les Davey de France

Alan and Pat live and work in Bordeaux. Alan is a pastor and Pat was a nurse. Now we work with UFM worldwide. Read on! (If you'd like to know what took us to Bordeaux, then start with the archives from September 2004)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Monoprix, mayhem and malentendu

On the way to the Christian bookshop from the oft-feted number 4 bus one passes through the cathedral square, here known as Place Pey-Berland. One corner of the square has a shopping centre and in the basement thereof is Monoprix.

You might think from its name that everything in this supermarket is the same price, but you would be wrong. There are shops like that in Bordeaux, with names like 2€, etc. But in Monoprix the prices vary, normally upwards, that is to say that it is not known for its bargains. In fact the clothes never fit me and they're too expensive. Carrefour trousers and jumpers are fine and Géant-Casino shirts. Auchan is OK for coats. Anyway, I digress.

Monoprix's chief attraction, apart from its convenient location next to the cathedral square, is its attractive range of food. There it was that I once bought real scones, and thus it was that my lunch today was Covent Garden Soup Company Chorizo and Pearl Barley Soup. And very nice it was, too.

At the Maison de la Bible, where I am on duty today, I am struggling with technology. The till-roll machine says it's out of paper. It isn't. It has lots of paper. I've blown on it, turned it on and off, pushed, pulled, thumped and abused it. It still says it's out of paper. The keyboard of the computer says nothing at all. I guess it's out of batteries. It's technological mayhem.

Malentendu is the french word for a misunderstanding. Do not confuse it with malentendant, which means hard of hearing. A chap charged into the shop.

Vous ne pouvez pas casser 10 euros pour garer la voiture?

Oui, bien sur, qu'est-ce qu'il vous faut?

N'importe. Disons un billet de 5€ et des pièces?

D'accord. Et cinq fois un euro, ça vous convient? (passing him the coins)

Ben, cinq euros. Merci. Tenez. Au revoir.

I reflected. One part of the exchange seemed strangely dissatisfying...

Cinq fois un euro, ça vous convient?

Ben, cinq euros.

Whatever did he think I had said?

Aha! Cinq fois un euro ça vaut combien? Ben, cinq euros.

Yes. That makes sense.

It means instead of my very sensible question he heard a very stupid question, but at least his answer suddenly makes sense.

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