Friday, February 04, 2005

Learning the Language

While loving the difference in diet available on the Cote d'Azur I can't help but hankering after some of the old unhealty dietary suppliments I used to indulge in Ireland. You just can't get good fish and chips, or a decent Irish stew and I have given to thinking as to how culinary differences came about. However, I know why French people don’t eat frys. Given that the eat all their food outdoors and frys are very greasy, and there fore reflect all light shone upon them with great intensity, I discovered one morning that the net effect of eating a fry on the terrace at 1130 am in the morning is severe but temporary blindness. Once in a while this may do no harm but perhaps every day would result in a nation of white sticked Labrador lovers instead of the poodle pinching prats that seem to inhabit a lot of this area. My French is progressing somewhat but still a long way to go. To give an example of why you should learn the language of the country before you go there……get this. I remember the weekend I spent humping tiles and cement all over the place with my ex father in law, who then gets on to the roof ( le toit) to fix the holes. He stands on a beam ( a tasso) with a bunch of tiles( les tuiles) in his hand, and, as earlier we had been talking about the piping (tuiot ) for the septic tank, my brain was beginning to get a bit numb. Anyway the beam cracks in the middle so I shout up "Hey watch out for the rotten beam"………"It’s nothing he says" …..I say “no the roof is rotten"……..he says "I know……".I say "Hey" ………..he says ………What?
"Look!"
" Oh S*@t" he says That’s a beam Colm not a tile. Apparently I had told him to watch out for rotten tubing, tiles, doors, trees, cups of tea, and apples at the end of the barrow, practically everything except the thing which was rotten.
Luckily it didn’t break right through, but actually I think it was only the other tiles he was standing on that kept him there till he spotted the problem. So the moral of the story is unless you are dead set on bumping off the inlaws, learn the lingo before you get here.

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