Today, a rendez-vous with friends in Cassis and Aix-en-Provence. Meet sweet Noelle in today's story. Photo by Barbara Barrielle
TODAY'S WORD: amitié
Ce qui rend les amitiés indissolubles et double leur charme, est un sentiment qui manque à l’amour, la certitude. What makes friendship indissolute and what doubles its charms is a feeling we find lacking in love: I mean certitude. -Balzac
ECOUTEZ - Hear Jean-Marc pronounce the example sentence in French: Download Amitié
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A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE
by Kristi Espinasse
Yesterday, I headed to Cassis to meet with my oldest friends in France--(oldest in années d'amitié). We decided to rendez-vous in Cassis, where Corey and her husband, Yann, have renovated--avec une telle élégance!--an apartment overlooking the seaport--and all those charming wooden fishing boats, les pointus.
I needed to pick up our friend Barbara (who you met here), who was arriving from Aix, so I programed google maps to take me to the train station in Cassis. Halfway there I held tight to the wheel as a woman with an accent worse than mine (she pronounced Cassis KAY-SIS) led me into a dark, snaking canyon. Did you know there was such a place behind KAY-SIS??
Trop tard! It was too late to turn around now. As the road got worse and worse, with more pot holes, less tarmac and less space, I shook off any spookiness by focusing on the voisinage.
Look at all these houses! Was one for sale? And this close to good ol' Kay-sis! Maybe we could get a deal on one of these! I began to see train tracks and realized my GPS guide, while she needed to improve her accent, knew a good short cut to la gare! And I thanked Mademoiselle Kay-sis for getting me there in time to pick up Barbara and Noelle (Barbara's adorable Jack Russell), and for getting us down to the port in time to have lunch with Corey....
It's turning out to be a friendship kind of week. Today Jean-Marc drove us to Aix-en-Provence to have lunch with Kirk and Anne. We had misjudged our timing and, after making two wine deliveries, we arrived 15 minutes early at our hosts!
"Let's walk around the block!" I said to Jean-Marc, but he saw me lying through my chattering teeth. I could not spend one more minute outside in the cold couloirs of the centre ville. My scalp was frozen!
We shut our eyes to etiquette and rang the bell! Kirk was barefoot when he opened the door (a telltale sign we were en avance). But the whoosh of warm air that escaped from the apartment, enveloping us, was worth a thousand faux pas!
Stepping inside, the warmth was layered with spicy aromas coming from the kitchen, where Anne was making la soupe aux lentilles. Surrounded by so many layers of heat, we were now warmed from scalp to feet!
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Anne and Kirk, Corey and Yann come to our place for lunch, in the story Sobriety Does Not Equal Foolproof Entertaining!
Increase your vocabulary. More tools here.
une année = year
une amitié = friendship
avec une telle = with such
le pointu = traditional Provencal wooden fishing boat
trop tard = too late
le voisinage = neighborhood, vicinity
la gare = train station
en avance = early
le couloir = corridor
faux-pas = etiquette mistake
la soupe aux lentilles = lentil soup
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Thank you for the time you've spent reading my column. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue doing what I love most: sharing these missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi