Thursday, August 25, 2011

Quote of the Day

Ricky gave one of her shrieks when she saw her friend Julie. "Oh Goodness," she said, grabbing her firmly by the arm and determined not to let her go in a hurry, "what a relief to see a kent-face! Thank goodness you waited for me!"
"Well naturally somebody had to wait for you, you daft scone," said Julie, who was a bit acid owing to the extreme pangs of hunger she was suffering. "What happened to you?"
"What happened to me?" cried Ricky. "Well, just about everything happened to me! To begin with, that frightful bus-stop! I couldn't even get on to a bus. It was frightful. Every time a bus arrived there was a sort of free fight, everybody yelling and shouting and waving those ghastly little tickets - they're a dead loss if you like, give me a nice tidy, orderly queue every time - and I simply didn't know what numbers they were shouting! The thing is, these people talk French in a jolly funny way, have you noticed? Not a bit like Ellie and her irregular verbs in the form-room. I mean, you can usually get some idea of what Ellie's saying if you really put your mind to it, but there's no understanding these French people at all. And then-" and Ricky became extremely indignant again at the every thought of it,- "and then I really was first in the queue, there wasn't another living soul at the bus-stop, and then what do you think? An ancient sort of old bloke just popped up from nowhere and there was only one seat on the bus and he got it! What do you think of that for famous French manners? He hadn't even a ticket! He just waved some old card or other and the conductor let him on, and there was I, standing like a spare part, looking silly!"

From CROOKS TOUR, Chapter 8, The Crook and the Pearls. Ricky is suffering a little culture shock in France and discovering what many thousands of students of the French language have discovered: that the French taught in schools bears little resemblance to the language that is spoken in France!