Nelson and I woke up at 6 am for an unplanned trip to `Mon Oncles,` Nelson`s great uncles house in the eastern townships. Although it is less than an hour from our doorstep, Mon Oncles is like a whole other mystical land. Big-city-mice-visit-the-country kind of deal.
|view from mon oncle's kitchen|
It is truly another world - where tubas can be heard from across the lake, strangers want to take you for rides on their boats and bugs can fly in your wineglass and you`ll drink it anyway.
Mon Oncle is my favorite 70+ oncle.
He has classical music playing all of the time (right now Beethoven is on). He prepares elaborate meals each time we visit (tonight we had lobster), and he always has something interesting to discuss. We have a unique relationship in that he is totally french - his english consists of few but important words like ìce cream`or `hotdog.`And I am totally english - my french a few weak sentences here and there like `ah, cèst bon.` But somehow we make it work! We laugh all the time and seem to understand one another despite this major setback. I imagine to an outsider we might look like two deaf people signing to one another.
Today, as usual, he was discussing a violin concert he had gone to with Nelson, and I understood the whole conversation! So of course I felt the need to butt in and I interjected right into the depth of their conversation. Interrupting is one of those things I do that i tell myself not to right before I do it - but it blurts out like an involuntary spasm anyway.
Me: Moi, j`adore le violen!
Nelson and Mon Oncle stopped to stare at me, but no one responded as fast as I would have liked. So i restated my love for the violin once more, with vigor!
Me: `J`adore, j`adore le violen! J`adore!
I was so pleased that Mon Oncle and I had something like the violin in common - and that I had understood his whole conversation without translation from Nelson!
Nelson: You know you are saying violence right now, becca.
Me: Oh. I am? Am I saying that I love violence?
Mon Oncle`s eyes were darting from side to side, watching the exchange between Nelson and I. Clearly he thought I was going to kick someone`s ass. And that Nelson was trying to talk me out of it.
Nelson: Yes you are.
Nelson and I started laughing, clearly relieving poor Mon Oncle from what he thought was about to become a fistfight. But still having no idea what was going on.
Nelson: It`s vio-lon. Not vio-LEN
Me: Okay. J`adore le violon, Mon Oncle. Le violon.
I am sure this won`t be the last franco mishap I`ll have. It certainly isn`t my first. I once told Nelson`s grandmother I was sexually excited instead of happy. But today I learned how to properly pronounce violin in french - and to never make that mistake again. It was also be very bad if the situation were reversed and I was very angry and I told someone I was about to get a violin out.
Gotta go - Mon Oncle has put some blueberry creme glacee out for me with my name on it.