I am stumble. There must be something wrong there, I don’t know what it is, but please tell me that they all turn into macho monsters or unreliable jerks after a while. You know, just like us Frenchmen. A lot of people love us before they meet us, but when they start living with us they realize how unreliable and dirty we actually are.
The hardest part being that this feeling got worse and worse during the week. They all became sweeter and hotter by the day. I can only recall one unfriendly person during the whole week. A Policeman who yelled at us waving with his hand in the air a lot, shouting something that sounded like a Mexican drinking song. Admittedly, we were trying to park the car in a police station thinking it looked like a garage.
Anyway, so we finally got to Barcelona and headed for the Plaça Cataluna where our apartment was located. We got to town around 9.30 in the morning. A French woman from the agency told us we could meet her at 11 to get the keys. We were drained. I was put in a corner behind a suitcase to moan by myself. When the agency woman finally showed up, it was 3pm and I had already eaten 50 euros worth of tapas. In case you’re wondering, that’s A LOT of tapas. Then, we finally saw our apartment. A 120 square meter heaven on a pedestrian street, with a balcony overlooking a quaint little courtyard with lots of laundry hanging. The living-room had paintings of Greek gods and my bedroom had a huge black & white portrait of Audrey Hepburn on the wall. The owners were evidently gay.
Superb series of Variations on the theme “Audrey Hepburn” by Frog:
Ok! I’m drained. I’ve just come back from my vacation and my hectic sightseeing ambitions through Rome. So I’m actually more tired now than before I left. Thanks to FwAB TV, and if you feel like watching another of my nausea-causing videos, follow me on (parts thank god) of my rushing & hysterical sightseeing tour through Rome.
Sia, my absolute favorite singer of the moment, accompanied me on my Ipod through the whole trip. You may remember her from my New Year Greetings video. This time she’s singing eery & supernatural Numb, which is the track that is currently giving me mini orgasms each time I listen to it. Plus, the song gives a slightly soothing touch to my hysterical wanderings.
Hope you’ll like it.
I promised I was going to take you with me on my trip to Rome. Before I show you what I’ve seen of the city, let me first treat you to a short and really bad pixelized video of my home in Rome. This apartment is a delight, centrally located, enormous, well decorated, it even includes superb examples of pure Roman tackiness, such as richly decorated flowery plates and Jesus Christ checking us out.
I’m having a great time walking up the steep streets of this crazy place, am developing amazing thigh muscles and getting high on espresso at each street corner. Why didn’t anyone tell me one shouldn’t have as many as 8 Italian espressi in a day without turning into a hysterical version of Roberto Begnini on crack?
Sorry, but I have to leave you as I’m on my way to enjoy the seafood carpaccio place that Ms. Mac recommended. Then I guess I’ll have a gelato and drive my scooter with my windshield sunglasses on.
PS: And good luck not getting seasick watching this video. (I have serious Lars Von Trier ambitions, you see…)
Don’t you just hate me for being in Rome for a whole week, doing my favorite activity in the world = NOTHING!
Finally, I’m taking a well deserved vacation. (sush, I did deserve it!). I’m staying in a magnificent apartment in central Rome, it’s so big, I even get lost between each of the three bedrooms. A little video of the apartment and another one of Rome are on their way, provided my laptop starts working again. It suddenly turned mad last night, every time I move the mouse on the screen, everything it touches turns pink! And it leaves pink strays all over the screen. I checked for possible viruses or even spywares, but nothing. Are there any computer geeks out there who could explain what’s happening to me?
A few first impressions from Rome:
– I didn’t think it was possible, but everything here is even worse organized than in France. Today, I went to the Colosseum: One line for the ticket, then another line for the audio thingy, then one other line to leave your passport as deposit for the audio thingy. (ok, how tacky is it to get an audio thingy? I know, but it was either that or the live Aussie guide, who kept on calling me “mate” all the time. I don’t know why the sentence “you wanna join our tour, mate?” sounded more like “you wanna get totally ripped off by an Aussie Rome guide wannabe, mate?”. Give me a Giuseppe or a Francesca, but Shane (shine) from Australia (Austraylia) lacked in authenticity and didn’t really justify the 21€ he was asking for, for a guided tour). Plus calling me “mate” is one sure way to get rid of me.
– Very wide sunglasses as wide as windshields are fashionable in Rome. I was surrounded by Italian teenagers earlier today, they all had such wide sunglasses, I thought for a while I had ended up in a Fort Lauderdale home for senior citizens. For so far, the latter have been the only ones I’ve seen wearing such large sunglasses.
– Tight and revealing pants are also back in fashion. No retiree association here though.
– Italians like to read behind my back here at the internet cafe. Che cazzo vuoi, stronzo?
– I took a few Italian lessons before coming here. My Italian is very limited, although, as you may know, I have no fear and I happily try it out everywhere and all the time. None of the Italians I’ve spoken to so far, have answered in Italian. I suck!
– I had a “Ruin-overdose” this afternoon, I saw so many of them between the Colosseum and the Palatino that I just ran to the nearest modern piece of modern architecture, just to be reminded of the fact that it is 2007. I have yet to find this modern building though.
– I have never seen such beautiful churches, the details and the richly over-the-top golden glitzy decorated ceilings in Santa Maria Maggiore made me shed a few tears of joy yesterday. OK, that was a lie, but I felt I had to express the lyrical and baroque state I am currently in.
– In spite of all the beauty that overwhelms me this week, I am still thinking of you, dear readers. See what a generous soul I am…
Now, you stay tuned for some AMAAAAAZING videos this week (if I manage to sort this computer out that is.
And remember, you have 6 days left to send me your Frog Academy entry!
Basil flavored kisses.