by Joy Mason, Greenheart Travel French Language School participant.
Part II in Joy’s account of learning French in Antibes, France…
I didn’t miss America until I came to France. England is just enough like the States that I didn’t really miss America, I missed home. But here, maybe because I’m talking with people of so many different nationalities but not so many Americans, I miss the actual U. S. of A. I miss peanut butter, and when they talk about Obama (because they love Obama more than many Americans!), I think about how I haven’t been in the U.S. since Obama’s been President, which is just kind of weird. I miss microwavable meals, which I haven’t had since Christmas, and all these other things not necessarily specific to my home but specific to America.
Speaking of home, I Skyped with Mom today from the house, and it was hilarious. I kept speaking in French to her and in English to the Pravettonis, and the French and the English were getting so mixed up in my head. But I know Mom liked seeing some of the people I’m living with (she only saw Isabelle and Alex), and I think they liked seeing her, too.
Tonight, with the Pravettonis, I am watching Jaws, which in French is called Les Dents de la Mer or “The Teeth of the Sea.” I find that title funny.
Friday (June, 26 2009)
Today, Michael Jackson died. Well, actually, Michael Jackson died yesterday, but we found out today. Apparently Alex and Anthony are both big fans of Michael Jackson, so once I got back, we listened to Alex’s music collection of the King of Pop until Pierre got home. While we listened, we played cards (I think cards is usually Antho’s idea, which is interesting, because it’s him that loves watching TV the most), played bowling and golf on the Wii (which they had planned since yesterday, and were very excited about), and Alex and I played MarioKart (at which I was awful, but that’s how it goes).
You know, doing exercise or playing games is a great way to learn a language. People are usually speaking slower because they’re explaining something, and they’re using simple language. The conversation usually centers around the game or exercise, so it’s easier to put new words in context, and you’re either having fun or exercising at the same time! It’s been really helpful, actually, to play games/Wii/exercise with the family.
Today I went to Cannes. There were nine of us. When we got off the bus, the first thing we saw was a market. This market was not typical: it looked like Grandma and Grandpa had a garage sale, not even kidding. There were all these random knick-knacky things like Grandma just saves: painted plates and boxes of matches and bronze ashtrays and ceramic figurines and stuff like that.
Anne and Kate and Katherine and I walked around old Cannes for a while, making it up to the castle/church/fort thing and a great view of Cannes, and then we went back to the newer part of town and went shopping. Then we went to the beach for maybe an hour. I like Antibes’ beach better. And, finally, we found the handprints of the stars: Sydney Pollack (I always think I know who he is until I actually start talking about him), the late great Gregory Peck, Mel Gibson, and Chuck Norris.