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A Thanksgiving Story from the Past: The French Postman

Yesterday the Postman came to our door with a perfectly square box from the U.S.A. As I signed for it, the postman asked if it was someone's birthday? I told him it wasn't but that day was Thanksgiving. He squinted his eyes, moved his head back and asked "What is tis, "Tanks-give-IN"?

The easier answer would have been for me to say, "A holiday in American, big as Christmas."

Instead I gave a butchered history lesson.

First I started out with saying how some people hoping to find religious freedom... which lead me to the word Pilgrims... which I did not know in French. So I called them "people" from "the old world". Which made them sound like Romans. The postman looked at me like I had half a brain. So I waved my hands, and said, "No no no, let me restart with a different angle." But since I did not know how to say "different angle" without it sounding like a lesson in mathematics, I said, "Chemin", which means "Path" in English." I carried on with The Mayflower's landing, and then how the Indians gave corn. Which sounded like a spaceship landing and since generally speaking French people do not eat corn on the cob... Well, let's just say I felt like an alien in my adopted country.

I have got to learn to give straightforward answers: Yes, No or Je ne sais pas.

In the end, the postman said, "Bon Anniversaire!" (Happy Birthday, in French.) We laughed and I agreed, "Oui! C'est vrai!


This post first appeared on Tongue In Cheek, please read the originial post: here

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A Thanksgiving Story from the Past: The French Postman


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