Last week, as I was walking to the supermarket, I came past the geese who live by the Yvette. Normally they are by or in the little creek, but on that day they were grazing in the park on the other side. I was walking in their direction when one got curious and came in my directin. I thought it expected to be fed – a lot of people bring old baguette and lettuce to them.
I held out my hand to show the goose that I didn’t have any food. Turns out it didn’t want food. Instead it attacked me. I had no idea they are as aggressive as swans. Luckily, they are smaller than swans, so when the goose came at me, it only pecked my foot and bit my ankle. I was wearing my Waldviertler boots, so I barely felt it. It was scary and funny at the same time. I retreated and took a different path through the park, while the goose waddled back to its grazing place, hissing. I didn’t even think I was close to them, but apparently the goose didn’t share my assessment.
On another day this week, my upstairs neighbour had locked himself out of his apartment. When I got home he and his mum were standing by the entrance and asking me if I knew if the gardien (janitor) could help. I didn’t know, but at least I could tell them his name and phone number. A few minutes later I was sitting on my couch, probably on my computer, when I heard a noise from outside. As I looked out the balcony window I saw the janitor climb up and past my apartment. Good to know, that unlike janitors in American cop shows, our janitor apparently doesn’t have keys to the apartments. But he is a good climber, and pretty helpful at that. And now I also know how loud it is if someone climbs up the façade of our building.
In class this week we talked about Easter traditions. My teacher said that she heard that in Austria and Germany the Easter Bunny brings the eggs. “Of course it does! Who else would?”, I said, because I wasn’t aware that it doesn’t in France. It’s not that they don’t have an Easter Bunny, but apparently it (he?) doesn’t bring the eggs in France.
I also learned that France also has Easter fires, but they happen in front of churches, and are not a thing people do in their own yards. On Sunday we were invited to a meal at Gergö’s colleague’s. They live in the west of Paris, close to the bois de bologne. We had a little walk in the park after lunch but got caught in the rain that we waited out under a canopy with some German tourists.
The Bois de Bologne also reminded me of my first French lesson. I remember that in chapter one of our book, Emily (?) and Thierry meet and talk. The first sentence is “Il y a une grève!”, which means “There is a strike!”. At the age of 15 I couldn’t appreciate how very French this sentence is. I vaguely remember the story being about Emily being stranded because of the Metro strike, seeing Thierry and they talk. He is on a bike and a smug prick about it and he says he likes to cycle in the bois du bologne. She likes to dance. I disliked Thierry from the beginning. He was a condescending twat in bicycle gear.
I’m always surprised about the things I remember and not remember about my French class. I have a vague memory of a chapter being about a VHS recorder and how the different parts are called, which I found bizarre, even in 1996. Another one was about a girl wanting to be a mannequin. It all seems to weird. I’d really like to know how much of my memory is accurate. (And if it’s inaccurate, how the false memories end up being so weird). But I can’t for the life of me remember what the book was called or what it looked like. I just googled and looked on amazon, but none of the covers that come up ring a bell. I think maybe my sister had the same book and remembers the title.