15 April 2010

parlez-vous francais?

My colleagues complain that I hardly ever speak in French, apart from "Oui!" and "Non!" and "Je ne comprends pas!"  So today, in an effort to humor them, I walked to my desk and greeted Jean-Pierre in the most bibo voice I could muster:

"Salut! Ca va? Je m'appelle Sheila!" (Hello! How are you? I am Sheila!)

Jean-Pierre stops in his tracks, raises his eyebrows at me, and is already laughing when he replies: "Salut Sheila! D'ou viens tu?" (Hello Sheila! Where are you from?)

Encouraged, I try to crack a joke with my newfound French vocabulary. "Je viens de... how do you say 'heaven' in French?"


"Je viens de Paradis!" I exclaim proudly.  What I meant to say, of course, is that I had come down from heaven to grace him with my angelic presence.

Jean-Pierre cracks up. "You just said you died and came back from the dead. Or, it could also mean that you died and went to heaven, but heaven sent you back because they didn't want you."


31 March 2010

the banana phone

One of my fears, before I began my internship here in France, was that: a) I would be stuck with a bunch of middle-aged employees who talked about their houses, children, and mortgages; or b) be the only girl amidst male nuclear scientists and engineers who liked to discuss theoretical physics in their spare time.

In other words, that I would be bored shitless.

That was until I met my officemates. The conversations we have are so stupid it's hilarious.

Today, Jean-Pierre, the guy who sits across my desk in the office, walked into our room complaining that he had left his mobile phone at home.

ME: Oh? (hands the banana on my desk to him) You can use this instead! (I demonstrate and put the banana to my ear like a phone.)
JEAN-PIERRE: You think that's a phone?!?
ME: Yes, haven't you seen on the internet? (goes to Google and comes back with this picture) See?

JEAN-PIERRE (giving me a strange look): You're crazy.
ME (still searching on Google): Oh, this is even better! See? It's so famous on Google.

JEAN-PIERRE: You know, in France, when we see a banana we don't think of a telephone.
ME (pausing for a moment to register what he's saying): Oh.
JEAN-PIERRE (cracking up now): Yes, you will see! Google "banane" and see what comes up! Come on, try it!
ME: No, I don't want!

At this point Jean-Pierre starts laughing like a madman.

Suddenly we hear a muffled voice coming through the walls. It's Samuel, the guy from the room next door, yelling, JEAAAAN-PIEEEEERRRE! What are you doing to She-la?

JEAN-PIERRE (stops laughing and puts a deadpan face on): He's jealous.

Hahaha. I'm gonna miss these guys when my internship ends.

PS. If you are one of the losers who have never heard of a banana phone, watch this. It's from the pre-YouTube era, one of the most annoyingly LSS-inducing songs ever. ;) Ring ring ring ring banana phoooooone....

01 January 2010


the blue moon shining on new year's eve
[tilburg, the netherlands]

They say that things just cannot grow
Beneath the winter snow
Or so I have been told.

They say it's bad to start the new year on a sad note.

They say the new year brings with it another chance to start over.

They say you should welcome change, because with it comes growth.

They say many things. You think that perhaps, with all this imparted wisdom, you would be all the wiser when life happens to you. You think you will be smarter. You think you will be stronger. But when it finally happens, none of the things you've heard matter.

It's still difficult.

It hurts just as bad.

I still believe in summer days
The seasons always change
And life will find a way.
- Winter Song, Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson