1. I stood in line at a Post Office to mail a package. Anyone who has ever had to do this in this city will instantly understand my frustrations. I approached the counter, after an old lady cut in front of me (this happens to me all the time), and told them I needed to send it insured.
PO: Why do you need to insure it?
ME: It is worth about 500 Euro and I need to make sure it gets there.
PO: It will get there.
ME: Yes, I hope so but I still need to insure it.
PO: It is not possible.
ME: What? Why?
PO: To insure something for that amount of money we have to send it registered in a lockbox.
ME: Ok, great, let’s do that.
PO: It is not possible.
PO: I’d have to go get the lockbox and I don’t know how to do that.
ME: Does someone here know how.
PO: No. Also, it is really expensive.
ME: I don’t care, I need to insure it.
PO: (Brussels shoulder shrug lip pucker)
PO: (Brussels shoulder shrug lip pucker)
ME: (Turn to walk away)
PO: Wait, aren’t you going to send it.
ME: Not if I can’t insure it.
PO: Sure we can insure it.
ME: But you just said I couldn’t.
PO: Yes yes, you can buy insurance.
ME: Ok, then I need to send this insured.
PO: Please fill out these forms and step to the back of the line. Next!
After filling out the forms, waiting in line again, I approach the SAME MAN. Who tells me I can not insure the package.
*This logo means you’re going to have a bad day.
2. I’m waiting in line at the grocery store with my daughter. I step over to the other line to grab a box of Tic-Tacs. As soon as I step to the left, the woman behind me steps in front of my basket. I say, excuse me, I am in line next. She said, there was no one here and you have a large basket, I have a small basket. I said, my daughter is standing right here and I was this far (open arms wide) from my basket. She shrugs and starts putting her items on the conveyor belt. I take them off and start putting them back into her basket. She stares me down. She wins. After I check out, I load up my car and pull out of the parking lot. I get to an intersection where I have to turn left on a green light. I notice the same woman is now behind me waiting to turn left too. So I decided to sit through the light until it turned yellow and then turn. She was honking her horn so crazily it sounded like her car was having a seizure. I gave her a nice wave out my window as I made the turn and she had to sit through another light.
*Twelve possible check-out aisles, let’s just keep two open.
3. Learning reflexive verbs in french can be quite tricky. If you forget the reflexive pronoun, all goes to hell. I was instructed to write some sentences using the new verbs I had just learned. I wrote one out using the verb “se coucher”. But forgot the pronoun “se” (in the sentences below it would change to “me” but don’t worry about that detail).
I thought I was writing this
(I love to sleep. Sleeping is my favorite sport. If I could sleep all day I would be happy. I wish I was sleeping right now. )
-J’aime coucher. Coucher est mon sport préféré. Si je pouvais coucher toute la journée, je serais heureux. Je souhaite que je couchais en ce moment.
4. I was at our one and only fast food restaurant called “Quick”. I drove up to the ordering box and placed my order for two children’s boxes. The lady said something to me in rapid French and I didn’t understand her. I answered back in French asking if she could repeat what she said and slow down. The woman then shouted the exact same thing she said before and said it at twice the speed. I still didn’t understand so I switched to english and the speaker box fell silent. The next thing I know, I see a woman standing in front of me in the drive through waving for me ‘come on’. I shrugged and drove forward. I get up to the pick-up window and the woman is throwing a mighty tantrum inside her window box. Things are getting thrown around, she is stomping and yelling. Then, she opens up the slide window and hurls two yogurt squeeze packs at me, one hitting my face. Then she tosses the food boxes into the car, luckily I was able to catch them. Then she throws two bottles of water at me, one bouncing off my car and landing on the ground. Finally she sticks her head out the window and proceeds to scream into my car. I hit the gas and drive off without paying for my food. Every once in a while I think about it and wonder if the Quick Police are going to show up at my door requesting 10 Euro for the food I stole.
*Hey there, welcome to Quick, can I dump this in your lap?
5. My french tutor was going through some verbs with me. She gets to the verb “tromper”. I said, what does “tromper” mean. She says, to shit (but with the french accent “to sheet”). She says, “You know, to sheet on your husband.” I said, “Seriously, what????” She said, “Yes, to sheet. It happens all the time.” I said, “People shit on their husbands, all the time!?” She said, “Of course and husbands sheet on their wives.” I said, “Oh my god that is disgusting.” She said, “Yes, it is disgusting. But it happens a lot, people sheeting on each other.” I said, “Why would anyone want to shit on their husband or wife?” She said, “I think it is because people get bored and stop talking so they end up sheeting on each other.” I said, “That is totally messed up. I have no desire to shit on my husband and I would kill him if he ever shit on me.” She said, “Well he could sheet on you and you may not even know it.” I said, “My god, I would hope that if my husband shit on me I would know that went down.” She shrugged. She said, “Some people think they can sheet and get away with it.” (LONG PAUSE). I say, “Waaaaait a minute, are you talking about cheating!” She said, “Yes, sheeting.” …and then I almost sheet my pants because I start laughing so hard, the tears were rolling down my face.
*We are in sheet-free marriage!
**Bonus. I was leaving my children’s school when BAM, my car is hit from behind. I look in my mirror and a minivan has plowed into the back corner of my car. She pulls up beside me and says, “There’s no damage!” I tell her we still need to pull over because I can’t see behind my car while driving it. She gets mad and drives forward. At the next light she gets out of her car, looks at my car and says “Yep! No damage, all good!” I said, “Please pull over so I can look” She gets mad again and throws her hands in the air. We pull over and I get to look. My paint is scratched and there is a small dent in my bumper. I tell her I need her information and she goes ballistic on me. Screams that there isn’t any damage. I’m crazy to think there is damage. It is only a scratch. Why am I wasting her time. I should have been paying attention behind me and moved out of her way. Then she jumps to the level of, I never hit you. You can prove nothing. I wasn’t here.
I snap her picture, a picture of her car, a picture of her license plate and tell her I’m going to call the police. She tells me her name and screams “None of this matter, I have diplomatic immunity!” Gets in her car, slams the door and drives off.
Awkward part, I get to see this woman every single day when I drop my kids off at school. I always look her dead in the eye and smile and she looks through me like a ghost.
*It’s cool! That’ll buff out!