French Word of the Day: manifestation (man-ih-fest-ah-si-on)- demonstration (usually involved with a strike)
The French have decided to strike again. It’s what they do. Everyone was worried that it was going to last for days and we weren’t going to be able to get back to Paris, but it only lasted one day.
I wasn’t worried. The French hold their weekends as something sacred. Striking would be work.
I’m not sure how effective a one day strike is. I personally think it’s pointless. If anyone who’s French out there wants to defend it, be my guest. I think we would all enjoy an explanation.
Our teacher recounted a story from one of her former Swiss students who was engaged to marry a Frenchman. That year, the French decided to have an uber-long postal strike. It was before the time of the internet, and she was unable to communicate with her family or get the proper papers for the marriage. In what I consider to be a move of sheer stupidity, her fiance supported the strike. The teacher ended the story with, “I’m not entirely sure if they ever actually got married.”
I’m guessing not.
The British at the school were angry (I was going to write “pissed,” but then I realized that has a different meaning in England and didn’t want everyone thinking the Brits come to school inebriated. Although now that I think about it, some of them might.) because their flights were canceled. The French might want to watch out if they want people to continue coming to their country. If I own an airline company, I’d be very reluctant to have very many flights out of France.
Last night after a beautiful nap, everyone met to drink by the Loire River. It was a gorgeous night. Jenna and I decided to go buy alcohol at a local supermarket. We didn’t have cups or a wine opener, but we managed to find wine in plastic water bottles with twist tops. (We’re so kla$$y.) We thought, “It’s probably not the best wine, but it will serve its purpose.”
As we were standing in the wine aisle with our plastic bottles, Patrick, the guy who was the head of our wine tasting walked into the aisle. Patrick goes around the Loire Valley tasting wines. He estimated that he tries roughly 100 different types a day. (He doesn’t have 100 glasses of wine a day. He spits them out after tasting them, otherwise he’d be dead.)
Needless to say, he was not the person you wanted to catch you attempting to buy wine in plastic bottles.
He saw the bottles, shook his head, and said, “Non, non, non!!!” in what I imagine would be the exact same tone he would use if we were attempting to rob the store. We explained that we had no cups and he was a bit more sympathetic, but gasped in shock when we asked him if he was buying wine too. He pointed to his backpack and said, “I brought my own.” He then showed us his shopping basket full of meat and bread.
Patrick was smarter than us. You apparently can’t buy alcohol in France after 8 (it was 9), even if it’s sitting on the shelf looking oh-so-very beautiful.
Fortunately, you don’t need alcohol to sit by the river, so we were fine.
Oh, p.s. My parents are coming to visit this semester! Uber excited! I squealed when I got the message at a cafe. For some reason, the French people at the table next to me were far less excited by this news than I was.
Pain au chocolat count: 12