{11/02/2012}   Bonjour baguettes bon viveur

I live in Folkestone, about 22 miles from France. My proximity to France, to another country, is fascinating to me. On clear days I can see another country across the sea. Sometimes you can see street lights at night time. They’re an hour ahead of us too. From St Margaret’s Bay my phone changes to French time, sets my phone to roaming and offers me the chance to check-in on Facebook in France (though it never lets you proceed with the check-in).
As it’s so close to the Eurotunnel where I live, going to France is quicker than driving to Maidstone, let alone London. I’ve only been once in the eight months I’ve lived there though.
There is something truly exciting about “popping across to France”. For me, it is an opportunity to eat moules frites and do a massive food and drink shop. It’s not cheaper now that the euro and sterling exchange rates are so close, it’s just a lot more exciting to buy French loo roll than English loo roll. And so I do!
It’s the cheese, wine, fruit juices and chocolates that send me delirious. So much choice. Plus wine does actually seem a bit cheaper and there is so much more choice. Of French wine. And French French bread is so much better than English French bread.
Added to this, I get a chance to humiliate myself with my atrocious Franglaise. Which I find truly exciting. That my speaking “strange” words can result in a chunk of cheese or slices of ham – that’s jambon, don’t you know!! – is of enormous satisfaction to me.
One day I might actually go to France and not have “voulez-vous couchez avec moi, ce soir” on repeat in my head. One day I might not buy more cheese than I can possibly consume before lactose intolerance kicks in. I might even go easy on the fruit tarts, croissants, pain au chocolat … but all that just adds to the joy of a shopping trip across La Mer, La Manche to be precise (Why does that need to use every French word you can think of kick in at times like this? Or, eek, I forgot I do this: speak English with an exaggerated French accent, ooo la la! No one else will be laughing at this like I am now, I suspect!).
The truly sad thing about this post is that I’d intended to end it with a cyber wave and my parting words of “au revoir, a bientot, je suis en route de France”(It’s Franglaise, not French so no corrections please!). Sadly it’s chuffing half term so trains and ferries are either full or half-term-rip-off-expensive. Merde! (Why is that making me laugh so much?!). So as a tribute to France, I shall write some Franglaise about how much I like France:
J’aime La France. C’est tres bon d’aller sous la manche et voila, vous etes en France! Soudain, il y a beaucoup d’opportunites de manger le bon fromage et pain. Je peut even smellez le fromage. Mais oui, c’est vraimant bon. Et aussi il y a beaucoup de cafes en trottoir (oo la la, j’ai remembered le mot pour “pavement”. Ca c’est formidable de moi!). Je pense que le cafe Francais n’est pas as bon as le cafe en Italia, mais un cafe noir est, comme d’habitude, bon. Quelquefois (ooo la la, ca c’est un vraimant mot formidable!) j’aime de manger un crepe. Les crepes Francaise … J’aime beaucoup. Je suis triste que je ne peu pas allez a France aujourd hui pour manger et acheter le fromage, chocolat, tarte aux fruits, croissants, pain au chocolat, du vin rouge, du vin blanc … mais, attention, je vais a la france toute suite, un autre jour. Malheureusement (oo la la, un vraimant long mot!) aujourd je peu seulement allez a la plage en Folkestone et wave a La France!


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