Three English speaking friends come into town and we are off for a week to Burgundy for New Year’s Eve where 18 of FB’s friends will be joining his family there for a celebration. My mind is happy with the familiarity of English. I suddenly realize that it might be a little more difficult to learn French in just two weeks as originally planned. NOTE TO SELF: maybe should have taken some French classes before leaving as “immersion” technique seems to only give me a serious headache and make me want a cigarette. Recognizing the words “the” and “and” is not giving me a good enough sense of what the conversations are about and I see no end in sight.
We drive up to the chateau and I am in awe that this 15th century house actually belongs to FB’s family. This definitely beats a week at the Jersey shore. The fog is heavy and I feel like I’m in a medieval play. I enter the main room through heavy wooden doors whose small frames don’t fit my tall Germanic roots and I am dumbstruck. Am I in a movie? I fight the urge to mutter “Dost though taketh thy dinner is this hereth chamber of fancyeth ornaments?” in my worst English accent and instead just stare at the 19th century wild boar’s head hanging from the wall next to the armor and the deer’s antlers. This DEFINITELY beats the Jersey shore. I am shown to our room at the top of some windy stairs through more doors. ‘Man, these people really loved doors’, I think to myself but then I realize it is my central heating, idiot American self speaking and I decide I actually am as retarded as I think.