deckchair, lounge chair, chaise longue, recliner
Today's word also appears in the story "Gaver (What, The French Pig Out?)"
Click here to listen to Jean-Marc read the following French words including transat aloud
Un transat. Hier, nous avons loué les transats sur la grande plage de sable de Cassis.
A lounge chair. Yesterday, we rented lounge chairs along the big sand beach of Cassis.
A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE
by Kristi Espinasse
When we heard the great sardinade, or sardine cook-out, was happening in Cassis over the weekend, we decided on a Plan-B to get to the busy centre-ville--where we were joining a pal of Jean-Marc's from his college days.
"Let's park outside the town and walk down. We will get our twenty minute walk," Jean-Marc added, so as to motivate me. He was referring to our recent goal to faire du sport. "There are many nice views walking down into town," my husband continued....
He was right. Rolling vineyards, modern and old-style houses, and a gorgeous ray of municipal flowers--including lots of popular purple-globed agapanthus--along the winding road down to the port.
"Jean-Philippe and Genevieve are here," Jean-Marc said as we reached the little town on the port. Our friends from French Country Wines in Houston were here. "Let's give them a call," Jean-Marc said. And soon we were facing a sea of colorful fishing boats, chatting with our French friend (and Texas transplant) who was back in France.
Me, Jean-Philippe, and Ayn Rand. We could not resist teasing Jean-Philippe about the book (only because we, ourselves, never managed to finish it). I'll stick with Michel de Montaigne--who's funny and relate-able this many centuries later! Or Fenelon--his thin book speaks volumes!
To see Jean-Philippe's wife and daughter, Pauline, we had to walk a little farther--past the boules court and past the hat salesman...to the beach!
On our way to find Geneviève, two familiar faces appeared from the line of transats on the beach. It was Hilary and Bruce, also from Texas. What a surprise! I was happy to see Bruce covered in sunscreen -- his face almost as white as mine. Seeing another protect his or her peau is motivation for me to continue this many years after a very bad surgery.
But on to the funny part of this story. Geneviève, our friend at Bistro Provence in Houston, arrived next and began to make us laugh as she always does. "So you two still don't know when your house will sell or when you'll move on--after all this time? You know what we call that in French? Avoir le cul entre deux chaises! (To have your butt between two chairs!).
Still giggling, we said à plus (A+ = bye for now), and went to get our own transats, closer to the restaurant, where we waiting for Jean-Marc's school buddy and his wife for lunch. And when Jean-Pierre arrived, he had not changed!
"It's Chinese genes!" Jean-Pierre explained.
As we sat admiring those genes, we also admired the man Jean-Pierre had grown into. Once the youngest of the crowd of college buddies, who Jean-Marc sometimes lent a couple of francs, Jean-Pierre now lives in Hong Kong and enjoys a successful career that takes him all over the globe.
I so enjoyed talking to Jean-Pierre's wife, Bérina, who he met during graduate school in Berkeley. She is not only beautiful, but, Jean-Pierre tells us, she is the brains behind his success.
"Behind every good man is a good woman," I said, after listening to his story. Jean-Pierre agreed, and so did, to my surprise, Jean-Marc, who put his arm around me and squeezed:
"Et oui! Derrière chaque homme, il y a une femme."
College buddy reunion in Cassis: Jean-Marc, Jean-Pierre, et Jean-François. To comment on this story, see the link at the end of this post.
le transat = lounge chair
boules = pétanque or bocce ball
la peau = skin
avoir le cul entre deux chaises = to have the butt between two chairs
le parasol = beach umbrella
à plus = bye for now
le maillot = soccer jersey
derrière chaque grand homme, il y a une femme
behind every great man, there is a woman
Hats for sale along the port in Cassis, France
Good-looking sun hat with string -- essential for windy southern France!
La Roche-Posay sunscreen - rated top by Consumer Reports
Lounge chair with built-in sunshade
la fouta - wonderful quick-drying towel used in Mediterranean countries
SUMMER READING - "EIGHT MONTHS IN PROVENCE"
For thirty years, Diane Covington-Carter dreamed of living in France and immersing herself in the country and language that spoke to her heart and soul. At age fifty, she set off to fulfill that yearning. Journey along with her as she discovers missing pieces of her own personal puzzle that could only emerge in French, in France. And the deep reservoirs of courage and strength that have come with living a half-century.
Covington-Carter learns that it is never too late to fulfill a long cherished dream and that, with the gifts of wisdom and maturity, that dream can become even more powerful from the waiting.
One of the best-selling books of all time on my blog has been Eight Months in Provence! Diane's self-published book really struck a chord with readers and Francophiles who dream of living--if only for a time--in France.
Order Diane Covington Carter's book here -- I think you will agree - Eight Months in Provence is the ideal summer read.
Thank you for the time you've spent reading my column. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue doing what I love most: sharing these missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi