Tuesday, January 04, 2011

you know you're in France when...

... you must be prepared to say "Happy New Year" to every living being you pass during the first thirty days of the year. If you're very lucky, they'll say it first so you can save face if you forget. This year, however, I'm taking a certain amount of pride in a) remembering to say it first and b) actually having occasion to say it.

This morning I had errands to run, and despite the fact that it was -4°C (25°F!) I decided to put Fry in the big country stroller and walk (exhibit A). I won't call it a New Year's Resolution, as I don't do them, but as luck would have it, I saw my icky doctor a couple of weeks ago and received some not-entirely-unexpected news - the cysts are back. The best way to get rid of them and get the baby factory up and running again is to lose a little weight, so I'm going to try to get out and walk as much as possible.

Anyway, off to the bank, and this is where living in a small town has its advantages - our banker was free, came out to meet me (where we wished each other Bonne année! of course) and offered to write out my deposit slips (which can be a little complicated since I had an American check to deposit) and we chatted about our kids. Would she have been so welcoming if she hadn't been the one to do our loan for the apartment? Probably not, but I'll take what I can get.

We swung by the post office to drop off some letters (and thankfully did not have to go inside - we don't generally suffer from long lines, just one completely idiotic postal worker who I pray isn't working when I have to go, it's seriously like playing Russian roulette) and then hit the boulangerie on the way home. Since it's the first time I've been since the New Year, I obviously had to wish her a Bonne année! as well. I also saw the gardienne of our apartment complex who always has something to say about the weather so I wished her a Happy New Year as well.

But the best was yesterday - as Fry and I were heading out to run errands in Troyes yesterday, we met our upstairs neighbor, who actually kissed me (you know, in the French bises way, silly!) and wished us all a Happy New Year. I was so shocked I nearly fell down the stairs!


Karla said...

That New Year thing might be a European thing, because I've been saying Godt Nytt År all over the freaking place. Luckily you need to say it only once, but in an office of about 200 people, I'm getting lots of practice on my pronuciation.

Godt Nytt År Vi!

Vivi said...

Heh. Bonne année to you too, K! xoxo

Chris said...

Loving your blog; I tend to say happy new year quite a bit too though, and I'm in the UK. Only two weeks though.