My Mom and her fish purse at our farmer's market. Photo taken 4 years ago, when Jules moved to France.
In Summer reading: From Moulin Rouge to Gaudi's City by E.J. Bauer
Today's Words: Fellowship
1. camaraderie (companionship, company)
2. confrérie (brotherhood, friary)
Bonus Word: Homebody
: pantouflard(e) (from "pantoufle" or slipper)
FRENCH SOUND FILE: Click below to hear Jean-Marc pronounce the French words in today's post. Then scroll down to the vocabulary section to check your French comprehension.
A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse
Tergiverser—now there’s an amusing word to begin with. It means to hem and haw, to sit on the fence, to remain undecided, and Undecided is my middle name! Just when I was debating about whether I should get out of bed and get to the farmers market and the fish market before la foule, a certain passage in a book I was reading lifted me up and out the door, d'un seul coup!
If inspiration is the vehicle that gets us moving forward, then reflection may be the key to what makes us tick. Sometimes we have to wonder why it is we do what we do. Why, I ask, do I have such a hard time going places, and is that good or bad? What’s wrong with being a loner, une solitaire, un ours des cavernes? (I prefer the term “une sauvage”--sounds cooler than "hermit"! But that’s just the Ego talking. Maybe my ego is keeping me back?)
While there are always the big things, often it is a string of petites choses that keep me stuck: "I haven't washed my hair in days. I don't want to run into anyone I know. I'll stay home!" That's enough to have me hiding indoors dining on a can of tuna for lunch. And yet I sense this is not God's will for me. (Not that canned tuna is unholy)....
So this morning I put on my floppy hat, and hurried out the front door, ignoring everything clawing me back: my elderly dog who wanted a walk (“it’s too far for you, Smokey!”), my son who had questions and suggestions about the laundry, a text I meant to answer illico...). With the front gate pulled shut behind me, j’étais délivrée! Free as a bird.
Coincidentally it is the season of the swallows, and it was a pleasure to watch ces hirondelles swooping through the sky above as I walked to the fishmongers. At Poissonerie Laure, the lively and colorful selection of fish is second only to the lively and colorful patronne. "How is Jean-Marc?" Laure asked. But when Laure's husband put down his carving knife and came over to hear the update, I realized they were aware of his épreuve. I thanked them for their empathie, and headed out with two fillets de cabillaud and du saumon.
At the farmer's market I stood in line holding a sack of fish and reading the cashier's T-shirt, which was in English: "Chilling under a palm tree," I said, as the cashier rang up some tomatoes. “C’est ça! What does it mean?” she asked.
"You know, de se la jouer cool, sans stress...”
“Oui! C'est ça qui'l faut...” the cashier said gifting me an extra tomato.
“Merci! I’ll eat it for lunch,” I promised.
As I walked home with my bounty I realized nobody cares about my hair! We don’t see each other’s flaws. We only see each other's hearts--especially when our perspectives are refreshed. I will try to remember that the next time I’m holed up inside with my can of holy tuna, behaving like a bear. Company, fellowship, brotherhood--in one lovely word la camaraderie--is good for the soul. And home sweet home is a comfort as well. This leads us to one last synonym for "loner": un pantouflard--after "pantoufle" or slippers. Let's end on that cozy note.
Camaraderie, brotherhood, company--and a lot of smiles at our local fish market. That's the owner, second on the left, her son (second on the right) and friends. Related story: La Patronne at our local fishmarket, and solidarity following a visit by a burglar
la camaraderie = company, fellowship
la confrérie = brotherhood
une pantouflarde, un pantouflard = homebody, homebird, stay-at-home person
tergiverser = to procrastinate, to hem and haw
la foule = crowd
d’un seul coup = all at once
un (une) solitaire = loner
un ours des cavernes = a cave bear, recluse
un (une) sauvage = recluse, hermit
une petite chose = little thing
une hirondelle = swallow (bird)
illico = pronto
j'étais délivré = I was free/freed
la poissonnerie = fish market
le patron (la patronne) = owner
une épreuve = a struggle
le cabillaud = cod
se la jouer cool = to play it cool
c’est ça qu’il faut = that’s what’s needed
In books: Petit déjeuner à Paris: A Story in Easy French with Translation
If only that tongue could fan him in this heat! Smokey keeping cool in summer. The hanging tongue is une séquelle, or consequence of being attacked when he was a puppy.
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