Bonjour encore. We had intended our vacation to be a foray into relaxation, with lots of reading, writing, and walking. It turned into a much more intense time, owing partly to our generous hosts, who set up several meetings with REAL FRENCH people for us, and partly due to the fact that it was cheaper to rent a car for a week than for two days. So we added a trip to the Loire Valley.
A lot of the wonderfulness of our trip is thanks to Mr FS (aka Mr French Speaker) for his excellent French. All I have to say is STUDY YOUR LANGUAGES. Contrary to popular belief, not many French people outside of tourist centers know English very well. One French person told us that the French have an "orgeuil" about their language. And so consequently, my efforts at French have been met with patience and appreciation. Really, everyone has been cheering me on, as I struggle to get to the end--or even to the middle--of my sentence. Usually, I turn to Mr. FS for aid.
Because of Mr. FS's French, we had an invite to a family dinner with friends of our hosts. We also spent two days in Brittany with other friends of our hosts. While that invitation pre-dated anyone's knowledge of Mr. FS's proficiency, we had several meals en famille, one of which included a discussion of France's connection with the slave trade. Very intellectual.
Mr FS meets with admiration everywhere he goes. Apparently, his accent is hard to place and several French people have asked if he is Spanish! Every word you can attempt in the language of your country of choice will increase your experiences exponentially.
Even though I have been a tag along on this trip, I did manage to come out with a pretty good sentence in week 2. In fact, my jaw dropped when I got to the end. Hope this is correct. Speaking of Miss Em, my organized daughter, I said, "Elle fait ce qu'on doit faire." Even if there are mistakes, I think that's pretty good after almost 40 years since my last French lesson.
OOPS! I detect a bit of orgueil there!