Well well well… considering I spend half an hour of every day doing French Pimsleur CDs, it would be tres convenient if you could give me one of your French zaps, se il vous plait.
I’ll be in Paris next month on a photography workshop so, si si, it would be tres appreciated to be able to say more than “Enchante monsoir!”
I’m going to be walking around Paris saying “Bon jour, mademoiselle! Bon jour monsieur!” instead of “Hey, cutie-pie! That’s a beautiful red sweater and balloon! You look so adorable, I’d love to take your photograph. May I?”
Instead I’m going to be going to my teacher and pulling on her sleeve, pointing and demanding “Go ask that cute little girl if I can take her picture!”
It would be fabulous if I could, instead of saying “Ou et la rue St. Jacque?” say “Point me to the seedy side town where I can score some illegal pot.” or “Is… that… pot? Since when did pot come in a syringe?” or “Officer, I didn’t know it was illegal, I swear! Here’s my US card certifying me as an official Medical Marijuana patient! Seriously! I’m innocent. Let me out.”
And instead of saying “Un cafe, se il vous plait”, I could say “One of your delicious French coffees, but can you dump a bunch of Nestle’s Girl Scout Cookie creamer in it, se il vous plait? Oh, and give me one of those, like, really fluffy melt-in-your-mouth French pastries that are so yummy! … and a bottle of aspirin would top the whole thing off nicely.”
Or how about “No, I don’t want to get into that van that appears stuffed with illegals. I may look like a boat person, but I’m not, you asshole! Just you wait until I call 911 — er, does 911 work here? Does my cell phone even work here? shit…”
Uh, yeh, so the first thing I’d do with my newfound French would be to score pot. The second thing I’d do would be to try to talk my way out of jail. The third thing I’d do is find some aspirin and coffee with Girl Scout creamer, and the fourth thing I’d do is try to convince some burly guy that I’d be no good for his bizarre sex trade thing.
The fifth thing I’d do is run like hell with my camera in hand. And the sixth thing I’d do would be to proudly show my photographs in the critique session.
… Or maybe I’d just be a good girl and go along with the workshop and take pictures of buildings and statues and shit. Haven’t made my mind up yet.
If you could wake up tomorrow and be fluent in any language you don’t currently speak, which would it be? Why? What’s the first thing you do with your new linguistic skills?
Take That, Rosetta!