Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sneezing with an English Accent…

You have all seen the wartime film where the hero daringly escapes from the prisoner-of-war camp, then, using only the three words of German somebody wrote on the back of a cigarette packet for him, bluffs his way through Germany & Belgium & home to fight another day?

Well, "Mon oeil!" (see explanatary post with same title).

I have lived in France for over 30 years, understand written & spoken French perfectly, speak it fluently & even write it reasonably, by SMS-generation standards.
But when the phone rings, in spite of the mental beret over my eye, the mental baguette under my arm & the mental Gauloise hanging precariously from my lower lip, my Jean-Gabin-gutteral "Allo…" is always met by "Ah! Vous êtes Anglais?" where the interrogatory intonation is added for politeness, not from uncertainty.

The other day, I was in a tram in Strasbourg (there is a very good network of modern trams, some of which were even made in England) – anyway, I was in the tram & sneezed, whereupon a little old lady looked up and said, "Ah! Vous êtes…."

Parting thot: "Nice guys finish last" - Leo Durocher (sad, that one…)

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