monnaie
foule

tablette

le caveau = small cellar (c) Kristin Espinasse
une tablette (tah-blet) noun, feminine
  1. shelf; flap; tray  2. bar (chocolate); tablet; stick

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Citation du Jour:
Je ne connais rien de plus érotique qu'une tablette au fort pourcentage de cacao. I don't know of anything more erotic than a bar with a strong percentage of cocoa bean. --Paul-Loup Sulitzer


A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse

We met on flight 83, leaving Nice, France for New York City. Little did I know that 45 minutes into the voyage I would be agreeing to a date with the man in seat 24A.

We didn't seem to have much in common. To start with, he graduated with the class of '45. As for me, I graduated from high school in '85.

                               *       *      *

I had made my way through first-class, admiring the soft plaid blankets neatly folded and awaiting the lucky travelers. The first-class blankets have a motif* while non-first-class blankets are plain. I noticed the seats in first-class, and how they reclined like the dos* of a yogi.

I headed to the back of the plane, where the seats narrowed, le monde* multiplied and babies shrieked from the fuss of travelers trying to settle in, as comfortably as possible, for an 8.5 hour flight. My breath grew short, and so I paused to respirer.*

The man in 24A sat silent, his blank stare slamming into the tablette* before him. I set down my purse, marking my seat, and reached up to the overhead bin to store my bag, the contents of which would be completely useless to me in the 20 hour voyage ahead, ending in Phoenix, Arizona. I pushed the bin shut, checking to make sure it wouldn't burst open mid-flight.

That is when I heard the formal greeting:

"Bonjour, madame."
"Bonjour, monsieur," I replied.

He didn't say another word until the beverage cart came to a halt before the 25th row, at which point he raised an unsteady arm.

"Je voudrais une bière, s'il vous plaît," I'd like a beer, please.

When the flight attendant said, "That will be four euros or four dollars," he reached into a tan imperméable,* and struggled to find some cash.

The next time the cart halted, monsieur ordered another beer, having since found his wallet. When his cup went dry he shifted a bit and cleared his throat. That's when the paroles* slipped out, a fountain of meaningful words that would end with a proposition. But first, he would say:

"May I take your hand?"

(To be continued in Wednesday's edition... or click here to read the conclusion)

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References: un motif (m) pattern; le dos (m) = back; le monde (m) = people; respirer = to breathe; tablette = pull-down tray; un imperméable (m) = raincoat; une parole (f) = word
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Listen: hear Jean-Marc pronounce the word 'tablette': Download tablette2.wav

Expressions:

inscrire sur ses tablettes = to make a note of something
rayer de ses tablettes = to no longer take into account something

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