Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Man and Other Common Enemies

One can master all of the technical aspects of a language and call themselves fluent, but one cannot say that they are truly bilingual until they are able to tell jokes and negotiate in that foreign language. I have officially given up on French humor. Their dirty jokes offend me, their sarcasm is completely lost on me and I make people laugh by saying normal things that aren't meant to be funny at all. The ability to negotiate in French, however, is my personal holy grail and I am on a quest to obtain that skill.  

The French love to say non. No is so much faster and easier than yes, yes requires work, responsibility and follow through. Whereas a quick and simple non gets the person asking you the question out of your hair instantly.... if you aren't French that is...

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Fire Part II

So there we were, surrounded by art, breathing in oxygen and staring at our neighbor pouring bottled water into a bowl for her cat. It was all very surreal.

Our building (and our apartment) has no smoke detector and no sprinkler system which is the norm in Paris. Although people assure me that there is a law in place that will require them to be installed by 2015... as an American that is accustomed to seeing fire detectors everyone it is hard for me to imagine that this law wasn't already in place years ago. It's like stepping back in time to an era when people thought cigarettes weren't bad for you and that seat-belts were a nuisance.