Saturday, February 11, 2006

Keeping it clean

Classes are going well, with the exception of one classmate who doesn't like having Bondi around - even in the next room. I had to bring him in this morning due to a water-outage in my apartment that might have required entry from a plumber. I tied him up outside the classroom, but still got a lecture from her. During the break a few people came up to apologise and ask that Bondi keep returning.

Today's classroom pickings en bref:

  • someone asked for the French version of the sniffier sense of whatever: teacher suggests "Bon...bref" which is an abrupt way to say "OK ... let's change the subject".
  • a change in meaning can hang on pronunciation e.g.Je ne veux plus de vin! ("I do not want any more wine", plus is pronounced ploo and has a negative connotation)
    Je veux plus de vin! ("I want more wine", plus is ploos and has a positive connotation)
    What about the ne? While it appears in written French, it is swallowed in informal oral French -so in a typical negation Je ne se pas ("I don't know"), the important part of the negation of Je se is the pas.
  • another example is baisser (to drop) vs baiser (kiss, or colloquially: fuck). Make sure you get the number of s's enunciated clearly when you're speaking to your partner. Later in the day I passed a cafe called Le baiser sale ie "The dirty ....".

For the afternoon I had a slightly belated birthday treat planned for myself - a 3hr spa package at Nickel, costing not much more than a 1 hour massage in the UK - except I also got a 1 hour facial, plus manicure and pedicure thrown in. It's the first time I've had my nails cut for me since I was a little kid, and you will all be relieved to know that my normally exemplary toenails are now gorgeous! Too bad it's not sandal weather.

The previous afternoon I visited a couple of English-language bookstores along the Rue de Rivoli, opposite the Tuileries. My favourite was Librairie Galignani, a handsome store billed as 'the first English bookshop established on the continent'.

A little further along is English chain bookstore/newsagent W.H.Smith which is much better stocked than any of its high-street brethren in the UK.  A 2yr old boy was squalling loudly in the latter store until Bondi came along and he started gurgling happily while stroking Bondi and playing with his ears.

1 comment:

  1. Belated Happy Birthday from across the pond. From the safety and comfort of my armchair, I've enjoyed your adventures through Europe. Through hurricane Katrina and the wrath of Wilma, we've managed to keep up. Be well old friend.
    - randallm