30 June 2006

French spoken here

Last night we went to dinner at Nancy's Pub in Ardara. According to Frommer's it's the smallest pub in Ireland. The main room is crowded with a bar and two tables-for-four. We knew it was a small place, and were pleased to discover a second, slightly bigger, room opening off the first, with three more four-top tables. At one of the tables was a family who turned out to be French. They told me they were from Bretagne. They didn't appear to speak any English, so I chatted with them a bit in French.

We went ahead and ordered dinner. Nancy's was the first place in Ireland that I saw a Ploughman's Lunch on the menu, so I ordered that. The French couple were very interested in what I was having. After I told them what it was, they asked me to translate various other items on the menu for them.... "What is... chow-der?". The best explanation I could give was that it's un soupe made from poissons, which I think they understood. They nodded and smiled, anyway.

Then, another French group came in, and they began to ask Tod to translate the menu for them. Tod referred the question to me. I didn't know how to say "tuna", so I told them it was un sorte de poisson. And then I had to explain Ploughman's Lunch in French. Unfortunately, my plate had already been taken away, so I couldn't just point at it.

Oddly enough, I used my French more in Ireland than I probably have since I left Boston. At the BnB in Kenmare, our fellow guests were a couple from Strasbourg. The woman spoke French and fairly good English, and her husband spoke French, German and no English at all.
I chatted with her in pidgin-I'm-not-really-awake-yet French. Katy talked to him in German a bit. Everything else, she had to translate from English for him.

I was disappointed in my performance in Kenmare, but I think I made up for it last night in Ardara.

Right now, we're at the BnB in Shannon. Tod and the kids are watching the World Cup. Our plane leaves at 9 a.m. tomorrow. I've really enjoyed the trip, but I'm really ready to get home and see Nacht and my roses and sleep in my own bed!

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