Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Notes from the Iberian Coasts Cruise (part dos) Alternate Title: French lessons for assholes

For the entire week leading up to the cruise, B -- who usually suffers from extreme motion sickness whenever he sits in the back seat of a car -- would spend a good 20 minutes of each day with his head back and his hands in the air and that Man Cold voice worrying over the fact that ooohhh gaaaah he's going to be sooo seasick and he will suffer and will sweat but most of all he will suffferrrrr. Which, as you can imagine, was always met with my sympathetic-wife-like response of "B! Can't you whine someplace else?! Wife Swap/Color Splash/I Didn't Know I was Pregnant is on! GAH. Inconsiderate asshole."

So as we stepped on to the boat, visions of B projectile vomiting off the ship's balcony were dancing through my head. Obviously -- and I'm sure you knew this was coming -- it was me who spent the majority of the first night on board lying on my back in our cabin, devoid of all skin pigment, sweating, staring at the ceiling and wondering if I would even be able to crawl to the bathroom to upchuck my five-course dinner, should the need arise, while B was happily enjoying himself down at the ship's casino drinking beers and blowing euros (that's what she said). Thaaat's about right.

So about that boat. Since we were traveling with the press group, we had access to all of the nicest dining areas and amenities, which basically means we ate like kings for 10 straight days, while trying really hard not to behave like hungry orphans who had been eating nothing but cold porridge for the past year because holy escargot that food was INCREDIBLE. And that was just the food ON the boat.

After a night of uncomfortable seasickness, we docked at Marseille, France. B and I spent the entire amazing day walking up and down the cobblestone streets, ducking into cathedrals, struggling with our French, and enjoying fresh baguettes and coffee in little sidewalk cafes. And don't forget the beer and olives!

And here's the thing about French. Studying Spanish for six years does not in any way mean that you will be able to speak French. I know, it surprised me too. So while I can hold my own in a conversation held in Spanish, I'm about as good at French as I would be at performing a root canal. I'm assuming, anyway. I could be some kind of dental prodigy, but I guess we'll never know.

And when I don't speak a language, I have a slight but relatively constant paranoia that the people who ARE speaking in that language are talking about how stupid I am for not understanding what they're saying. Case in point: After our absolutely wonderful day in Marseille and anticipating another night of eating to the point of nausea, B and I decided to take a gander at the cruise ship's fitness center. On our way to the gym, we passed a couple from our group who were on their way back to their cabins after a little workout. Good luck, they told us, because the gym was packed. As they said this, a French tween passed us in the hallway, turned back and said something to us in French before hurrying onto the last open elliptical machine.

"That little ASSHOLE," I said to B because OBVIOUSLY he had just said something along the lines of "I'm taking the last elliptical machine, you fat, stupid Americans." And B was all "what?" And I was all, "did you HEAR what he just said to us?" And B was all "um, no, because it was in French and I don't speak French. Aaaand neither do you." And I was all "EXACTLY."

So yeah. Now besides "take a shower" and "put on pants" I've added "learn French" to my daily To Do list. So far, I've totally mastered get off that exercise machine, you little asshole so next time I'll be ready. Oh yes, I'll be ready. Obtenez outre de cette machine d'exercice, vous petit abruti!


Jess said...

I will help you get Rosetta stone

Becky Mochaface said...

I'm with you. He totally insulted you and then stole the last elliptical. French jerk.

rory said...

What's really cool is when you find yourself speaking loudly to foreigners as if volume will make 'em understand English.
Es muy hilarious.

Promotional Printing said...

I'm paranoid when it comes to things like that. When a person will look at you and will speak in a different language. I might think that they are saying something bad about me. I'm so paranoid.

Fragrant Liar said...

That was priceless. I can't believe you didn't use your Spanish on that little tweener!


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