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« Niji doing her thing - a la campagne outside Paris | Main | »

WOMEN AND PEASANTS

This is Niji on her new French language bed. Hands off. Thats what it says.

Here's a little story for you.  In French class the other day during the oral section of the class, I realized I was perhaps over-expressing my enthusiasm for a fashionable hotel and on-the-verge arrondisement.  I wanted to show that my passions went far deeper than 'trendy boites', that I had well-rounded interests ya know?

In this endeavour, I inadvertently announced to the group that I just adored "women and peasants" - 'la ferme et la paysan' - not ‘the countryside’ and ‘rolling farms’ as I intended.

Basically, the more French I take in, the less I breathe out.  My solidly intermediate French has taken a turn for the worse.

The teacher kept asking me to repeat:

"Women?"

"Women."

"Women?"

"Yes, Women.

Women and peasants. This I love."

Ever since then, I can't stop using the word paysan, which means peasant. She explained softly that this was an anachronistic term in France.  Not something you really say anymore.  But anything that has to do with nature, the word paysan just slips right into my speech.  (I mean campagne.)  The teacher at this point is sure I am just plain stupid and it is oddly fun to be seen as an idiot (uh sort of).  It certainly leaves me with nowhere to go but up...

*The hotel was Hotel Amour and the energy percolating was in the 9th arr -- (it certainly ain't here in the 6th where the average age is between 60-78; the average hemline is mid-calf; nubby wool and visible seams are de rigueur; and embellishments consist of tasseled and beaded velvet patchwork…)
As a New Yorker and someone who once hunted street style as an occupation, I still have a little - okay a LOT of the seeker in me.  But naturellement, I do love me some farm women.

-Chauncey Zalkin, Girl-on-the-street, Ivy Paris guest writer

chauncey@girlonthestreet.com

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