: to shout, to shriek, to scream or yell out
Ils n'arrêtent pas de claquer les portes et de hurler. Ça me soûle! They don't stop slamming the doors and shouting. It's driving me crazy!
A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse
(Today's story is continued from Part I)
I left Jean-Marc to sulk at the picnic table—no use three of us moping around!—and stole away with our daughter to Motel IBIS. Freedom! The inn by the motorway is only a ten-minute drive from home, and when I mentioned this fact—along with the reason for our overnight séjour there—the hotel manager offered an unexpected 5% discount! Perhaps he had teenagers of his own and was familiar with The All Night Party from which Jackie and I were fleeing?
I hadn't meant to marchander with the hôtelier, though I was happy to accept the remise—even if I felt a slight pang of obligation (Would Jackie and I, as recipients of the room discount, now have to be on our best behavior as model guests? Was this duty worth the 3 euro 50 cent remise? Did the monetary favor mean that we could not complain should we be surprised by bedbugs or lumpy pillows?). The freedom I had felt moments ago, on leaving my husband with the burdensome chore of All Night Party Chaperone, began to diminish as Jackie and I gained new responsibilities here at the discounted hotel.
We used the card key to enter room 229 (careful not to slam the door...) and were relieved to find a light and spacious place to rest. There was a flat-screen TV and air conditioning—something we didn't have at home! I had to turn up the temperature it was so cold, not that I would complain to the manager. Jackie went to toss out her gum, but when she could not find a poubelle, I handed her a piece of paper in which to dispose it. There was no way I was going to ring the front desk to inquire about a trash can the minute we claimed our discounted room.
Ah well, never mind. I tossed my own pillow on the bed, pleased to have some extra comfort for when we were to relax into the "reading and TV watching" part of our mother-daughter getaway weekend.
Also in our plans was a leisurely stroll over to the mall, en face. Time now to venture out! Only, when we returned outside, the sun was beating down, just as it had been at the boys' barbecue. And just like the boys, we weren't wearing sun hats! When Jackie complained about my decision to drive the short distance to the shops, I had to remind her that I could no longer tolerate the sun's burning rays. So much for our arm-in-arm amble.
At the mall I did not give in to my 14-year-old's pleas for the Will Smith T-shirt or the classic Tropéziennes sandals (though I wouldn't have minded a pair for myself. Look at the orange ones! No, the black or nude passe-partouts would be more reasonable...).
I didn't buy the Tropéziennes, but did fork out some cash for two Teddy Smith bandannas (in red and in black). At 4 euros per foulard, such a folie wouldn't threaten our getaway budget too much. Jackie was thrilled and immediately tied the black one around her wrist. "Ça fait très rock-n-roll!" I assured her. I have always admired her fashion sense and her ability to mix the classic with the "can't-be-tamed".
Next, it was time to shop for those healthy snacks I had imagined we'd dine on, in bed, while reading and watching TV. When Jackie chose strawberries, I told her she could have them, but warned her not to stain the hotel sheets! What good was a room discount when you racked up a bill for damages?
At the grocery store I was reaching for some baking soda (speaking of keeping things clean—here was a natural remedy!) when Jackie's telephone rang. Zut! It was the unlucky chaperone calling from home! We had not been gone two hours and here he was, already checking in on us! Checking in indeed....
"It's Papa," Jackie whispered, holding her hand over the receiver. "Il est à l'hôtel! He wants to know where we are and what we are doing!"
le séjour = stay (visit)
le hôtelier, la hôtelière = hotel manager
la remise = discount
en face = across the way
Tropéziennes = a classic leather sandal from St. Tropez
passe-partout = good for all occasions
le foulard = bandanna, scarf
une folie = a splurge
Ça fait très rock-n-roll = you look so rock-n-roll
zut! = darn!
il est à l'hôtel! = he's at the hotel!
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A Trip Down Memory Lane... La Ciotat, 2003.
My husband could live on the sea in an old bateau pointu. One day he'll fish for daurade and I'll meet him half-way to the kitchen, a basket dangling from my arm, un panier brimming of fenouil and citrons from the potager. We'll have lunch beneath the ancient olive tree, bees buzzing in the distance over at Jean-Marc's 5-hived miellerie. Oh, to dream, to dream!
Build up your French vocabulary:
le panier = basket (see Smokey modeling one, near the end of this post)
le fenouil = fennel
le citron = lemon
le potager = kitchen or vegetable garden (click here if you love to garden)
la miellerie = honey factory
Jean-Marc found these chairs at the Marseille airport, in the trash by the parking lot. Knowing what a sucker I am for homeless chairs (here's one found in a dump in Sicily...), he brought the orphelines back for me. Here are two more Italian finds; and the story about their stowaway, here.
Faire le poireau? La fin des haricots? Oh, purée! Read a delightful feast of an essay, Communicating in the Language of Food," by Joe Lurie
Also, join me in checking out French Girl in Seattle.
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