Monday, April 19, 2010

Work clothes?

We helped Margaret and Phil paint the shutters (les volets) on the front windows of their home. As we were getting ready to go there, I realized that I had not brought old/work clothes to France. I found a pair of pants that I had last year (too large) and a long-sleeve shirt that is also too large. We spent the next few hours painting and we did a good job of turning the medium-blue shutters into a dark blue.

The concept of needing work clothes is sort of foreign to me here. I might need to amend my list of reasons why I love France to include NOT working. We had fun helping with their chores but the idea of needing “work” clothes is one aspect of my wardrobe that I completely ignored – and I think the plan to avoid work works (mostly).

My time at the crèche has never been “work” for me – I have too much fun with the kids and the staff. Confucius (I think) said: “Give a man a job that he loves and he will never work again.” That is how I feel about going to the crèche for my volunteer time.

As for the staff, one of the teachers invited us to come to a play in which she performed. The play was called: Exercises de Style by Raymond Queneau and includes a number of skits describing the same two scenes. Ellen was afraid that it was going to be clever nuances and plays on words beyond our French skills but the performance contained very funny and very understandable skits. For instance, there were two women – one English or American talking in French with an Italian woman – both with very accurate accents. There was the church choir that sang the description of the two events as well as an operatic duet in which the singers described the events to an aria from Carmen. There was the jogger’s description, the vamp’s description and, Ellen’s favorite: the person with a tooth ache who tried to describe the two events through a mouthful of cotton… VERY funny! (and we didn’t have to work to enjoy it.)