s'emparer & seizing the mystery of communication from 'beyond'
French for 'to upset, annoy, frustrate or impede'...

How to say 'minor crime' or misdemeanor' in French? And a fishy story for you today....

Municipal garbage
Is it OK to toss your trash into a neighbor's garbage can? Or into a city trash receptacle? Are there limits to this? Is it a minor offence or are your greatly offended to find another's trash...for you to manage? Read on, in the following story.

Today's word: le délit mineur

    : misdemeanor, minor offence, minor crime

A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE, by Kristi Espinasse

It all began with a very fishy story--this malentendu between my neighbor and me. And how ironic that the whole matter was cleared up the day I threw out the trash.

 
Paused there at my front gate making sure the coast was clear, I had not imagined running into Mom's friend, who lived in a condo across the street. A week-old swordfish hidden in a sack behind my back, the idea was to avoid seeing anybody as I hurried over to the municipal garbage can to pitch the leftovers rotting in our frigo. Heaven forbid anyone would witness my stinky délit mineur (was it legal to use the public poubelle for one's private waste management? It's tricky to keep up with the garbage when the truck's already passed and you've missed the latest pick-up!).
 
There was no way this stinky espadon was going to sit 3 days in the back yard trash can. Recently I had come up with another option when things in our fridge perished: la poubelle municipale ! Intended for the plastic cups, cigarette packages, beer bottles and icecream wrappers the tourists sometimes tossed over our fence on their way back from the beach, this handy poubelle de rue is emptied daily. Surely I could use it for a fishy emergency?... Little did I know the Universe had an emergency of its own: to unite a couple of estranged voisines.... 
 
***
To be continued.... Sorry to have to cut the story in two. To make up for it, I've packed extra vocabulary in the first three paragraphs :-) 

FRENCH VOCABULARY
le malentendu = misunderstanding
le frigo = fridge
le délit mineur = misdemeanor 
la poubelle = garbage
l'espadon (m) = swordfish
le voisin, la voisine = neighbor

Field of phacelia
We received some encouraging feedback on Chapter 6 of the vineyard memoir Jean-Marc and I are writing together. I leave you with readers comments as well as another excerpt from The Lost Gardens

[A] heart-wrenching telling of a trying period. So vividly told. I remember reading the "same" stories while you were living them, and you were similarly adept at making the period sound stressful but ultimately rewarding... --Janet

Your raw, honest account of how you really felt at this time is stunning. And your sincerity is overwhelming. This story from you and Jean-Marc , written individually in your own words, is brilliant. Looking forward to future chapters. Bravo! --Chris

CHAPTER 6 (excerpt from The Lost Gardens)

On top of our bickering about all the little details of the harvest, Jean-Marc wasn’t himself lately. As he set out in every direction to bring this whole wine project together, he was losing a lot of weight. And he was constantly on the phone. I knew he was updating friends on his various exploits at his new vineyard, as well as ringing up suppliers--whether for extra harvest buckets or to locate a needed part for the tractor he'd just learned to operate. But were all of the calls to professionals? I began to wonder. What if there was another woman? As silly as that would seem when we were alone out here among fields of grapes, it would explain my husband's unusual behavior--especially the disconnection I had felt from him lately....
 
Click here to order The Lost Gardens, and begin reading right away.

Kristi harvesting
Reader feedback on Chapter 6 of The Lost Gardens:

How overwhelming it must have been to know you must help and figure what was needed to help your husband on your own. It must have been a physically demanding and draining experience. Certainly, the young female harvesters couldn't escape your notice. I am glad to hear that you had a "letting go" experience. It is so important to realize that we cannot control everything. --Teri

Has a friend forwarded you this post? Receive your own FREE subscription to French Word-A-Day. Click here

Ongoing support from readers like you helps me to continue doing what I love most: sharing vocabulary and cultural insights via these personal stories from France. Your contribution makes a difference. A donation by check or via PayPal is vivement appréciéeMerci infiniment! Kristi

"Bonjour, Kristin, I have enjoyed your blog now for a great number of years, watching your children grow up, your moves from house to house, enjoying your stories and photos and your development as a writer. It's way past time for me to say MERCI with a donation to your blog...which I've done today. Bien amicalement!"--Gabrielle



****

Comments