Ça y est! Part 1 of our La Ciotat renovation ended this week! We've been busy tying up dozens of loose ends, so it was wonderful to get away from it all via a little boat ride up the coast! Read about a breathtaking petite escapade from La Ciotat to Cassis in today's column, below.
Today's word: caboter
: to navigate from port to port along the coast
Example Sentence, Audio File read by Jean-Marc
Dimanche nous avons caboté dans les anses de La Ciotat jusqu'à Cassis.
Sunday, we navigated along the little coves from La Ciotat to Cassis
The book Pronounce it Perfectly in French emphasizes speaking, sound discrimination, and standard intonation patterns that are typical of native French speakers. Order here.
A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE
by Kristi Espinasse
A Black Eye, A Boat, and delicious Boquerones!
Jean-Marc got a pretty good deal when he rented us a little boat from that guy with the black eye. The pleasure craft was a semi-rigide or bâteau pneumatic, as seen in the opening photo to this post. If only you could see the type who rented it to us. Had he gotten into a fist fight or bar-room brawl last night?
"Normally, I rent out my boat for full-day only," our lanky loueur explained, as we stood at the new port in La Ciotat, right across the street from the historic Éden-Théâtre. (La Ciotat is the birthplace of film. The guy handing us our clés de bâteau could've been a young Al Pacino...) "I was able to make an exception, this time, and rent it to you for only a half a day, he said, because my girlfriend gets off work at noon, and, as her husband is watching the kids today, I'm taking her out for un petit tour de bâteau...."
So that's how he must've gotten his shiner, his oeil au beurre noir! And how we got a smokin' deal on our little boat--ours for 3 full hours, which began near Parc du Mugel and ended in Cassis with the most delicious lunch in the whole wide world: a simple baguette-and-sardines sandwich which we ate on our boat which anchored in a turquoise blue calanque.
I recounted the coastal adventure--especially the delectable picnique sur le bâteau--to my mom, in Mexico. Reliving our cruise vicariously on the other end of the telephone line, Mom explained just why that sardine sandwich tasted so darn good. I cannot remember exactly Mom's poetic words, but poetry had something to do with the experience: It's the salty air, the sea's mist, the atmosphere, Mom said. The senses are heightened along the Mediterranean coast.
Everything must taste better when you are relaxed and dépaysé, or "in a change of place." (Some would say everything tastes better in France!) I leave you with pictures of our little périple across the coast.
P.S. Those delicious "sardines" were actually boquerones--or anchovies in vinegar and olive oil. Jean-Marc sells them in the Marseille wine shop where he works, but you can find them online, here. Whatever you do, don't leave any oil/vinegar in the package--soak everything up with the rest of the baguette. C'est une tuerie! It's to die for! ...Which brings us back to where we began--and the guy with the black eye. He's anxious to retrieve his boat as he's got a hot date. Mais gare au mari! (Watch out for the husband!!)
FRENCH VOCABULARY REVIEW
le type = guy, bloke
loueur = one who rents out (apartment, boat...
la clé = key
le bâteau = boat
un oeil de beurre noir = black eye
la calanque = rocky inlet or creek along the coastline
boquerones = fresh anchovies
un périple = a little journey
une tuerie = to die for
gare à, gare au = watch out for
le mari = husband
Never without my hat, after a couple bouts with carcinoma. If you haven't read my story, here's motivation to wear a hat!
Returning to the famous La Ciotat shipyards, where yachts are now serviced (before, in times past, this was an industrial port)
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