Thursday, 23 February 2006

and another thing

Party tonight. I have to say, the fact that I'm a native english speaker that makes a decent fist of speaking french but am still recognisably not french and the inevitable subsequent revelation that I'm Australian, followed relentlessly by the frankly uninteresting story of how I came to be doing a thesis in France, this is dull. It ceased to be interesting to me as a topic of conversation fairly soon after I managed to master recounting it in french, albeit that this took a number of fairly painful iterations. The variations, including explaining that Brisbane is north of Sydney and that Australia is really quite big, that Australian football isn't like rugby and that as a population we don't much care about soccer, and even the minor ones like that Australian chicks aren't generally as pretty as french chicks, these also no longer hold much appeal. It's all very repetitive, and for someone with a limited vocabulary (as is inevitable for any non-native speaker, I suspect), literally so. I swear I could draw a pretty accurate workflow for the first conversation I have with a french person, and not have it violated more than 2% of the time.

For goodness sakes, won't someone ask me about how the Lions are going to cope with their aging midfield, or how Michael Clarke has to be given another chance, or how John Howard has moved Australian politics to the right? I'd settle for their french equivalents, but if someone asks me again, in french, how I came to be doing a thesis in france, its entirely possible I'll take up the nearest piece of blunt cutlery and stab them in the throat.

4 comments:

Apple (Messy of) said...

Hmmmm I feel your pain. I would have thought that the only way to circumvent this situation ("buck the flowchart", as it were) is to take the initiative, to thrust rather than parry, and wheedle someone's else life story out of them. I can, however, appreciate that this can be a difficult path to tread in an unfamiliar group, particularly in a language that you have not totally tamed.

Be brave, my conversational warrior.

Anonymous said...

Get over it you antisocial bastard :-)

Jim said...

Hmm, hmm. The antisocial barb has merit, but I think the real promise lies in this thrusting theory. Thrusting it is!

Chris said...

I'm bored to tears by that conversation! I've pared it down to a bare minimum these days, so I can get through it pretty quick :-) But you should look at it on the bright side (seeing as you're apparently an antisocial bastard!): should you chance to meet someone that you *do* want to talk to, it gives you an easy 10min of conversation in which you don't have to be tongue tied. :-) Don't forget either, while we might find it painful, most people really are interested in how a young Australian ended up in Europe speaking another language, and more to the point is not working in a bar! :-)