jeudi 24 septembre 2009

Francais encounters of the third kind...

I used to work in a stationery store which had great sales and I stocked up on a few things for myself and for gifts. I brought out one of the A4 spiral lined notebooks that I had in my 'archives' and started using that for my French notes. Since I've been writing out all the lessons of Assimil I seem to be filling it up quicker than I thought so today I went to back to the store to buy another thick lined A4 notebook.

While I was in the store, I was actually listening to FSI and even though I had my earphones in, I heard a man talking on his mobile (cell) phone next to me. I heard, "Oui d'accord." At first I thought I was imagining things. I told myself, "Don't be silly. He doesn't even look French." (whatever that means, as if the French all look the same)... "He looks sort of Asian, dark skinned, maybe Filipino or something." However, I really wanted to know if he was speaking French or not. So I sort of subtlely followed him but as I walked near him (now pretending to be looking at glue sticks) he walked further away to the back of the aisle. I decided not to act like a stalker and just stayed staring at glue sticks. Even though he was now about 3 metres away from me and I couldn't exactly hear what he was saying, but I was 100% sure it was French.

Now, even though I live in a fairly multicultural area, it's very rare to meet a French person in my part of town so I guess I was a little excited. I even wanted to go up to him and ask if he was indeed French, but the little voice inside my head started up again...

"Don't be stupid. He'll think you're stalking him. He might be weirded out by you." "Yeah, you're probably right," I thought so I just continued to find the aisle with the notebooks (this is a large store). While I was there looking, he seemingly appeared out of nowhere from one side of the store to walked in front of me and said, "Excuse me" as he tried to get past me in this narrow aisle. Hmm. I tried to look at him again (but not to appear too obvious) and kept telling myself, "But he looks Asian! He looks like he's Filipino, or Indonesian, or from some other South-East Asian country. But then again he could be mixed. He does also sort of have a South American appearance.... man, what's the matter with you? YOU look Asian yourself and can speak English as your main language, so why can't this guy (if he really is "Asian") speak French?... Well it's just I don't expect a French person to look that way..."

Isn't it funny how we expect people to look like the place they come from? I get annoyed when people do it to me, yet here I was thinking those very same thoughts! ARGH.

Part of me really wanted to talk to him, to find out if he lived in the area... but then at the same time I didn't want to seem like I was chatting him up (which was never my idea). I think I felt stupid for even thinking all these weird bizarre thoughts but it's as if whenever my ears hear French I just want to go up to that person and start speaking it to/with them!


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