Tuesday, September 07, 2010

If you can't beat them . . .

The other day on my way to a wine shop a woman stopped me and asked me where she could find a certain street. I said I didn't know. Presumably because of my accent, she interpreted it to mean that I couldn't understand and walked off in a huff for having wasted her time on me. When I arrived at the wine shop, I posed my question in French. The vendor responded in (bad) English and told me that he did not have what I was looking for. At the second wine shop, I again posed my question in French and the vendor responded in French, but corrected my grammar (I used the wrong gender).  I did get my revenge on my way home, however, when a Red Cross worker asked me for a donation and I responded "Sorry, I don't speak French."  Petty, I know, but it did make me feel better.

5 comments:

Andi said...

Love it - work every tool to your advantage! The baker in the town we lived in tortured me on a daily basis, she was such a snob, but her bread was too damn good to not buy there!

Amy75 said...

I agree, Andi! I'd pretty much put up with anything for the perfect baguette :)

Adam said...

Haha, the Russians are even worse for this! The language is so complicated, and they like to think of themselves as efficient people, so they think it's best to get things done in their bad English rather than your worse Russian. Even if you tell them you're a student and that you need to practice. Just keep replying in French every time they talk back in English to you and they get the hint eventually. X

Amy75 said...

Good advice, Adam! I need to just keep responding in French, but I get uncomfortable because paradoxically I think I'm being rude. I wouldn't survive a day in Russia. I was just in Bosnia for vacation - couldn't make sense of their alphabet :)

La Vie est Belle said...

I hate it when I speak to someone in French and they reply in English. If someone spoke to you in English, would you reply to them in French? So bizarre!