31 October 2009

Walt Disney was Wrong

According to blogger, this is my 100th post!  Crazy.  Thanks for reading.

So, I have come to the conclusion that Walt Disney was wrong.  His pseudo-world is not the happiest place on earth.  The arrivals door of any international airport is. 

I spent Thursday morning at Charles de Gaulle fetching two friends.  While waiting, I couldn't help but notice the large number of squeels from children, "MAMANPAPA!"  Or the welcoming kisses of a spouse.

In fact, with so many in costume--dressed as chauffeurs--and parents looking tired and stressed, and people moving through queues, and the over priced gift shops, it really was just like Disney World!  Hmmm.

One intersting observation about the arrivals terminal, however, was the general absence of hugs.  The French don't really hug.  One of the profs here told us that they don't even have a French word for it, they just use ours, and it is reserved for the closest of friends.  No, the French don't hug.  Instead, they give the bises . . . they kiss both cheeks.  Which is fine when you know a person already.  But having a stranger walk up to you at church and lean in for a couple of kisses is a bit alarming the first time.  Ce la vie.

Anyway, I've been on break for the past few days and have a few more to go.  Tomorrow is All Saints Day, and the French get 10 days of vacances for it!  One more thing to love about doing language study here.  But come Thursday it's back to the books.  They say that from now until Christmas, those of us that are debutantes really improve significantly.  Let's hope so.  Last night we had a picnic dinner under the Eiffel Tower and walked along the Seine after dark.  I was walking with a fellow student who is from Germany, so we were chatting in French.  I told him a funny story of something that had happened to me recently, and after carrying on for 10 blocks or so, I said, "Tu comprendes?" (Do you understand?)  He looked at me and said, No.  OY!  Then he asked me to tell him the gist in English to fill in the blanks.  How's that for a blow to one's confidence!  : )

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