I am sorry to report that my french let me down again the other day. I had gone to the hairdressers for a trim and had hoped that either the mother or daughter who work in the salon would remember how I have it.
Unfortunately the daughter was off and the mother was busy painting some white haired lady a rather fetching shade of maroon, so I got the lady who speaks no english.
I knew the word for thinning but that was about it. So I pointed at the ad next to the chair at the suave looking frenchman and said "comme ca" like that. "Tondeuse" came the reply, which I knew was clippers. "Oui" I said, "trois,s'il vous plait"
As the clippers made their first cut, I knew I was in the merde. Either she didnt understand trois and thought I said un or number 3 on french clippers is a hell of a lot shorter than in the UK.
But what can you say when the first thrust is complete. " oh, I've changed my mind, please stick it back" or " thanks that will do, I fancy a reverse mohican" (not that i could have said either or not in a language she understood?)
I said nothing, sat still while my hair made piles on the floor and then smiled paid my €10 and left to rush across the road to the supermarket to buy a bobble hat
Wednesday, 9 November 2011
Tuesday, 8 November 2011
Toussaint is the french for All Saints. The date is the first of November and it is a bank holiday.
Whereas in the UK we are obsessed with the previous night, Halloween, fortunately the hype and doorway robbery of trick or treat, give us some money or we'll flour and water your windows, has not reached Champniers in a big way. We did have two small girls who arrived at fish and chip night dressed as ghouls who were regally treated by other customers to sweets and a few cents but that was it, thankfully.
To the French Toussaint, which is a Catholic commemoration of all saints is amalgamated with the Festival of the Departed, originally celebrated on the 2nd November.
This is a time when people visit their departed family and leave candles and chrysanthemums on graves making the cemetries a mass of colour.
Stores are full of chrysanths for a couple of weeks beforehand and huge quantities are sold to be placed on 1st November.
A word of warning One of our clients thinking how nice the flowers were, bought one for a french couple who had invited him to dinner. He got the same reaction as if he had taken a bouquet made into the words MUM or NAN to an english lady
the moral of the story, take a bottle of wine, it's safer!