July 5, 2012

How romantique: English with French words with an Indian accent

I) Je suis un douche-bag

I realized my english is screwed thanks to living in France for close to 3 years. It began when I asked one of my house-mates  "Do we have a douche on this floor?" I answered the pensive look of the girl by a gesture of bathing in a shower followed by my peanut brain lighting up and me blabbering "Sorry I mean a shower." Apparently, the girl showing the apartment was fluent with a couple of European languages and she tried her best to control her laughter; I was glad that she did not take it offensively. My friend who dropped me to my dorm/apartment told me that I should stop using douche. A quick urban dictionary look up confirmed that I should stop using a term for vaginal cleanser for a shower. It was the beginning of the embarrassment that followed in the next couple of days. Some of the weird moments are as follows.

II) Tu comprends?

"I did not comprehend?" was what I muttered and the one talking to me did not seem to comprehend as to why I muttered I did not comprehend. My peanut brain lit up in a few milliseconds of observing the thoughtful look and I answered "I mean I did not understand." Luckily this had happened during my last visit to San Franciso so thanks to the deja vu my peanut brain was bit faster this time and I guess the person was already trying to make his point clear to me. For me it was another C'est terrible! in every sense of the word terrible in French.

III) Votre Nom SVP

While creating my account at the bank I responded "Rao --- Err! AAh! Oh!" out of habit to the question "You Name?" Thanks to this weird response the one creating the account gave me the form to fill. I am glad she did not consider my response as a bank raid by a weird hippie who looked high and and made weird sounds. I guess that saved me a lot of the embarrassment. The first embarrassment was really giving my surname (Nom) instead of my name (Prenom).  Finally the one creating my account was glad when we talked about places to visit in India and Europe.  Once the account was created I responded to her शुक्रिया with an american accent with a "धन्यवाद" followed by a "Bonne vacance!" with an Indian accent.  

IV) Excuse moi ou Pardon!

During my first bus ride I randomly chose between "Excuse me" and "pardon" but I guess the people gave way to the weird haired brown skinned hippie who swapped French and English words and pronounced them with a thick Indian accent. I guess my accent and my hair saved my day because they guessed it was better to give way to this homeless looking wierdo!

V) Enchanté

At my first party the first girl to whom I said hi to thought I was  a bit desperate when I blabbered something like "Enchanted" instead of "Nice to meet you." I realized Nice to meet you was the phrase to say. For the girls later, it was "nice to meet you". Sadly no was glad to meet me at the university or I guess the convention is slightly different in an official environment. On the bright side it could have been much worse if I told "Enchanted" to a couple of blokes. However, I am really glad that I still think twice before bisous.

Grande finale) Recette des preservatifs
To conclude, I am glad that all these embarrassments are petite compared to when I told one of my colocataire during dinner, "Pourquoi vous aimez votre repas avec des préservatifs" which roughly translates to "Why do like food that has condoms." I can still remember the piercing look in her eyes.

I only hope that I do not look like this!

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