A couple of months ago: I decided today would be the day I would buy a French dictionary. Up until now, I have been perfectly content telling people that I speak "Franglais" and "hey, I speak better French after a glass of wine" but for some reason today was different.
I grabbed 10 Euros (why I only bothered to grab 10 euros is beyond me) stopped for a cappuccino (now I drink espresso) that I sipped while I amused myself with a French tabloid. I tried to read it as French smut is easy to understand but got so distracted by the photos I read not one sentence. After finishing my drink I quickly proceeded to the bookshop. There I was hit with absolute and total, shocking reality. True and utter reality that: I need to learn French and I do not know as much as I thought I knew. (After writing this post I signed up for intensive French classes, I have improved)
I went to the 10-12 year old section picked up a novel called "geek girl" (don't quote me) and could understand about 25% of the words if I wanted to give myself a headache. So, I then proceeded to the 3-4 year old section: BAM too advanced for these livres I thought to myself and decided to walk upstairs.
Upstairs I immediately was distracted by books in English and decided not to buy a French book (my brain needed a break from French) and a good ole American book would do. BAH!
Note: the books sold in English are a select few and usually are classics that I was forced to read in college and currently make my stomach hurt, romance or sappy love novels that I want nothing to do with, or terribly sad stories and who wants to read sad stories while they are living out their dream …
not I not I.
So, it is at this moment where I have a good ole classic panic attack realizing I know little French (panic attacks happen quite often when learning a new language), I am in a country far far far away from the comforts of "home" and that this scenario is in fact "my dream". As my panic attack gets worse I make my way over to the French English dictionaries. I stand here for 15-20 minutes (honestly maybe longer) going back an forth deciding to buy a big dictionary or a small one. Hey size matters when it comes to books :)
After way too long, I pick up a pocket dictionary (less overwhelming) give the cashier 3 euros and 99 cents (almost all I have left from the 10 euros) and leave the bookstore feeling absolutely … awful, ok not awful, I am being dramatic for the purpose of writing. I leave feeling so French …. commes ci commes ça …
and with a pocket size dictionary in hand, my adventure begins.