Thursday, June 26, 2008
A Decadent Dictator
During a year of studies in Southern France, my American roommate and I were both picked for a three hour Modern World History class that met each Wednesday. She and I sat next to each other and for three full hours we wrote madly every single mot that we could grasp out of the air bursting at its seams with facts and figures and politics that poured out like hot lava from our Professor's mouth at TGV-like speed. We neither looked at each other during class nor breathed, I think, for the full three hours. After class, we would compare notes and try as we might to piece together the broken phrases and words and ideas to map out the history he had recounted for us. It was a difficult class and we always returned home fatigued - both mentally and physically.
One day when our professor was detailing for us the tragic events of World War II (I repeat the subject of the day was World War II), all of a sudden my roommate elbows me sharply and whispers every so quietly and ever so completely obliviously - "please for the love of dieu - tell me who is ECLAIR?". Yes, eclair like the cream-filled, chocolate-topped, calorie-ridden pastry. I looked at her, then at her note book - a notebook that was filled with sentences the likes of " ECLAIR started the war with France, ECLAIR stormed in to occupy Paris, ECLAIR sent 6 million to the camps..."
I immediately burst into a very loud laugh as I realised her faux pas : the French do not pronounce the letter H outloud.
I will let you figure out the rest.
And if you are good, someday I will tell you the story about (h)appiness.