Dear Diary 6

Dear Diary,
It is the long Easter weekend and because Monday is a holiday we are missing one day of school. In a way I’m disappointed and in a way I’m glad. Maurice is here and we have been doing a little exploring. My apartment is between what they call the lower cornishe and the medium cornishe-coast roads. This area is very hilly and there are roads cut into the sides of the mountain. There is even the high cornishe. It was on one of these in this area that Grace Kelly lost her life in a car crash.

We climbed up to the moyenne (medium) corniche and caught a bus into Nice on Sunday to see a movie and to also visit Maurice’s cousin and his wife. I have met them before and they are both very nice. I thought I would get a chance to use my French-what little I have-but, although I could understand most of what they were saying, I hardly got a word in in any language. The cousin is very funny and very talkative. I guess his wife would never get a word in if she didn’t start talking over him. So there I was, trying to listen to the cousin when his wife would also start talking. The cousin continued on talking to me-I wasn’t sure if I should look at him or her, sort of awkward-while his wife talked and then Maurice and she carried on a conversation. Yes, Dear Diary, three French speakers all talking at once. I think maybe I said three sentences in all and a few words scattered here and there. Luckily we had to catch a bus to get back up to Villefranche. I guess I got thrown into the deep end of the French swimming pool. I managed to float but not do any swimming, really.

They were discussing the world financial situation-especially the cousin-and American politics. Maurice and I had just seen the movie, Frost/Nixon, and I heard-some-of what they thought about American politics. I thought it was a great movie. I remember living through those days and being sort of ticked that Nixon never really said, “I’m so sorry America”. I think he was more sad that he got caught and couldn’t be the top man in America anymore. Anyway, I enjoyed how the movie was set up and seeing what the insiders were doing and thinking. Looking back on it, it was amazing that an English talk show host and entertainer was able to snare Nixon for those talks.

I’d like to go back to Nice on Monday to see the brochante. At least there is usually one on every Monday. There will either be just a few booths selling their wares or it will be packed by vendors hoping to make some money on the holiday weekend.

All photos taken from my apartment window in Villefranche.

13 thoughts to “Dear Diary 6”

  1. Exquisite photo! The bus service between Villefranche, Nice & Monte Carlo is great. We certainly didn’t want to drive…at least on the bus we could enjoy the spectacular scenery instead of sitting white-knuckled in the car, staring at the roadway. Hope you found something wonderful at the brochante. By the way, what did the relatives think about Pres. Obama?

  2. These photos are gorgeous!
    What a dreamy view you have.
    I hate mountain roads I just find myself leaning into the middle of the car as it climbs up. If there wasn’t something great at the end of them I would never ride on them at all.
    I think soon you will be holding your own in conversations. It seems you really are being thrown into the middle of things.
    Enjoy the weekend.

  3. Today’s “dear diary” entry was fun to read….you have a bit of humor thrown in. Love you you said that “luckily” you had to catch a bus back to Villefranche!

    I wonder if a time comes when the language just “clicks” and suddenly you are swimming rather effortlessly across the proverbial sea of words??

    Gorgeous colors in the first and last photo…and love the moon glow in the middle one.

  4. Don’t feel bad…native speakers speed up incredibly when talking to each other. I know this as an ESL teacher (I talk very fast to another American, slightly less so to a Brit, and much slower to a non-native speaker, even one with a high level) and also as a non-native French speaker myself. It’s a completely different phenomena than you holding a normal conversation with a french person.

  5. I am usually lost when Francisco’s family starts talking because they do the same thing…talk over one another. I understand a lot of it, but when they ALL start talking I only catch a word or two. I never know who to listen to:-) Love the photos!

  6. Linda,

    My old stompin’ grounds–how wonderful for you! I am green with envy at your class. It’s a terrific idea. Hope you will continue to enjoy your time there.

    I love Nice!!

    Meilleurs voeux!!

  7. Two thoughts:
    First: You got thrown into a conversations where people don’t take their turn. It’s hard in any language to compete or keep up and worse when it’s one you’re learning. Don’t feel bad and don’t take it as a reflection of what you have or haven’t learned. I bet you have learned more than you know. One day you will surprise yourself.

    Second: I couldn’t agree with you more about Frost/Nixon. It was a great movie and a great statement of what the US thought about Nixon that an Englishman, sort of down on his TV luck, scored the interview of the decade.

    You are one fabulous lady.

  8. Now I want to go see Frost/Nixon – thanks for the tip!

    I echo what the others said above … your efforts with the language will pay off in time – meanwhile, keep treading water. I’m glad you had a good reason to leave,though. It must have been exhausting.

    Your photos are beautiful, as always. Thanks for blogging. I’m enjoying Dear Diary very much.

  9. Hi Linda,
    My French in laws do this too, talking all at once, drowning even the most bilingual of us. When are you coming back to Provence?

    Me too, I love Nice. eat some socca in the vieux port for me 🙂

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