TODAY'S WORD: Punaise!
: Darn! Oh no! Oh dear!
Punaise also means bug or “bed bug”. The exclamation may have been born of the horror of seeing the crawly creatures, i.e. Punaises! Bed bugs! It is a very popular way to express surprise in French, in any let-down situation. Come to think of it, “Bed bugs!” makes for a colorful expression in English, too, don't you think?
A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse
Over leftovers of sea bass and exotic vegetables, a scrumptious meal I’d carted back on the train, I was remembering my visit with my best friend Susan, a.k.a. Rouge-Bleu,* in Paris. Oh to go back! Suddenly I felt a strong desire to relive our farewell dinner at Cafe de L’Alma. Even if the music was loud (our waitress kindly turned it down) I wanted to be transported back into that seat, energized by lively conversation, with Paris as a backdrop! Moreover, I wanted to relive all of the experiences my dear friend and I had this past weekend! While I can’t do that, I can write about it now and so relive a few of the memorable moments….
In the past 22 years, Susan and her team have created thousands of 1st class travel experiences for clients. It was fascinating to hear about all the details Susan takes care of for her travelers—from a helicopter transfer to/from the Nice airport to a personalized shopping trip in Monte Carlo to wheelchair access during a cruise down the Rhone to medical assistance while on a safari in Africa (wait, I should add no lions were involved!). I loved quizzing Rouge-Bleu about her 24/7 job and all the adventures her clients experience all over the world.
As far as I could see, the men were not wearing hotel uniforms but were dressed in khaki pants and shirts--a kind of camouflage? I wondered. "We are working on a mechanical issue," one of the men explained.
Well, that sort of made sense, except for the hour. As I said, it was past 10 at night! It was true our deluxe suite had been experiencing technical difficulties. Everything within the room was operated via an electronic tablet (similar to an IPad). Even the toilet was a high-tech wonder--with its own multi-function control panel. Rouge-Bleu told me it was one of those Japanese toilets, aka a Toto. Its seatwarming function, the water jets, and the dryer (no need for TP) were all operated electronically.
Similar to an electric car, if one thing goes wrong you're up the creek. And now the hotel's engineers were here for a lighting problem Susan had reported earlier. Relieved to know these weren't robbers, I quietly chuckled to think that our 5-star room was as technically challenged as Susan and I had been, as we tried to use the high-end amenities!
* * *
Thank you in advance for your comments and corrections. I appreciate every word! Click here to leave a message.
Thanks, Rouge-Bleu, for finding this old photo.
Susan and her team create personalized travel experiences to Europe and beyond. If you are ready to follow your dream to Paris (or anywhere in the world) contact Susan at Critics Choice Vacations.
Listen to the French terms listed below click here.
Rouge-Bleu = red-blue
Ruinart = the oldest champagne house in France
service du soir = turndown service
un grand rêve = a big dream
punaise! = oh no! darn!
la punaise = bed bug
la meilleure amie = best friend
Thanks in advance to readers sending in a blog donation for the first time, and to my returning patrons listed below. Your support keeps the wheels of this weekly journal turning, and I am truly grateful!
The Gaucher Family
Thank you, Kristi, for your blog which I've been reading and enjoying for 20+ years! Mollie B.
Photo by Rouge-Bleu, courtesy of Critics Choice Vacations
A Message from Kristi: Ongoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.
Ways to contribute:
1.Zelle®, The best way to donate and there are no transaction fees. Zelle to [email protected]
2.Paypal or credit card
Or purchase my book for a friend and so help them discover this free weekly journal.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety