pour hommes… and femmes too

23Apr07

why the stereotype french woman is so sexy is no real mystery. sure, the dark hair, slender physique, sharp features and musical voice contributes but the real reason is obviously the fact that we have no clue what she’s saying. i mean she could be calling you a perverted goat or telling you how much your breath reminds her of rotten eggs and you’ll probably be interpreting it as “you desi men are so cute!” or some sort of romantic endearment.

i was chatting with this blogging acquaintance yesterday and we somehow came around to the topic of our french learning experiences. and as its an amusing memory, i might as well blog it for posterity. senility is fast catching up anyway.

when i was in the fourth grade, our british teachers came up with the brainwave that we, an assortment of pakistanis, iraninans, indians, sri lankans. egyptians, lebanese, palestininans, sudanese and local emirati arabs – multilinguals all – were ready for an introduction to “culture”,  something best achieved, in their collective opinion, through teaching us the french language. in later years, i’ve come to see this as blatant racism – after all, we should have had a choice of languages, including some non-european ones – but this was a case where nine year old minds unwittingly outwitted the european invaders.

anyways, the tool for instruction chosen was a monsieur jacques lupin (who someone christened “the loon”), a young overly dandified wierdo, complete with tresses, facial hair and ruffled sleeves – the school of van dyke – whom the a level girls were swooning over. i know this because they kept asking us fourth graders about him in the school bus. the poor guy diligently spent two months shrieking fed attention every three minutes while trying to load us with as much french as he was able. we didn’t think much of him because he had no clue who deigo maradona was. at the end of the two months, he planned a huge demo for the principal and several other teachers to show them how much we enjoyed our french classes.

the scenario was that two tourists (kaloom and i) come up to two locals (shazli and ajay) and ask for directions to a restaurant or hotel or something. so on the big day, there were around a dozen teachers, including the principal and the headmaster, lined up against the wall while we prepared to display our linguistic skills. the loon was directing.

in the pin-drop silence, kaloom and i swaggered up to the other two dudes, a brief dramatic pause and then i said loudly to ajay, “hello! do you speak english?” and he responded just as loudly, “yes i do”. i then proceeded to ask directions but was drowned out by the combined noise of the teachers laughing and the loon shrieking no, no! parler en francais! so we had to restart. this time i came up and said bonjour! parle vous anglais? and shazli says, oui! certainement! and then we asked the directions in english again. this time even the principal guffawed – the only time we ever saw him laughing. the loon of course was pulling his hair out in frustration.

the project was ditched. and french became an option in the seventh grade. the loon left school four months later. we heard he was fired after he was caught in a compromising situation with one of the a level girls.

must’ve been a french kiss.

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35 Responses to “pour hommes… and femmes too”

  1. the french women are hot because they have that certain “je ne ces’t qui”
    the irony is, even they dont know what it is. that’s why it’s called that.

    but you do know that’s a hilarious story 😀
    lol! certainly! we both KNOW english… so let’s learn a new language that we both DONT know so we can talk in that :p

  2. now there’s an idea… i recommend pushto.

  3. 3 SK

    “but the real reason is obviously the fact that we have no clue what she’s saying.” LOL!! 🙂 (Which is very hard to control while reading your blogs at work, with my boss right in front of me!) Personally though I like french and wish I had continued with it in school. 🙂 Maybe then I could say a few…’words’… to my ex in french, as in ‘she could be calling you a perverted goat’.. 😉
    lol at the play scene…”Do you know english? Yes”…aannnd ‘the end’. Can just imagine what the french teacher must have said to you all later.
    ‘caught in a compromising situation with one of the a level girls.’ WHA…??? Tauba!!

  4. apparently i’m the only one on the blogosphere who mostly blogs from home 🙂

    and tauba not! m. lupin was hardly to blame. the girls were falling over him like he was a daigh of biryani at a mazaar if you know what i mean.

  5. 5 No One

    ha ha…funny life story…needless to say…A-level girls are fast!! ha ha…laters.

  6. you have too much time at home if you can blog from home…
    i only have free time at work.

  7. I’m trying to imagine an 8 year old you. An 8 year old swaggering you.

    =P

  8. LOL ! which skool were u at? chouifat?

  9. Haha.
    I liked that story, can I borrow the chaat masala you sprinkle on your little anecgoats?

  10. 10 SK

    hemlock: believe it or not, that’s quite true for me. I get my work done (not slacking at work or anything) but usually get it done real quickly…organized….and literally have free time at work…none at home. That’s Fizza and my time. 🙂
    Xil: Well,apparently some people get their work done fast, and don’t laze around! 😉 Then, when we have free time, we blog…or comment on other people’s blogs! :p 😉
    Lol at ‘tauba not’. And forget the silly girls falling all over him (saw that in our college as well…pathetic), what about the teacher’s sense of decorum (err…not the right word and don’t have time to think of the right one!) and responsibility to his ‘students’? Kind of strikes me as…err..sick? 🙂

  11. 11 SK

    And now I want biryani. 😉

  12. 12 PsycheD

    sacre blue!!!! the frenchie was for real or what??????????????

    hmm..speaking of french…why’s it called a french kiss?? is there a paki kiss…or a punjabi kiss or horror of horror!! a pushto kiss?? :S

    c’est tres bein post xill !! 😛

    qui est le blogging acquaintance eh? 😉

  13. 13 SK

    Yaay, Psyched! Knew you would write back in french! You go gurl! 🙂 Not that I understood what you said!:) Bet Xil doesn’t too. 😉 :p ….and someone called me a coward? This would be ‘getting back’ in a very subtle (and totally indirect!) way. :p

  14. @ no one: trust me, i know. 😉

    @ hemlock: not everyone waits at tables and mops washrooms, fatty. some people have real work to do. work that really requires a desk – so we dont go around taking pics of the manager’s desk and posting them as ours… 😛

    @ samar: i admit i swaggered better when i was 13. but we all have to start sometime.

    @ unaiza: choiefat!! god forbid it! i was at al-nahda. a much better institution, i might add. 😛

    @ henna: your flattering comments are always an ego-boost. 🙂 since i belive in the law of reciprocity, have i ever told you how beautiful i think you are? and i haven’t even seen you 😛

    @ psyched: merci becaup madamoiselle! but er stick to english please. i have two months to your nine years!

    @ shehla: mon pauvre petit, i can understand your jealousy. its only natural. but don’t worry. one day you will brag to yoour grandchildren about how the great xill-e-ilahi actually bothered to respond to your ribbing. 😛

    and then maybe hell will freeze over – see? i know what you’re thinking too!

  15. there is much dignity in honest labour. what would you know, you white-collared blood-sucking leech.

  16. 16 Saadat

    Okay, now I want a French toast. Don’t ask me why. 😕

    And that makes the two of us, Abbas. I blog from home too. 😎

  17. @ hemlock: hiding behind the social factors i see… chicken!

    @ saadat: we are indeed unique. 😎

  18. xil: u are definitely unique. i dont spend a lot of time home now.. so i blog from pretty much where ever i can 😀 a wi-fi enabled cellphone allows for much fun!

    plus, never met a french lady.. but from what i hear.. they’re not all that hot up close :S

  19. Hilarious!

    I, for one, will never understand the French obsession – which is to say obsession of a certain people with French, the language; since there are so many things that are freedom… pardon me, French, who knows there might just be an obsession that is French.

    Farsi anyone? Mandarin? Urdu? ARABI??

    Excellent post!

  20. i stopped calling people names when i was three.
    let me know when you graduate from kindergarten. we;ll hold celebrations

  21. @ mansoor: if you were trying to make me jealous with your talk of fancy gadegtry, you succeeded. 🙂

    @ knicq: merci, merci, shukran…

    @ hemlock: said the girl who calls me “nerdboy”. your pants are burning.

  22. 22 SK

    err…jealous of your 2 months vs my 3 years of french? 😉 It’s another thing I don’t remember much coz I switched subjects in between….but if we’re counting years. :p
    Oh…and I prefer the phrase “And pigs can fly” when talking to a guy. 🙂 There’s just something there that fits. 😉 And who knows, I might just talk to my grandchildren about the gr8 Xil…I’ve always believed children should be given something to laugh about to keep a smile on their face. 😉

  23. nerdboy isnt a noun. it’s an adjective.
    as in, im not calling you names, im describing you… nerdboy :p
    when they put up “lost” posters, you will be described as having supernerdpowers.
    nerdboy.

  24. 24 PsycheD

    hmmm………….shall i point out the spel mistakes? 😛
    sk….just holler if u need me to mouth more french 🙂

  25. 25 SK

    Psyched: 🙂
    Xil: Muahahahah. 😉 Cornered!

  26. la haula wala quwwat! sharam nahin aati jawaan mard ko ghairtay huay? and that too when there are three of you – well five if you count all of hemlock – versus my solitary self?

    damn you, musharraf, for liberating women.

  27. but, nerdboy, given the reality of your existence, shouldnt your statement say the three (five) of us, against NONE of you? i mean, think about it, in the smaller scheme of things (you dont qualify to be counted in the larger scheme of things), you really are… … … umm…. nothing….!

  28. 28 SK

    Xil: ‘la haula wala quwwat! sharam nahin aati jawaan mard ko ghairtay huay?’….Jawan ‘mard’? Where? 😉
    Hemlock: lol! ‘in the smaller scheme of things (you dont qualify to be counted in the larger scheme of things), you really are nothing….! OOHH…so that’s what Xil meant when he said ‘mard’. Another ‘mard’ who knows himself. O.K. That fits perfectly! 😉

  29. if you women really hated men as much as you claim, there would be no children on earth.

  30. 30 SK

    Firstly, we don’t hate ALL men. Just the ones who turn out to be jerks i.e. 98% of the ‘men’ population nowadays. 😉 Secondly, we don’t hate men as much as we hate loving them inspite of them being total jerks and breaking our hearts.
    😦 Thirdly, this has nothing to do what we 3 girls were talking about in the first place, while cornering you. So I guess the iceman is…err..’melting’? 😉

  31. you wish, shehla, you wish. 😛

  32. 32 SK

    In other words..Uh huh. Yep! :p 🙂

  33. 33 UTP

    You reminded me of a great DEXTER episode of ‘OMELETTER DU FROMAGE’…but that wasnt as hilarious as your story….great stuff…

    Oh how I would like to learn at least one more language, maybe two. Whenever I do, the first one would be Arabic and then maybe something else. French sounds good….especially when you could actually understand the FRENCH POODLES…out there…

    Ever imagined so much french in our lives…French Toast, French Fries, French Omelette, French KISS?? These French have invaded more than the French Revolution!!!

    Oh, I just joined the ‘Blogging from home team…’, Internet blocked at work hehhe…I guess they knew my weaknesses already…I have changed blog spaces…Please UPDATE…thanks…

  34. i never knew french poodles spoke french. i always thout it was, well, german.

  35. go home to yo momma nerdboy… you otta know when to cut your losses


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