Friday, July 16, 2010

The Journey Begins

We've had weeks to prepare, to gather documents, tickets, passes and gear.  My gear consists of computer and camera; his includes a virtual crate of wheels, a board, leathers, etc.  I have had some difficulty convincing my son that this is not the same as camping where one set of clothing will do for the week.  It is France. We will be a week in Paris.  Camp clothes won't do, not if he's going with me, and he is.  One pair of well loved and worn jeans and a set of three-year-old swim trunks won't get you smiles when you try to get a table reservation at a restaurant, or entrance into some of the cathedrals.  So as much as he hates it, I have convinced him to go shopping and to buy some new clothes.  Wicked, controlling mother, I know, but too bad.

Train Pass Mix-up

I was writing up my itinerary yesterday so my husband would be able to get in touch with us during our journey when I discovered a most disconcerting error.  I had purchased rail passes for me and Wolf several weeks ago, one adult 4-day pass and one youth 4 day pass, each clearly marked with the correct name, but when they arrived via courier, the tickets had been transposed.  I should have taken photos of them for humour: Lorrie Miller youth pass: ages 16 through 24 inclusive... just a few years out of date.  With much wrangling I managed to get it straightened out with Rail Europe (still waiting for the refund), and have new tickets issued and printed at a local dealer with the correct names.  Phew... close, I imagined the stress and embarrassment trying to explain the mix-up on a train in France, in French-- not fun.
Argonay, France (location of IGSA's Graveyard Call)

Lonely Planet Phrasebook French

I have been to France, but that was over two decades ago, and I was a poor French speaker then, and was determined to improve my French following that trip.  I improved some, but that was again twenty years ago.  I've been practicing with Wolf and my husband (who is rather fluent--despite his denial) and it's coming back to me.  But all the same I thought I'd pick up a language support, but not a full on thick dictionary.  I chose the Lonely Planet phrasebook French.  It is a thin blue book with a reasonable front illustration and has 3500 words and phrases with easy to follow colour-coded categories:

  • rust: tools
  • teal: practical
  • olive: social
  • orange: food
  • aqua: safe travel
  • green: sustainable travel
  • plum: dictionaries 
The 'social' category, included 'meeting people, interests, feelings & opinions, going out, romance sports, beliefs, and outdoors.  This seemed very helpful to me until I began to read some of the helpful phrases to my husband over a glass of wine.  I could hardly stop laughing.  
Meeting people: " Tu es de quel signe?"  what sign are you?
" Est-ce que ta un fetiche?" Do you have a fetish?

Two phrases I will NOT be needing on this trip, but those and many others brought lots of laughter to our evening.

Shortly we will be on our way to....
Annecy Prison in Annecy France

(both images from Wiki commons as I am not actually there to take my own images... yet)

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