Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Into the abyss

Thus far tmafaopie has been more or less a 'what I did on my holidays' travelogue, with the occasional rant or review thrown in. Nothing too personal revealed... this is the interweb after all and who knows who could be reading!

Well I do know, and you all (ok, both) know me well enough that if I start using this as a cheap version of therapy then I won't exactly be telling you anything you don't already know - I can't really imagine the FLC fan club popping back to check the blog, even if they did enjoy the review.
But just to warn you, the mafaopie is about to get a whole lot darker. And I don't mean the layout colours, it's to reduce eyestrain Emma! not because I'm evil - we can't all live in pink and white fairy land!

So, let's stretch out on the couch and see what dark creatures lurk in the abyss...

So, why don't you tell me where it all began?

What? the blog? Well it started off as just a few emails sent to friends back home during a trip around Europe when I was learning French a few years back... here's an example

(insert hazy memory sequence fade out)

Bonjour tout le monde! ca va? quoi de neuf? moi? pas grand chose. je me debrouille bien a l'institut de francais, le temps fait beau (euh, bien,il faisait beau jusqu'au ajourdhui...)

As you can see, the first week of the french course has greatly improved my ability to talk about nothing at all in French. Vous voulez savoir cequi s'est passe? euh alors..

Finally escaped the family, which had improved towards the end of my stay with them, but plumbed new depths of misery with the last few days together in Nice. Needless to say, I was bloody relieved to escape to the Institut. Even 8 hours a day of trying to speak in a foreign language was better than that!

The school is an eclectic bunch of rich Americans who have retired or semi retired with a house in France, people who have a yacht on the Mediterranean, and 2 Australian uni students. As you can imagine, we fit right in. It's actually not bad, but it leads to very strange situations, such as today when I had to make a presentation about Australian history, in French, to a room full of Americans and Scandinavians. As you are no doubt aware, I know practically nothing about Australian history, so I don't know what they got out of it, but if you ever meet someone who asks you about the 20 years of bloody civil war in Australia, play along. Tell them the 2 sides were known as the kangaroos and koalas, because they used their skins as uniforms. I'm sure that's what I said.

The highlight so far was last weekend, watching the derby between les Marseillais and les Nicois in the local pub. We got there quite early,and thought we'd be the only ones there to watch the match. By kick-off time, the place was packed to the rafters with OM supporters, with a small pocket of resistance in black and red. This meant that all the second hand smoke couldn't rise to said rafters, but had to escape into eyeballs instead. The whites of my eyes are now stained yellow with nicotine. The
atmosphere, while unbreathable, was very lively - including one guy with no shirt (which is something at 9pm in a European winter, even on the cote d'azur). He made up for the lack of shirt, by which one can normally tell which team he supports, with a loud hailer,and constantly chanting the OM chant, which goes something along the
lines of:

"Allez allez allez marseillais marseillas allez" (repeat).

Which, you can no doubt imagine, after a few Pernods degenerates to:

"Ay ay ay ay ay ay ay ay ay ay ay ay ay ay" (repeat).

Such a sophisticated culture.

Maintenant, je vous laisse. Il faut que je m'en aille.
a bientot,Pat


Feeling Fuzzy? said...

Oi! I saw that comment referring to my blog as fairyland!! It's lucky I check up on what's going on over there at tmafaopie. I had to skip the rest of your post because my eyes were about to FALL OUT OF MY SKULL struggling with the white on black set-up.

And what's so bad about fairyland any way?

Dutch Courage said...

Je Suis Aware!