Monday, January 16, 2012

Le French Club in my La Blog: Brighton, England

I believe I have a knack for languages, I mean I am Canadian so I had to learn French in school. I lived in Greece where I picked up some Greek, spent 8 months in Arabic speaking countries, and have lived and travelled in many countries in Latin American so my Spanish is pretty decent. I studied Portuguese in Rio so it says I speak Brazilian Portuguese on my Facebook.

Well in reality I haven’t spoken French since high school and at the time I was almost failing. I was starting to pick up a bit of Greek but when I lived there all my customers in the bar where I worked were from England and the only reason I got hired was for my English skills, it certainly wasn’t for my waitressing skills or lack thereof. Now all I remember really is courtesies and curses. As for Arabic who am I kidding I came back from eight months in Egypt, Jordan and Israel with an English accent, I was saying “innit” “wanker” “piss off” and calling guys girlfriend’s their missy. I doubt that my Portuguese is decent enough to allow for it to say I speak it on my Facebook page. It’s quite deceitful really like saying I am in a relationship with someone on Facebook when really the closet I have come to a relationship is over staying my welcome with quite the attractive local in a certain country in South America. As for my Spanish I would say it is ok but really? I have spent the equivalent of three years in Spanish speaking countries; normal people would be fluent by now!

I seem to deny all of the above and just go with, “yeah I speak French” or “well yeah I speak Portuguese, says it on my Facebook now doesn’t it?!”

…and that is what got me into trouble when I agreed to go to a French club with my English girlfriend. She wanted to see a guy who runs it and to practice her French, which by the way is actually really good. This particular guy in my opinion was acting and treating her like a dick…funny thing, his name rhymes with dick, coincidence?? That being said I don’t want to offend anyone so we won’t use any real names so from here on out in this blog posting he will be referred to as Dick.

Right so my friend wanted to visit with Dick and the supportive friend that I am I agreed to go to French club, because, um I’m from Canada and we all speak French right? Wrong! Soooooo wrong!

We arrived to the pub where the French club was already in full swing. My English friend had another supportive girlfriend tag along as well but she was a bit reluctant because she wasn’t too confident in her French. Not to worry I told her we will just sit together and get drunk, it will be fun! Meanwhile I find out she is originally from Switzerland and he first Language was French! I was the lone loser who could hardly utter two words in French.

I was squeezed in beside Dick and this older snobby English Lady who I found out spoke five languages and fluently unlike my ability to count to five in Arabic and say “may god be with you” and “god willing”. I could understand what they were all saying in French I mean I did study it in school so it is there somewhere hiding in a deep dark corner of my brain scared to come out. I was trying as well I really was but Spanish kept on popping out of my mouth, I would say a Spanish word with a horrible French accent. I felt like the characters from Pepe Le Pew, “La woof, la woof” Le Meow le Meow”.

Dick was preoccupied with the other girl that came with us so I got stuck talking to snobby French lady. She told me she spoke Greek and excitedly I wanted to tell her I knew some Greek but all I could muster was “Je Parle Greek” but I don’t really Parle (speak) Greek so much, I just really know a few words. She then asked me in Greek if I spoke Greek and I just stared at her blankly and eventually said I have no idea what you’re saying. She then got quite offended and told me off because she had just asked me in Greek if I spoke Greek and obviously I didn’t. She wasn’t so much a fan of me after that and every time I tried to say something in French she would correct me but in a rude and bitter unimpressed way.

So what do you do when some old tart is being a language snob to you where you hardly know anyone? Get another drink!

I ran to the bar many times just to speak English and swig back another glass of red. How did I get stuck with this horrible old lady and why did she hate me so much? At least I was trying!

Things really weren’t going so well, Dick wasn’t paying any attention to my friend and she was on the other side of the table with the French flowing out of her ever so easily recounting the summer she spent in France while everyone nodding knowingly. There I was dashing up to the bar to get away from Mrs. I- speak- five –Languages. Usually I’m not the one needing to speak English, usually I am the cool one who can speak the local language but apparently I have spent too much time in Latin America because when someone had to switch to English to ask a housing question it was on! No more French! We were talking in English and I didn’t care what Snotty English lady thought, she could go back to drinking her La Tea and eating her La cakes and go screw herself! Pardon my French.

So I did what any good friend would do and started chatting to Dick to get him on my side so he would pay more attention to my friend. He got my whole long drawn out English boy story and we brought the group analyzing of my boy drama to another pub with an open mic night, where even more wine was consumed. Turns out Dick has a brother, who isn’t such a Dick.

Just another random night in Brighton, England.

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