Wednesday, September 5, 2007

An Interview Meme, French-Style

Nearly a month ago, Chez Loulou tagged me for a French meme, and I'm just now getting around to reading her responses as well as preparing my own. I think I'm going to approach it the same way she did, with my answers in English, just because I think the majority of my blogging friends are anglophones, like myself! I like the challenge of reading and writing in French from time to time, but this space is mainly reserved for my own personal reflections, emotions, anecdotes and memories, which in most cases are slotted in the "English" (or should I say American?) part of my brain. From time to time I stop and realize that I've been muttering to myself in French (oh come on, don't tell me you've never talked to yourself before!!) but when I admitted this to a fellow anglophone a few years back he scoffed at me and told me that this couldn't possibly be true... But I swear to you that a certain number of years in a country will do that to you, especially if the language fascinates you and if you are still striving, after all this time, to perfect your pronuncation and your grammatical formation of sentences.

And your verlan, but of course. We mustn't forget important things such as these!

So I've included my mini meme below (aren't these questions quirky?!), and I've tagged some fellow expat bloggers afterwards. Be forewarned -- you may need to work around a few questions, if you're anything like me!


Quelle est votre situation de famille?
I'm living *in sin -- oh the horror!* with my French-German boyfriend, but I was also married in the past. So yes, gulp, that would make me a divorcée. Double horror!

Quelle est votre date d'anniversaire?
August 22nd. And I will now trot out the line I include every time someone asks me my birthdate (although it only works in French, sorry!): Je suis lion, presque vierge.

Vivez vous en ville ou à la campagne?
I currently live in a suburb of Paris, although I also spent a few years in the 18th arrondissement. I guess I've pretty much lived in or near a city all my life, although country life does tempt me from time to time. I just don't know if I could shrug off my urban habits. Then again, many people have done it with much success before me, so I imagine it's not an impossible task.

Quels métiers exercez vous ou avez vous exercés?
Well, as so many other expats in France have emphasized, it's not easy to find work in France. I've done the teaching-English route, but I just don't think it's for me in the long term. So right now I'm doing the bilingual assistant gig, and it has its "moments" shall we say... I definitely don't see myself doing this forever, but I'm trying to figure out what I need to work out to be able to do something more fulfilling, and possibly creative, with my life. I've drifted from one random job to the next and never had a specific path lined up for myself, so those who have a precise ambition and follow their plans to a set goal always blow me away.

Avez vous des allergies?
As was the case with Loulou, I've never been officially diagnosed, and I didn't have allergies growing up. But since my move to France five years ago I've gradually acquired more and more allergies, and the spring season (anywhere from March to June) can be pretty tough for me. When I went to the beach in August something (??) set my allergies off as well, so I had to pick up some more of the same medication I had been taking a few months before. I recently read a fascinating article in Le Monde 2 about how so many people have acquired more allergies in the last 20 years in France, and how a number of environmental factors seem to play a role in this. But at the same time, for some reason there aren't nearly enough allergologues in France, which explains why the wait for an appointment is so long...

Quelle est votre odeur préférée?
I too love lemons, and then chocolate, coffee, thyme, peaches... and my boy. (OK, once again I have a list of favorites, so shoot me!)

Aimez vous les sucreries?
Silly question! Although I don't think I'm as much of a sweeth tooth as my boyfriend, I do love dark chocolate and desserts like crème brulée and île flottante. Otherwise, I have been known to chew on red gummy bears and tagada strawberries! Oh, and macarons -- aaaahhhh...!

Si oui, quelles sont vos préférées?
Oh, I just listed some above, but I also love the combination of dark chocolate with coconut. (Hard to find -- but have you ever had those French Magnum ice cream bars? They make the most AMAZING dark chocolate-coconut bar. Heaven! Otherwise, I would kill for a perfect dark chocolate mousse.)

Quels sont vos goûts culinaires?
Oh, I love a little bit of everything! But French is at the top of my list (guess that's one of the reasons why I'm here!), closely followed by Italian, Japanese and Thai. I also like to try anything new, so I don't shrink away from things I've never tasted before.

Quel genre de musique aimez vous?
Very long list! And difficult to classify -- I love a lot of female artists with incredibly beautiful voices. I'm a big fan of Tori Amos, Annie Lennox (who has a new album coming out! yippee!), Sarah McLachlan, Sinéad O'Connor, Feist, Fiona Apple, Kate Havnevik, and Regina Spektor. I'm into rock, independent music, folk, classical and I have a weakness for movie soundtracks, especially 2046. Also, anything with a piano sound will usually seduce me, since I studied piano for so long and have a special affinity for this instrument. One of these days I've got to try to start playing again...

Quelle est votre couleur préférée?
I've long been mad about red, but more recently I've been wearing more and more shades of green, as well as midnight blue. And gunmetal/steel grey. See, I have a hard time choosing favorites! (Can you tell how indecisive I am?)

Quelle est votre saison préférée?
I do love the warmth, even the heat, of summer above all. But autumn can be a wonderful time, too -- if it doesn't get too cold too fast!

Collectionnez vous un objet quelconque?
Well, not officially, but I recently realized (when some friends who were visiting pointed it out) that I have a set of little boxes on the dresser in my bedroom that originate from different places around the world. So I guess I've sort of been unconsciously collecting them! There aren't that many, though: just a few from France, Spain, the US, Japan and Iraq. And the last two were gifts.

Quel magazine lisez vous?
(Shouldn't that read "magazines"?) When I can squeeze in the time between books, I'm a sucker for French Elle, and I also enjoy Elle à table and Muze (a magazine supposedly aimed at 20-somethings -- I hate the fact that they claim this, when I've been enjoying it for almost a year now and I'm long past my 20s... I also have a blog-post-in-the-making about this mag.) And when I need some pure distraction, I have been known to page through US or InStyle. I need my US celebrity fix from time to time (guilty as charged). But now I try to get most of that from the Internet, of course!

Quel est votre style vestimentaire?
Oh, that can vary, depending on my mood and where I'm going. I guess I tend to be very classic in my taste in general, but with some little quirky touches. I love accessories -- fun, unexpected jewelry and lovely scarves, bags and gloves. I prefer skirts and dresses because I find them more comfortable than pants (I hate things squeezing me around the waist!) but when it gets cold I dread having bare legs -- so not a true fashionista, I'm afraid! I'm also a sucker for a beautiful coat. But my all-time favorite article of clothing is a shirtdress -- so simple, feminine, and easy to wear anywhere. Just makes you feel like a woman!

Pratiquez vous une activité manuelle?
Well, I've recently become more and more interested in cooking. I've always wanted to learn how to sew or knit, but I've never tried my hand at either and I just don't know if I would have the patience. Oh, and I don't know if it counts as "manual" but I used to draw, and I'm desperately trying to get back to it again. I studied art in college.

Quel est votre animal préféré?
I have a weakness for dogs, the bigger the better. My boy has always had a soft spot for bloodhounds, believe it or not! I don't know if we will ever have one, but I think he associates them with the big, wide open spaces of American Westerns.

Quels sont vos loisirs?
Reading, bien sûr. Cinema -- more and more in recent years. (But there are so many older films I still need to check out! I'm eternally grateful to my boy for introducing me to Ernst Lubitsch. I adore Heaven Can Wait and Cluny Brown.) I, too, love to travel and discover new cities. I enjoy listening to music, and I miss being able to turn it up loud in a car while driving. (I try to make up for it at home, but it's just not the same.)

Comment décorez vous votre intérieur?
We have a mix of dark furniture and touches of red and dark green -- but our apartment still needs quite a bit of decorating! If I could do everything myself (if I ever had the time and energy) I would love to repaint the walls different colors, really brighten up things. Then again, I've been trying to declutter and become more zen in recent times, so I would try to limit the amount of furniture in a room.

Avez vous une liste de cadeaux en ligne?
No, not really, but something tells me that perhaps I should -- my brother sent me an Amazon gift certiciate for my birthday, and I guess if I had created a wish list he wouldn't have had to do that! And of course there are always new books and CDs I would love to get my hands on... But these days I'm trying to stick to used books and borrowing, whenever possible.

I guess that's it for now. I had a good time sharing some of my interests -- would Amy, Aralena, Karina, Meredith, Joy Suzanne, Amy or anyone else like to join in?


Karina said...

wow this is the first time i've been tagged for a meme! :-) coolness ;-) good timing cause i'm trying to procrastinate (and doing a good job at it i must say!)

Yansor said...

I feel the same way about Muze and I'm 20 x 2 + 5 !!!

joy suzanne said...

Oh, me too--it's my first meme! That's awfully nice of you, Alice. I feel flattered...


Why do I do that emoticon? It's almost as if I can't help myself. I don't want to do it! I once came across a funny e-card that said "You are single because you use emoticons". Made me laugh out loud!

joy suzanne said...

Ooops, we all do it! I won't worry about it any more, then!

Anonymous said...

great post! I felt chuffed to have understood the questions too! :)

Amy H said...

Awww, Alice! Thanks for the tag. When I can find a few moments between changing diapers, and cleaning up baby vomit and unpacking boxes, I'll give it an effort!!

(And I love all of your multiple-answers...I can't ever narrow things down either.)

Scribbit said...

Heaven can Wait is classic 70s--great show.

avec amy said...

Very interesting! I love red gummy bears too, then the clear. Also a Leo . . . Aug 1st, thus far from a Vierge : )

Julia said...

Very interesting - loved reading a bit more about you!