Thursday, February 24, 2005

A Change Around the Corner

Welcome those of you coming from Blogcritics! I've apparently been chosing critic of the day on that site. I have no idea if this is chosen randomly or if some kind soul actually picked me out. I suspect the former, but I'll still allow myself to be honored.

It seems I have been pretty busy lately, at least if you judge by the number of reviews I have written lately. I have been giving some serious thought about changing the content of my blog. Originally it was created to keep a journal on my year abroad, in Strasbourg. Eventually even the excitement of living in a foreign country that speaks an unknown tongue, wore off. Oh, I'm still enjoying myself, and am having quite the adventure, but there is a definite groove that I have worn myself into. This does not make an interesting blog. Anyone that might be interested in the regular goings on of my day, I e-mail anyway, so it seems redundent to maintain that aspect of my blog. This does not mean that I plan to give up posting about my experiences. I simply hope to be a better editor of the information. I am proud of my grocery shopping story from the other day, and I would like to continue to post similar expieriences. Also, when we do any traveling, or have any real adventures, I will be sure to post them. This is not a declaration of fact, or a change of rules as of yet. These are just things I have been considering and will eventually, probably, move in that direction.

It has been snowing. Strasbourg snow seems to be like its rain: it comes in slow, continual drizzles. Essentially it has been snowing for the last week, but we barely have an inch sitting on the ground. And that's only because we got what I would call a proper snowing for about an hour last night.

We went to see the Aviator a couple of nights ago. I will have a review posted in a day or two. Strasbourg movies houses are set up differently than their American counter parts. They actually do have a large multi-plex, but I haven't been to it. The ones we frequent (if once a month can be considered frequently)are smaller and more interesting. This particular one had a little cafe connected to it, where presumably, people could wait before their movie started. We arrived a good twenty minutes early and were informed we could not yet enter into the theatre. Being Americans, the whole cafe idea seems peculiar to us and so we simply waited outside the door. While we waited I realized I needed to use the restroom. None were visible. I went downstairs, into the lobby, to look. Amy reassured me on my question "Ou son la toilette?" Yet when I arrived in the lobby, and found no visible toilet, I froze up. The usher was looking at me as I passed down the steps ready to help me in anyway. But I looked away and walked towards the door, pretending that I was waiting for someone. I looked at my watched and generally looked impatient. I cursed myself for being such a chicken, and paced about hoping that some sign would show me the way. I had no such luck and returned to Amy feeling no relief.

Why can I not ask a simple question? I know the words, the pronunciation is easy. Perhaps I was afraid I would not understand the answer. But it is a question of where, and this was a small building. Surely the answer would incorporate hand gestures that would help me along. There have been no recorded incidents of movie ushers suddenly devouring unintelligent tourists. The man's job was to help, surely he would be willing to repeat himself slowly, if I could not understand. Yet there I sat through a 2 hour movie without the ability to relieve myself.

To add insult to my stupidity I got another lecture from my French tutor. During my classes on Monday and Wednesday I have not been a particularly good student. My brain has just drawn blanks on the simplest of things. Ann chastised me for not talking with Amy or doing internet work on my own. I feel really bad, because she seems to take it personally. As if she is not a good teacher, because I am a bad student. Not talking to the cinema usher and not talking to Amy are tied together. I am extremely embarassed when I speak in French. I am afriad of getting the pronunciation wrong, of misusing grammar, of not knowing what words to say. So I simply don't say anything. Which, of course, does not improve my language skills. I have vowed again to speak more, and work more on my own. We'll see how it goes.


bigsip said...

Brew, you poor, poor, man...I didn't know whether to laugh or cry for you. Speak French, man! This is your chance to get out there and just say something. Heck, these people don't know you. They will probably never see you again. Just try it and if you get into an argument over it, just curse them out in English. They won't understand you anyway and it'll make you feel better. Be strong my Brew!

midnitcafe said...

Just laugh. Logically, intelectually it is stupid not to talk. Of course nothing bad will come of it. It's kind of like asking a girl out (remember that feeling before we were married), nothing bad is going to happen, the girl will probably say yet, but man is it ever hard to ask. Same feeling overcomes me here, and I tense up whenever I have to talk.

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