That’s my new friend Ludovic standing behind a huge vat of paella (a food with “ella” in it!) and another vat of some kind of dish involving duck, I think. I hope no one, especially my new friend Ludovic, takes offense to me referring to the containers as vats. They really are huge. Of course it does go to reason that there would be vats. We were in Leclerc, after all, a huge store.
Anyway, I walked past my new friend Ludovic and the Vats (I’m making the “V” upper case now so it will look like a cool new band – wouldn’t you buy a CD by Ludovic & the Vats??) a couple of times, rehearsing two or three lines of French before approaching him. Yes, for me, approaching anyone to start a conversation in French is like trying to pick someone up in a bar. I have to rehearse my pick-up line before going in.
So I was curious to learn a little more about the paella, most importantly its price. Then I wanted to be able to order enough for the four of us. Feeling reasonably confident, I moved in. Immediately, my new friend Ludovic put me at ease. He smiled. Still, I stumbled through my first sentence, to which he said, “Americain?” I wanted to say, “It shows that much?” but couldn’t figure that out fast enough (I don’t rehearse comebacks). I did manage to tell him that I’m on sabbatical, living in Nantes for a year with my family. He asked if we’d been to Paris. I was so excited to understand the question that I fumbled my answer. But overall I was successful. I did get plenty of paella for dinner and this photo.
Oh, my new friend Ludovic told me that I was doing very well with my French. And he told me this very nicely, like only a new friend would.