Wednesday, May 25, 2011


163. "Salut! Comment vas-tu?" I ask Cécile, thus breaking the long-standing tradition of speaking to each other in our own languages. Coming out of the metro station a mere few seconds after her, I have wondered whether I should speed up and say hello, after yesterday's conversation. Cécile, rightly so, had spent five minutes telling me off for still not handing in the reimbursement paperwork for my Paris trip in January. While verbal reprimands, like swear words, do not have the same effect when given in a foreign language, that does not mean they are pleasant to listen to. Midway through, I thought of trying to say something to the effect of me understanding completely the bureaucratic hassle that I was giving her, but it did not seem quite right to respond in English to Cécile's passionate French lecture, and my 15-minutes-of-French-a-day book did not cover the phrase bureaucratic hassle. So I listened quietly until the end, occasionally nodding as apologetically as I could. 

"Bien, et toi?" Cécile smiles, looking completely unlike the Cécile who discovered that my visa application fee from four months ago was still not reported, and that god only knows where my train tickets were. As our conversation turns to weather and summer vacations, I wonder whether, given our age gap, it was proper for me to address her as tu, and if not, whether this faux pas cancels out my efforts of speaking in French in order to make up for the administrative lateness. As soon as I get into my office, I will check with Geluck about the correct way to address Cécile. Then, the next time I speak to her in French, that is, when I am once again behind in my paperwork, I will know to say vous or tu

164. The few seconds when, just before each time Zoe rolls the dices for her turn on the Monopoly board, Tintin holds her hand and says, "Sweetheart, drink...," then waits (im)patiently until Zoe finishes a sip of white wine. 

165. Zoe's account of a moment; also known as, her attempt to immortalize a memory I would rather forget.

Midnightish, the middle of a small wrestling fight between Gaston and Zoe...what was going on? Going back a couple of moments, Gazpacho-y screams "in your faces" at them...going back some more moments, the same Gazpacho-y tells them, rather content with herself "I will be gloating about this for months!" This was after her phenomenal streak of three strikes playing the Wii. Gaston, in an attempt to keep up with her, managed to get two strikes and a spare. Zoe seemed not at her best having only achieved three spares. Going forward a couple of throws, Gazpacho-y and Gaston are still trying to find out who can score more strikes in one game and Gazpacho-y went ahead which led to her gloating about her skills! 

The last round: Zoe and Gaston try to disturb Gazpacho's performance by reminding her of her biggest sports failures which, to be fair, seems to have an influence on her performance as she goes down with a miss on the last standing pin...this leaves the door open for Gaston to take over...but also he misses the last pin standing. Final scores for the two: 153 Gaston vs 154 Gazpacho. BUT: quietly Zoe takes the remote, gets another spare and is now level with Gazpacho-y who, of course, starts screaming out her disappointment...then with the additional throw one gets with a spare on the last throw, Zoe actually wins with 173 points! And it is now her time to scream "in your face" at Gazpacho remembering the latter bragging for the better part of the game. In the meantime celebrations have started on the screen with little confetti flying around Zoe's head. Gazpacho, trying to take the obligatory photo of the screen, is hindered by Gaston who is standing in front of the screen trying to make him as big as a goaly in hockey. This blocking ultimately leads to the aforementioned wrestling fight as Zoe tries to make sure a proof of her victory is kept. Ride bene chi ride ultimo.

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