Language Barrier

I slightly panicked this morning when I arrived for my training class and not a single person in the room was speaking English.  Despite knowing that I had signed up for a course in English I had myself convinced that the instructor was going to arrive and start the course in French.  Lucky for me he arrived (late since he didn’t get the memo of the location change) and his French didn’t go beyond “bonjour”.  **Sigh of relief**

Serious raw bar at the restaurant where I had dinner

Class continues and it turns out it’s not so much fun being the only non-French speaking person in an interactive class…for me or the people in my groups.  They were forced to speak English because the American in the crowd didn’t speak French.  I also thought it was funny when the reception lady apologized to me, “Sorry, my English not so good”.  I quickly replied “Please don’t apologize, I’m in France and don’t speak ANY French.”  That did make her smile.

Tonight at dinner I asked if they had a wine list so I could see what they had for champagne.  Next thing I know I hear a champagne bottle being opened and sure enough a glass of champagne was soon delivered to my table.  (I promise I would not have ordered a €9 glass of champagne if given the choice.)

Love the different culture here as well.  Lunch was served at the hotel in the training room and I was shocked to see bottles of red wine on all the tables – white wine was being chilled on the buffet table.  None of the French or Belgium people were surprised but the instructor and I were both surprised to see wine served at lunch during a training class.  Embracing the culture, I had 1/2 a glass.  They also serve food like crazy.  Over the day they brought in pastries and juices at 10ish, a full spread for lunch at 1 followed by dessert, then crepes, yogurt and more juices at 3:30ish.  Crazy!

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