Posted by: turtlebella | 21 April 2006

Not completely random but still unrelated bullets o’ crap

  • I ate some solid food today! Yesterday I did not eat or drink anything except medicine. Today I felt slightly braver about things actually being able to fit down my throat so I ate half a chicken sandwich that I think had homemade mayo on it. I've never had homemade mayonnaise! And an apple tart. I am a big sucker for French desserts!
  • How I know I'm going to hell. A few days ago, before I got sick, I needed a bunch of things before I started my field work. So I stopped at a HyperChampion. This is basically your French version of Wal-Mart. They've got everything under the freakin' sun at these places. It's like Home Depot + Target + big-ass grocery store all rolled into one. I was able to get everything on my list: watering can, tampons, bread, large amounts of bottled water, and cheese. BUT. I know it's wrong.
  • Everyone I talk to here (admittedly not a lot of people- hotel front desk folks, doctor, pharmacist, nice couple at the Tabac where I buy my mobile phone card) assumes I'm from England. Even when I tell them I'm American. Fine by me!
  • I got four different prescription medicines at the pharmacy. It cost me 9 euros altogether. The pharmacist and I got into a long, involved discussion about how I should submit my receipt to my insurance company back home so I could be reimbursed. If my throat could've handled it, I would have laughed hysterically, long and hard. I've never paid as little as 11 bucks for any single prescription medicine, let alone four. Similar experience at the doctor's office (20 euros) It really lays bare how fucked up our health system is in the US. No other way to put it really. 
  • General outline of all my French conversations/interactions with French people: me, Bounjour Madame & ask simple question that I have memorized in French. them, a lot of French words, none of which I would recognize if they hit me upside the head. me, sweating with a confused, worried look on my face. them, speak slower, use simple words. me, catching a faint glimmer of what they might be saying, D'accord. D'accord. Merci. them, Merci, Madame. Au Revoir. me, Merci, Madame. Au Revoir.


  1. Your conversations in French sound very similar to the sort that I have! Only problem, some of the material that I use for my research is in French, so I really ought to be better…

    Glad you are feeling at least a little better. Keep eating those French desserts to get your strength up! :)

  2. I wonder if their assumption that you’re English comes from their desire to assume the best about you– you seem like a nice person, so they can’t think of you as American!

  3. mmm, a french chicken sandwich with homemade mayonnaise! that’s convalescing food, for sure.

    at least you don’t cop out and ask them if they speak english. that’s what we ended up doing around 75% of the time, when we were there.

    on an entirely random note, but in keeping with the theme of this post: cubbies tickets arrived yesterday! we’re on for sunday, may 14, wrigley field, at 1:20 p.m. CDT!!!

  4. giggly girl- Oh sometimes I do ask if they speak English but lately haven’t because 1) it hurts too much to speak, and 2) they often don’t here in Alencon!

    Pink Cupcake- reading and speaking…why so different? That always gets me too.

    the sqvirrel- I also think they don’t get a lot Americans in Alencon. The Americans who visit Normandy stay up at the beaches and all I think. English slightly more frequent visitors into the interior.

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