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View Diary: Je suis american! (84 comments)

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  •  Usually when I start speaking in French... (2+ / 0-)
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    lunacat, Rashaverak

    ... whether in Quebec or France, the other party switches immediately to English (but very good naturedly).  On the other hand, they tell my how wonderfully she speaks -- and keep speaking in French. (I understand enough French to understand when they talk about my rudimentary French). ;~}

    According to my wife -- Bonjour (bon soir), madame (monsieur) is the "civilized" way to do greetings -- a mere "bon jour" is a bit too familiar.  Also, when you visit people's house in France, ALWAYS take flowers.  (I can attest, by personal observation, that when you arrive with an armful of flowers, your host is definitely re-assured as to your high lovel of civilization).

    •  Now if someone would invite me... (1+ / 0-)
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      I fell very hard for Paris on my first trip there last fall, so maybe I'll get an invite when I can go back again. A few times people assumed I knew more French than I did, so we had to backtrack into English. I honestly missed that little formality of greeting people when I got back.

      As for bringing flowers, same applies in Italy, though I've read carnations are a bad choice since they're associated with funerals!

      •  We managed to get invited ... (3+ / 0-)
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        lunacat, RamblinDave, Rashaverak

        ... to vist a nice lady and her husband after meeting her at a jazz concert at a neighborhood bistro.  She quite clearly was worried when we called to make arrangements to actually drop by.  But when she saw we arrived armed with flowers, all fears evaporated (and our visit lasted much longer than planned).

        We also bought flowers for our bed-and-breakfast hostesses in both Paris and Rome -- and they practically adopted us as relatives (it didn't hurt that I spent lots of time playing with the lovely dogs of our Roman hostess).  Paris was wonderful, but I really kind of fell in love with Rome. ;~}

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