XXX. Provence

postcards from france

Bridget is a neuroscience major at a college in Maine. She hasn’t taken a French class since high school before coming to spend these four months in Aix---naturally, her French is a bit rusty at first. But she is open and friendly, and communicates with a completely adorable mixture of lots of hand gestures, anglicized turns of phrase, and ums. It’s easy to understand her if you are willing to listen. Bridget comes over to my apartment one afternoon. When I introduce her to Agnès, Bridget tries to say how nice it is to meet her, that her home is so sunny and light and she would love to live here. Agnès, not even hearing what she is saying, cuts Bridget off in the middle of her sentence.

Agnès turns to me and says, She doesn't speak very good French, does she? And of course Bridget understands her. Understanding is the easy part. It’s speaking up where things get difficult.