Friday, 30 July 2010

Randonnees en France

Day 2

Wandered up to the Boulangerie via the church. Lovely prayerful space. I am not someone who thinks that because a building has the label 'church' and looks like one, it has to necessarily 'be' so. Preached on Jacob and 'Bethel' (House of God) last Sunday which to me means that in a culture which saw God in very local and possesive terms, there was the emergance of some sort of understanding that God could be encountered anywhere he chose to meet with them - and they with him. 'Where two or three' and all that....

Anyway onwards and upwards to the bakers. I entered looking like the Englishman abroad and uttered the word 'Bonjour' as one does, only to get the response 'Hullo, Monsieur'. I spoke French in my English way, whereas Madame spoke English in her French way. Just got me thinking a bit about culture and communication. As I'm holiday I won't go too far with this. I just need to learn not just to speak French but to 'speak' French in a french sort of way. Maybe a gallic shrug here and grunt there. Discover your 'inner Gaul' is the sub- title of a book I'm reading at the moment. Communication is obviously more than simply saying the right words.


  1. Ok Malcolm... This is the way forward: When you are thinking about what to say next, punctuate your sentences - instead of with umm - with "baahhh" ...

    When considering which particular cake to take at the boulangerie, you must definitely pout. Don't say please. Oh and don't say I would like (je voudrais) but I take (je prends).

    Then whenever you leave, there must be a spoken word of departure such as "Merci, bonne journée" or "merci bonne soirée" or "merci, bonne fin de journée" (for the moments where it's not late enough to say have a nice evening but too late to say have a nice day)...

    I pull faces differently in france... And laugh differently in French... Definitely more than just words!!

  2. Absolutely - thanks for the tips - the bahhh one is very apposite as I spent some time earlier trying to converse with a builder (who has done work on this house) why I wasn't the person going to pay his bill...!!!