Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Monday, May 17, 2010

This past weekend, C & I drove up north to attend his cousin's wedding. I was filled with a bit of trepidation - my previous wedding experiences in Bretagne having been less than a piece of cake. But C's family was absolutely wonderful - nobody stared at me, and for once it was nice to have people be curious to meet me because I was C's girlfriend, and not because I was The Foreigner. Half of the people there didn't even know I was American, and the ones that did spared me from having to answer all the typical questions over and over again, ie "How long have you been here? Why did you come? Are you a student? Etc." In short, I felt like a normal person instead of the foreign outsider. What a frickin' nice change that was. And I'm even more grateful after hearing about a few friends' recent experiences, including Vivi over at Dispatches from France.

I was also happily surprised to see how well-behaved all the children on his side of the family acted. It really was a joy to watch how the children and the parents interacted, from the babies on up to the teenagers. They had such respect for one another and it was obvious they were all close. It was the kind of experience that can actually make one consider starting a family. But those thoughts were quickly quashed by the grooms family. Their children were little hellions, constantly popping balloons, making noise and running amuck. But then again, his side of the family also set off about 100 firecrackers outside the church AND they brought in their country line dance group as a "surprise". They ended up performing for over two hours, which delayed everything, including the meal. We didn't end up eating the cake until almost 3am! It was crazy. We left around 4am, but the party was still going strong. After a short night's sleep, it was time to wake up and head back to Paris. C's brother drove, and I'm sorry to say that the slow driving and incapability to follow a GPS appears to be a family trait. Our 2 hour and 15 minute trip took 4 hours. FOUR HOURS PEOPLE. And we didn't even run into traffic on the way back. How is that even possible? This definitely rules out any future roadtrips with C's least until I magically learn how to drive a stick shift!



Blogger La Fauxvaisienne said...

I think this is REALLY good motivation to learn how to drive a stick!

Also, weddings that go past 4am, with children present, are absolutely ridiculous.

May 17, 2010 at 1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, four hours is LONG. It is not that big of a deal to drive a stick... I learned out here, and it is really easy.

And all the weddings that I have been to in France were still going strong in the wee hours of the morning. Always with the little kiddos present.

May 17, 2010 at 3:36 PM  
Blogger La Niortaise said...

So so so glad we are getting married in Australia and NO kids are invited at all.

However, leniortais' mum asked today if I'd wear the wedding dress to the party we have back in France. Hell no. And do we have to invite the French kids to that party......?

May 17, 2010 at 10:35 PM  
Blogger Leesa said...

Haha on the slow driving...

Sounds like you had a great time, though!

May 17, 2010 at 10:52 PM  
Blogger Nikita said...

Awww! Great that you enjoyed yourself!
For the slow driving, maybe you should pop a Gravol or a Dramamine to "relax" you and let you enjoy the ride (i.e. pass out during the ride).. ;-)

May 18, 2010 at 2:40 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

If you want some lessons on driving a stick out in the country a bit our house is always free for visitors and some driving schools out this way, while still the same price, are out of big towns so you could concentrate on the shifting part rather than dodging Parisian traffic.

May 19, 2010 at 7:32 AM  
Blogger Ksam said...

Thanks Julie! But I think I'm a lost cause - I've tried learning several different times over the years, with no luck. :(

May 19, 2010 at 8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what is it with the frenchies and line dancing? this is one of the most fascinating insights into them -- along with the way fab's fam treated you at gatherings -- i keep running into. hate strangers yet they're dressed as cowboys line dancing. sacre bleu!

May 20, 2010 at 2:08 PM  
Blogger Cécy said...

1)Learn to drive a stick shift. Take lessons if needed, but if you already know how to drive a car it's not that hard. You just need to know to listen to your car and change the gears accordingy.

2)I was shocked when I realized how early weddings end in the US. I've never been in a wedding in France that didn't end after 6am. I was disappointed when I realized pretty much everyone was gone by midnight at ours. That's when I wished all my cousins had been there.
3)Every few days at work. "Where are you from?" France
"Oh are you here for an internship?"
Err no I live here!

May 20, 2010 at 3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My wedding, in France, was over after 4am! I didn't know weddings in the US were over around 10pm. I realized when I kept seeing bridesmaids and men at bars. Sometimes the bride and groom are there too.

You should learn how to drive a stick shift. It's not that difficult and could be very handy one day ;-)

May 29, 2010 at 1:40 AM  
Blogger Marie said...

I vote for the stick too. It's really a matter of coordination and listening to the engine. I learnt the use of a stick before leaving for the US but I never really drove in France. Then, I drove an automatic car for 5 years in the States. When we moved back, rental companies in Lille couldn't get me an automatic car so I had to get used to the stick. I had a hard time for an hour or so, especially driving downtown where there is a lot of stop and go, I even "calé" (when you don't use the left pedal at the right time, it stops the engine) but after that, I was ready to go and I must confess, after a day or 2, I even started to enjoy it !
So go for it, it'll give you more independence and you'll appreciate it.
Regarding the weddings in France, parties are really less formal than in the US. The first part, the dinner, can be formal but after that, it has to go until "la soupe à l'oignon", early morning ! That's the goal !!
I was very surprised to see that there was a rehearsal of the dinner in the States. You guys are really perfectionnist, impressive !

May 29, 2010 at 3:26 PM  

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