mardi 13 février 2007
These two books "A Year in the Merde" and "Merde Actually" by Stephen Clarke are about an Englishman named Paul West, who moves to France. They were recommended to me by my friend Hanna.
(Merde, for anyone who doesn't know, means s***)
You can "être dans la merde" to be in the s***
"merde alors!" Oh s***!
J'ai merdé à l'examen! I really screwed up the exam
merdeux/merdeuse: to feel s***ty
un petit merde: a little s*** (like the annoying kids next to me on the Metro the other day)
merdique: s***ty
emmerder: to get on someone's nerves
emmerdeur/emmerdeuse (make sure you get the right form for the right gender) someone who is a big pain
demerder: to get by, manage, get yourself out of s***

All of these definitions I took from the French-English dictionary. They take their s*** seriously.

I ended up reading the second one first, as I had bought it thinking that it was the first one. I finished it and went out and bought the first. So it is a bit disconcerting to read the first knowing what is going to happen (ie which girl he will end up with) but entertaining nevertheless. I am quite pleased to see some familiar themes explored- namely, frustrations with the Prefecture, french drivers, french food mishaps, strikes (namely transportation and garbage collectors), stepping in the merde, and trying to make oneself understood. Haven't read anything about La Poste yet, but perhaps the post offices are better in Paris. Also made me glad that I am not living in Paris. Marseille is big enough and culturally enough for me. It has enough museums, theaters, an opera, original version movie theaters, etc. to keep me happy. Furthermore, housing prices aren't sky-high (only skyscraper high) and it is close to other nice places to visit.

However, I do miss the American community.

1 commentaires:

pierre l a dit…

This is an excellent ad. I am tempted. I lived in Paris for a while around 30 years ago, and the dog-merde on the sidewalk was a definite problem. Wonder if anything has changed...
Pierre in Berkshire, UK

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