Everyone has a plan until they get hit

“Everyone has a plan until they get hit.”

~Mike Tyson.

Studying French for 1.5 months and then arriving in France thinking I’m a badass knowing how to sling a few sentences together was a notion rudely trussed, cooked, carved up and served back to me on a giant silver platter called humility by a certain French checkout girl yesterday at Decathlon.

I’d already been to the Bordeaux Apple Store (which is awesome), Animal’s World for pet supplies (also awesome), Orange and Ikea and flattered by people taking my money into thinking that I’m doing OK. Standing at the back of the line at Decathlon at the end of the day a checkout girl hurls a handful of words at me and waits while the entire line turns around and stares at me. I completely froze and couldn’t utter a word of french. I leaned over and in squeaky english said “I don’t speak french” and wanted to die. She gesticulated wildly at the line next to me and I walked over there and she stopped gesticulating. I still have no idea what she said.

I started today screwing up my first verb “parlez” instead of “je parle” after I was sure I’d at least get that right. Learning French and actually speaking it is like going from boxerobics to Mike Tyson swinging at your head.

5 thoughts on “Everyone has a plan until they get hit

  1. Try first speaking Afrikaans and then when they are puzzled you and they will default to English. I find this works for me.

  2. I traveled around France with just a phrasebook and did just fine. The problem you get is that some of the people like to score points against foreigners who are trying their best to speak French. It’s almost as if they despise you for some reason. I got on great with the older folks, but the kids just had such a chip on their shoulders it made me wonder what their problem was. BTW I picked up the accent well enough for them not to realize I was English, and they only found out when my buddy started chatting to me in English. Lolz eh?

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