Friday, June 10, 2011

Cherries and Smirks

The second night at our quaint inn in Venasque, France, I asked Jackie, our tour leader, to teach me how to say "Please may I take your picture?"in French. My mouth just couldn't get around even the first word, sending both of us into hysterics. So I wrote it on a piece of paper and carried it with me where ever I went with my camera. I wanted to be the gracious American tourist, as much as possible with only English and high school Spanish to my credit. Venasque was having a cherry festival (Festival de la cerise) and the mouth watering fresh cherries were something to celebrate, indeed. Rounding a corner on the narrow cobblestone streets I spotted these two boys perched on an ancient stone wall, empty basket of cherries between them. Pulling out my paper I read the script I'd practiced. They smirked and nodded "yes".
That night at the inn while the rest of the group were eating poached quail eggs (I love quail in my yard too much to consider this) I reported my success story. Then another member of our group shared that an hour later she had come upon the same scene and asked (I presume in English) the same question. "Three euros" they said! Either they are fast learners or my massacre of the French language brought me special favors.

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