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Monday, June 20, 2011

… Peaches … So she smells like peaches … [Part 2]

Everything in France was in French, even American movies, so I resorted to pigeons, which turned out to be a lot more interesting...
Hope you're enjoying this series so far. You can find the first part here. Cheers !
Feeding pigeons in the park quickly became my favorite activity. At least with them, language was not a problem. For the first few days, I was amused by TV characters speaking French. Something about the tone of the language was very charming, but everything in France was in French, even American movies, so I resorted to pigeons, which turned out to be a lot more interesting.

One day, the pigeons didn’t show up. I waited for them, but that didn’t do. Out of boredom, I took my purse, and started digging in all the stuff I had kept for memories in it. In a tiny pocket, there was a small picture of a biker who once hit on me in a deli with “I look a lot better in my own leather. Call me” written on the back. Between the L and M pages of my phonebook, a strand of hair commemorating the night my best friend decided that long hair wasn’t for me anymore was squeezed, wrapped in Kleenex. The highlight of my memorabilia was in the coin pocket: a folded piece of paper with a French poem on it. I started reading, and recognized the piece he had written about me. His memory brought tears to my eyes, so to shake it off, I stood on the park bench, raised my voice in my atrocious French accent, and continued reading:

« … Si tu la retrouves, souriante, loin de chez moi,
Prends la dans tes bras, et jure, qui que tu sois,
Que tu prendras soin d’elle mieux que je ne l’ai fait,
Que tu seras dès aujourd’hui l’ami, l’amant, l’amour parfait.
Une âme telle, si tu la mérites, il n’y en a qu’une,
Si tu la retrouves, c’est qu’elle te sourit dame Fortune »

People passing by looked at me, some smiling, others grinning; a few threw me coins, and right when my little show was over, a teenager snuck up on me, stole a kiss, whispered “Wow”, and left.

I spent two months in France. After two weeks of feeding pigeons, I discovered the French also had malls and libraries. I’d hang out in some stores in the morning, then head to the library, in an attempt to catch whatever scraps of French there were waiting to be picked up. I figured he must’ve let her move in with him, since I was already gone to feed French pigeons for two weeks.

« Excusez-moi, je vois que vous êtes une habituée »
It was a cool Monday afternoon, and I was sitting in the garden of the library, deciphering a French children’s book, when a tall brunette interrupted me. I looked at her and shook my head. I tried to think of anything French to say, but I only managed to stutter, then mutter “Crap I’m never gonna learn this stupid language” to myself.
“I’m sorry I don’t speak French”, I finally replied
I waited for her to lose interest in any possible conversation and walk away like all the others, but she didn’t.
“You come here often. You’re a fan of books for children ?” she asked in a somewhat awkward accent.

And there it was, my first actual conversation since I had arrived to this damn country.

[To Be Continued week]
Update: Find the third and last part here

Recommended media: La Tordue - Maurane (song)


June 21, 2011 at 11:45 AM Chantal Akkary

Can't wait to see what will happen next :)

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