I do many things wrong in France. Speaking French is just part of it. Imagine my surprise a few years ago when Maurice told me, after a man couldn’t understand me, that I had been saying “Trois” (three) wrong for years. Somehow I missed the lesson on how the letter “r” is pronounced or maybe I just forgot. It’s not a sound that comes easily to English speakers. Now I try and say it correctly but it feels strange. Do I have to mention that Maurice has and “r” in it? I blow that one too.
Something else I’ve been doing wrong? That double kiss thing on each cheek that the French do when greeting each other. I thought, just by observation, that the French were just sort of touching cheeks. Someone told me after I had greeted him that I was doing it wrong. Since he can be a bit of a know it all I grabbed his face and did a loud mmwah type kiss on each cheek and when I had finished he was blushing which made me glad. So I asked a friend who has lived here for years how she did it and she said mostly it was sort of a air kiss as you touched cheeks and if it was a man and woman, the woman led the way. I asked Maurice and he said you actually did kiss the person on the cheek on one side and they kissed you on the cheek on the other side. Totally new to me. I do know that he kissed both cheeks of a cousin of mine in the States when he met him and my cousin later said to my Mom, “Linda’s husband kissed me on the cheeks!”, totally shocked. So the next time I saw the know it all he came up to me and greeted me with the double kiss thing and I asked him what he thought I did wrong. He said you didn’t do an actual kiss, you just made the kissing sound on each side. His girlfriend, when she heard this, just waved her hand like, “What does he know?” and proceeded to kiss me on the cheek. So, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll just hold out my hand and skip the whole thing.
In the mean time, here are some shots of color in Paris, a nice thing to see when it is cold and you are looking forward to the arrival of Spring.