As I sit down to write this article it slowly dawned on me that it will be my third posting on the 9to5 website and I have yet to receive a “Cease & Desist” letter, and so in bewilderment I shall begin.

 I mentioned last time that I planned on taking French lessons prior to my trip, going so far as to sit an exam, well you’ll be pleased to know I am currently attending them. It certainly pleased me.   I found myself enthusiastically taking to it, a far cry from my French education in high school.   Skulking into the bad of the class, throwing the odd dictionary across the classroom and generally causing undue stress upon the teaching staff.  That was a barefaced lie, I was one of those exceptionally uncool kids that sucked up to the teachers, I wish I was funny enough to be the class clown.   However for all my brown nosing, it never got me far when it came to French.  I passed, sort of, but by a narrower margin than I’d care to admit.   I wasn’t interested in languages back then, and I’m now ashamed to say that at that time I “didn’t see the point.”   Already, that arrogant attitude of “everyone speaks English anyway” had set in, and I refused to open my mind to alternatives.   I could lament the folly of my youth and the mistakes I made back then, but I’m glad that now I can finally do something to put it right.

I had my first lesson, now I am no stranger to making a fool of myself in public, it could even be said that I get some odd satisfaction out of the whole ordeal.   A trait I found remarkably useful whilst starting out in stand up comedy.   However, in this small enclave of students, perhaps no more than fifteen, I found myself terrified.   The teacher has asked me to introduce and talk about myself in French.   Standing up I suddenly realise that my throat has dried to a desert and my tongue lodged itself firmly in my oesophagus.   After making a noise that can only be described as a painful gag, I opted to start with my name.   The main reason being I had forgotten how to say anything else.   After that though, it all fell into place.   All I had to do was overcome that initial fear, realising that everyone sitting around the table was in the same position.   We were here to learn, and sometimes mistakes would be part of that.   The class flew by after that, vocabulary came back to me, grammar rules were reinforced and I left with a confidence and enthusiasm I had never before experienced from learning.

Foolishly I flaunted my new found vocabulary to Sophie, to prove it I asked to write an article about pandas, in the style of a “first-grader.”   That was what Sophie asked for, this was what she got.

Je m’appelle Garçon du l’Eccossais et je voudrais parler de panda.   Pourquoi?   Parcel que le panda c’est super!

Ils ont découvertes par l’Ouest en un mille, huit cent, soixante neuf par un missionaire français.   Ils es grande et poilu et mignon mais va manger votre visage.

De temps an temps ils regarder pornographie mais ils sont tree critiques, et l’industrie du film pour adultes n’a pas suffi!

Dans Eccosse il y a plus de pandas que le politiciens conservatives.   Additionellement, a un mille dollars américains par année, le pandas c’est moins cher.

IMG_20131012_121440In my defence I have no idea what age a first-grader is supposed to be, so I don’t know just how wildly inappropriate that was.

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