Sometimes I just play dumb and smile. This has worked for me in the past, and it is even more beneficial to have this skill in Limoux, France.
Granted, I did take four years of French in high school, but that has only caused me to know just enough to be dangerous. Albeit, it has assisted in the finding of important places, the boulangeries, the patisseries, and the bon marche. Looking for breakfast in the hotel—petite dejeuner. Parfait! The phrases I am going to need to get familiarized with is the metric system. Is 10⁰C arm warmers or a winter jacket? Is a 100k ride a recovery ride or is it a century?
In the farmer market, I couldn’t help but purchase some eggplant—one of my favorite foods. Also available there was live chickens and rabbits, if you so desired.
I got my hair cut the other day by a woman who didn’t speak any English. I explained to her in my rough French that I studied French for quatre ans dans l’ecole, but was having difficulty remembering it. She said that it was ok, because she had studied anglais par sept ans dans l’ecole and couldn’t remember much either. We made a great pair, and I left the salon with a great haircut as well. However, I don’t like change—especially when it comes to my hair, so I opted to tell her that I only wanted her to epointez le bas, and that I loved my cheveux longue. This was one circumstance I was not going to smile and play dumb in—I was going to get a good haircut,—especially when it comes to my hair, nd not leave the salon without it. I loved that experience because it was a situation that forced me to speak French and explain myself.
I went shopping at the farmer’s market as well, and I even found I dress that I absolutely had to have. When the man said I would be “tres belle” in it, and that it would fit me “parfait” He continued to rattle on and on, and what other option did I have, but to play dumb and smile? And, of course purchase the dress.