We’ve been back from France for about a year and a half but I can’t stop thinking about the food, the people, and the language. Some days, when I’m walking around downtown, I hear people speaking French and I try intently to listen in – although I quickly realize I’ve forgotten the language and don’t know what they’re saying. That doesn’t stop me though. I listen anyway.
Then, just the other day, Tilly and I were walking back from Little Italy and saw what looked like a somewhat new French Cafe. The sign is what brought us in though… “Free French Lessons on Saturday and Sunday.” I quickly talked with the owner, who was obviously French, with his outrageous accent and mannerisms. I was secretly hoping he’d be philosophical and dismissive of me, just so I could feel at home again. But even without the smug attitude, it did. It felt like I belonged there again, with their fresh croissants and beautiful language.
I looked forward to trying their baguette and espresso soon.
Today, I went to the lesson, and it was packed. Every seat was full of Americans butchering the French language (Saturdays are for beginners). The teacher was young, but too shy for a somewhat noisy café, so it was difficult to hear him, even though I stood about 3 feet from him. Learning a language without hearing the intricacies is difficult at best.
By the time I got my order in, there were no seats left. So, because of the soft-spoken tutor and the lack of seating, I relegated to have my croissant and iced tea outside in the sun. It was somewhat disheartening not to be inside listening, and besides feeling like I was the bad kid in school who got sent outside the room, I started to think about France again – how I loved it, how I miss it, how we were challenged by our travels there, our friends, and more.
Perhaps I’ll try the advanced class tomorrow instead. Perhaps I’ll be a bit early, just in case. Perhaps I’ll have a wonderfully scented, perfectly tasting, warm baguette and an espresso while I fumble through some “bonjour”s and “Je ne peux pas croire que c’est pas le beurre!”