Avec Oeuf

Last night Carrie and I ordered a pizza and you could add an oeuf – the French LOVE their eggs. We wanted to see what this would be like so we ordered a relatively normal pizza with cheese, olives, artichokes, tomatoes and basil and the oeuf. I swear the egg was just cracked open on the cooked pizza but wasn’t cooked itself. We just spread it around and hoped it would cook a-top the hot pizza. No signs of food poisoning so far!

After dinner we decided to walk along the beach promenade and see about finding a club or local discotheque to go dancing in. Ultimately, we decided to just sit on the prom and people watch. (People watching has been a huge entertainment for us in Cannes.)

Not too long thereafter we were approached by a two boys (and I do mean boys, about 22, not much older than the high school students Carrie teaches and I sub for.) They were very nice and it was fun practicing our French and letting them practice their English. Between us all we were able to have a pretty decent conversation, until they wanted us to go with them to the discotheque and we had to break their little hearts gently that we were married and tres fidel.

So, they moved on and a similar pattern of approach, confused French-English conversation, requests of movement over to the discotheque, marriage revelation, confirmation of fidelity to our husbands, and pretty abrupt end to conversation ensued for the next couple hours.

The conversations really would have been pretty hysterical to someone observing the scene. At one point, the conversation led to French fries’ French counterpart the pommes frites. What other things were called “French” in the US? Well, there’s Frenches mustard and French Toast, of course.

But French Toast was not a concept that made sense to them. We tried to explain using the French words we knew to describe it: panne (bread), oeuf (egg), sucre (sugar). But, they kept thinking we were describing a crepe. So, pantomime ensued as we played a game of impromptu charades to depict the process of making French Toast.

The bowl was created by rounding out each arm, egg was dropped into the bowl and a stirring motion followed, the bread (my driver’s license for a prop) then was dipped in the bowl of egg. But we had a really hard time getting them to understand the idea of toast. They saw only a crepe being made when the driver’s license was dropped in the pan on the stove. So, Carrie’s wallet was solicited to become the toaster and the series of pockets for credit cards the bread slots. Then the driver’s license popped up and I played hot potato with it to indicate how hot the bread, dipped in egg, had now become. Then the sugar was pored on top.

I’m still not sure they got it, but by this time I think we were all ready to move in a new direction with the conversation so they feigned as though they did understand and the game was over.

The French love their ouefs.

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