Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch

Searching in vain for the Europcar office in Metz, I decided this was as good a time as any to practice my French.

I formulated a line in my head — "Can you help me? I'm looking for Europcar"— whispered it to myself a few times, then bounded up to a startled-looking man on his cigarette break. Regrettably, I forgot to say Hello or Excuse me, but just launched in:

"Est-ce que je peux m'aider?"

He looked afraid.

"Je cherche Europcar ..."

And see how the ice melted! Although he smiled condescendingly and went on to direct me in English, I could tell he was pleased with the work I had put in over the summer.

It was only later that I noticed my confusion of pronouns.

So, without warning, and probably looking quite scattered, I had bounded up to this man and asked: "Can I help myself?"

The French are friendly.