Friday, September 30, 2011

the reason why

gmh3 Not sure if I've ever told you why I'm taking French...

Actually when I was going to school, I thought that I might be able to work at the U.N. after college. I found out that you needed to know 5 languages. So, I signed up for German at a community college, but that class was always cancelled because I was the only one who signed up for it.

Then, in college I majored in Japanese, and when my conversation teacher told me in the 3rd year that I should change my major because I'd never speak the language, I studied in Japan for a year.

Anyway, none of that has to do with French but one year when Satoshi and I travelled to Montreal, we had dinner at a restaurant.

I can't remember what cuisine the restaurant was, I don't even remember what we ate.

I do remember being seated in a really teeny corner. And being brought warm beer then having to wait almost 30 minutes for our food.

I remember noticing that all the people who spoke French were being seated in nicer areas and receiving their food faster.

At the end of the meal, the waiter demanded a 20% tip thinking we didn't understand English because we had been chatting away in Japanese. I told him in English that tips were for "good service", but he wouldn't back down, until I asked to speak to the manager.

And then he "shooed" us away.

So, I've always wanted to take French, to be able communicate with people in their own language. I've still got a long ways to go until I can actually carry on a conversation with someone.

Hopefully I'll pick up more with my French class coming up next week.

September has come and gone...hope you had a nice month, Autumn is kinda here, though Summer seems to be putting up a fight!

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is good that the experience in Canada did not put you off the language or the people.

Kathy YL Chan said...

Summer seems to be putting up a fight here in NYC too! I give you major kudos for studying French. I've always wanted to learn the language...but there's a big difference between saying you want to do this and that...and then actually doing it!! ^_^

K and S said...

so true Anon!

Take care.
Kat

K and S said...

Kathy you should check out "coffee break french" on itunes (not sure if you have iphone/itouch), I'm listening to these lessons now as supplement to my classes. only 15 minutes per lesson, pretty interesting too :)

Take care.
Kat

myra said...

Wow, good luck with your french lessons! I've been trying over the years to learn Russian. It's been hard committing to night classes so I've been using Rosetta Stone and Byki in the car and on the computer. It will hardly make me conversational but every little bit you learn always helps.

-myra

K and S said...

wow that is amazing Myra, I wish you all the best with it :)

Take care.
Kat

C P said...

Hihi Kat! I'm actually studying in Montreal (I'm originally from Toronto), and I've been through the very same situation! To tell you the truth, though, my native Montreal friends say that people in Quebec tip at least 15% (and that's at any old local Chinese shop).

I'm sorry to hear that you had a bad experience in Canada. Most of us are generally nice people.

Hope French goes well for you!

K and S said...

no worries CP! I don't hold it against all Canadians :) Take care and good luck with your studies!

Kat

jalna said...

5 languages!! How do people do that? I can barely handle one!

Rowena... said...

There is nothing more ignorant than outright discrimination at a restaurant to make me see RED! What a**holes at that restaurant to PRESUME what nationality you were by the language being spoken. Glad you asked for the manager, and I just know that you'll learn a decent french.

Japan Australia said...

French would be a great language to learn along with Italian as they sound so beautiful and are romantic languages :)

Japan Australia

K and S said...

amazing, yeah Jalna?!

Thanks Rowena, yeah it makes me see red too.

Italian is a good one too J-A!

Take care everyone.
Kat

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, that waiter was really rude. And he even asked for a tip. I cannot believe it. And there is really no need to treat his customers the way he treated you. The good thing is that he received no tip. I hate such people who discriminate other cultures, languages, people. Actually, I am sure that is forbidden, even in Canada. This story makes me so mad. Anyway, it is good to learn foreign languages. I speak three languages. And I am so glad you had such a wonderful time in Paris.
Sandy

K and S said...

I was mad too Sandy and he got no tip :) 3 languages wow!!

Take care.
Kat

Deb in Hawaii said...

I remain impressed with your language skills. ;-) I hate rude servers--I am glad you held your ground and didn't tip him.

K and S said...

aw thanks Deb!

Take care.
Kat