Last night I had fun at my friend's house warming party. I told one of my 'chattees' (ie one of the people I chat to online to practise my French) that I was going to this 'house warming' party and he asked me what that was, and after my explanation, then proceeded to tell me that it's called a pendaison de crémaillère in French. What a mouthful! The words literally mean to hang up a pot-hanging rack! According to Chocolate and zucchini "Une crémaillère is a trammel, the adjustable hook that was used to hang pots in the fireplace; a housewarming party was thrown on the day that this essential piece of equipment was added to a new house." and an interesting discussion here on Word Reference.
There were around 40 people at this party and my sister was there too. This particular friend of mine knows a lot of people to say the least. My friend that I mentioned here before was there too. I introduced him to my sister, both of whom are linguaphiles and know French, German, Chinese, and bits 'n' pieces of other languages, as well as English, of course.
Over the course of the evening the topic of rent prices kept coming up. As everyone knows, Paris is an expensive city to live in but being from Sydney, I can't say that Sydney is any cheaper. It's just that our prices are in Australian dollars, whereas Paris' are in Euros so after the exchange rate it works out more expensive. Not to mention the dwellings are smaller and older. So this friend of mine mentioned that he spent some time living in Berlin and for Germany or Europe, Berlin is dirt cheap. He and my sister also talked about the thing with the kitchens...! In one of the books I read about life in Paris (I can't even remember which one, they are all starting to blur together) I remember the author mentioning that 'unfurnished' apartments in Paris don't come with kitchens and that you have to buy/install your own! The only thing that comes with the apartment is a kitchen sink. So I guess Germany and France are totally the same in that regard. Also, they talked about how in Germany most people rent their whole lives... This is rather unheard of in Australia, at least amongst all the people I know. Everybody wants to buy their first home as soon as possible, and this housewarming was for my friend's very first house purchase, which would've been impossible without the help of her parents.
It was a rather multi-cultural bunch that was there... so many nationalities/backgrounds.. I had heaps of fun. I wonder how a typical Australian party (with barbeque) compares to a French pendaison de crémaillère?