It’s February at LAST.
Get ready for my introductory moan.
Had a major case of January blues after getting sick twice this month, the first time with a chest infection that warranted a trip to the doctor’s. N.B Avoid French doctors at all costs… not an enjoyable experience… And after finishing taking the world’s most expensive tablets, I then managed to catch the lycée bug that made me (and all of the other profs d’anglais) très très sick. I survived on a diet of toast and rich tea biscuits, because English food may be bland but it won’t make you vomit in quite the same way as French food.
I realise this a very poetic start to my blog.
Anyway, the lycée is still a breeding ground for germs; whilst waiting for lunch yesterday I saw one of my students, who is normally impossible to shut up, looking very grim. Our conversation went a little like this:
“Ça va Yoan?” (Are you okay Yoan ?)
” Pas trop…” (Not really)
… and sure enough, 10 seconds later Yoan had collapsed on the floor. Lovely.
Despite my students dropping like flies all day, some of my 1ère managed to survive until our afternoon class since I’d promised to make them some jelly the week before. I never realised but French people are obsessed with the idea that English people eat jelly. What’s more, my class of 1ère find the concept both fascinating and horrifying and somehow, no matter what the theme of the lesson is, the subject always reverts to jelly. Even a lesson on Facebook: HOW? So anyway I decided to put an end to the speculation, much to Florian’s horror.
“Mais Madame, la nourriture qui bouge, c’est pas normal!” (But Miss, food that moves isn’t normal!) Florian speaks English most of the time, but like most of my students, when they are embarrassed, confused, or terrified in Florian’s case, they revert back to French.
“Florian you’re going to love it! I promise.”
“On verra on verra…” (We’ll see we’ll see…)
I had pointed out to my class that they eat much weirder things here – take the French stereotype of snails and frog’s legs, or take the Lyonnaise speciality of andouillette. (If you don’t know what andouillette is, you’re probably better off.)
Anyway the jelly appeared yesterday afternoon as promised and my students’ faces dropped when they were each presented with a plastic spoon. After spending 5 minutes watching it wobble and allowing themselves to become ever-more alarmed, most of my students reluctantly agreed it was quite nice. Even Florian had managed to eat half a teaspoon, although his only response to me was “it’s very special”, which my students generally only say when they’re trying to tell me something is weird (and normally in a bad way). I.e My student’s favourite use of the word special: “Lady Gaga, she eez very special…”
When the lesson was over and faced with the decision of the bin or the door, my students all took their jelly away with them. England 1 France 0. I told them they could take it away on the agreement that they didn’t throw it or use it as some kid of wobbly weapon, although I realised my error was that the idea hadn’t even dawned on them up until that point…
Anyway, today has been a beautiful day in Lyon! We’ve been outside in the sunshine. 10 degrees! England 1 – France 1.
Jodie and I went to the market this morning to get some fruit and veg, and after a little chat with the coolest market stall owner on the market, he gave us both a free bag of delish oranges. (Jodie initially thought this man was trying to buy me in exchange for oranges, but the market was in Monplaisir and not Guillotière, so we were safe.)
On the way out, we spotted a little stall with a wobbly union jack painted on a little sign that said ‘Vente pour voyage en Angleterre’ (Sale to raise money for a trip to England). Behind the table stood about seven shifty looking lycée students, and on their table sat a few questionable looking items that they’d obviously cooked. We decided that, since we were English AND assistants (who are supposed to be promoting all things Brit), we’d better support the cause and cough up a euro. After all, a euro is a bargain for a 24hour-long warm fuzzy feeling AND brunch.
All hell broke lose when I asked the students who had cooked what, and which was the best -there was a definite divide between sorry looking quiche (one student…) and sorry looking pizza (…vs seven students…). I went for said quiche – a controversial move for banter-related-purposes, putting an enormous grin on the lone chef’s face but causing pandamonium in the ranks. Jodie restored the balance anyway and bought the pizza. Sure enough, out of the woodwork appeared their teachers, who we could definitely relate to; their only words to their students were “Talk to them en ANGLAIS!!!” Haha amazing.
And, for the record, our squished purchases were pretty tasty. Miam miam. 🙂