Day 223 (8 February 2011) – We Speak English

So says the flyer I am holding in my hand from the Black or White Café. And having had lunch there today with Melinda, I can say that it’s true. We learned about the café from Christine, who is longtime friends with Kimberly, captured in today’s picture.

So, yes, meet Kimberly, originally from Chicago but now a restauranteur in Nantes. She and a friend envisioned a café in Nantes in which native English speakers would feel at home, and where native French speakers could come practice English. As you can see behind Kimberly, the menu is in English. On top of that, she speaks almost entirely in English in the café. It’s a very small place, more for take-out, perhaps, than eating in. But it is quite charming. Having lunch there today was like being transported home for a meal.

Upon entering, Melinda and I heard three men speaking French to each other while Kimberly made them their homemade burritos (think “wraps”). But when they turned to talk to her, they spoke English (with a French accent ), as she did to them (minus the French accent). This happened with each customer who came in. It was an amazing experience, to be in France but feel like the native speaker, a feeling I haven’t had since arriving in France. It was oddly exhilarating, especially knowing that as soon as we exited we would be back in the French-speaking world.

Kimberly made us delicious chicken burritos and then served me a chocolate chip cookie and a brownie to Melinda. We talked, in English, about being in France. I told her about the blog and asked if I could take her picture for today’s post.

FYI, we are returning tomorrow with Ella.

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