Officially, POUR QUOI is the way to ask WHY in French. But with the right kind of eyebrow action (and a hand gesture might help) a good QUOI? does the trick. Literally, just WHAT?

Perhaps it’s PMS but there seems a lot of stupidity going around this week. Perhaps it’s teething and the terrible two’s last stand, but my kids are driving me up the wall.

Elena hates (loathes, attempts to destroy, screams at) the rain-cover on her push chair. This means a lot of noise, all the way to school, the market, and home again. It varies from screech to whimper but all of it’s miserable and really, truly, SHE’S FINE. Strangers comment, or just glare at me – terrible mother, clearly, ignoring the protests of my otherwise adorable daughter. Thing is, the moment I take off the rain cover, she’s fine. If I pilfer her a grape from the groceries, she’s happy as larry, until the grape is gone. Gah!

All this pales, of course, compared to the real problems in the world. Violence, oppression, bigotry, warped ideas about bodies and beauty in the media… But, gr.

Louis gets stuck on repeat, and feels the need to tell me, thirty times over before I’ve had my morning coffee, that he’s not going to go outside at school today. The decision, I’m afraid, is not up to him (or me for that matter) but he needs to stop saying it over and over and over, before I lose it.

School holidays have finished, at least, and we can return to routine and normality (for a month or so, then comes the Christmas Crazy – ie. trip to NZ!) I’m sure the kids will get into their groove. And I’ll get out of my rut.

I was doing the groceries online, earlier today, and was browsing through the international food categories. There’s USA (sweet popcorn is the only item in this category – quoi?) and then there’s TEX MEX. I scroll through two pages of burritos and tacos and guacamole with a surprisingly low percentage of avocado… and then at the very bottom of the last page –

tex mex and peanut butterSo this is why the French don’t like Peanut Butter… they think it’s tex mex! Quoi? (Doesn’t help, I’m sure, that it’s Skippy, hardly the best example of this delectable spread.)

I mean, I certainly mess with food, play with fusion, make up recipes as I go. I use sweet chilli sauce like the Thai never intended, probably, and the Italians would have some strong words about the way I make cannelloni, but where do you put peanut butter on a taco?

On Tuesday, in the rain, Elena and I went to the market. She wouldn’t sleep in the morning and so I figured she could grab a few winks between an early lunch and halte garderie (starts at 2pm).

It didn’t go well. First there was the rain cover to contend with, and then we were half an hour early to pick Louis up from school. So we went to Cafe de la Gare, which make awful coffee but an alright Lemon pressé. I let Elena stir in my sugar then wrestled the glass off her so I could drink it. But I used all my cash at the market and they won’t take my bank card for a 4 euro purchase. How much do I need to spend? Twelve, thirteen Euros. Quoi? He’s just pulling numbers out of the air, right? I got a croissant (Elena needed lunch – but she wouldn’t touch it – quoi?) and a hot chocolate (also held no appeal to the stirring-child who just wanted to load it with sugar packets, paper and all). Nine euros, he let me pay by card. Was the four euro reduction on account of the screaming toddler?

Then we got Louis and went home for a sham of a meal and (finally) Elena napped.

Randomly, I bought fish off a guy whose sister works in NZ, for the French ambassador. Small world, eh? Also managed to take the kids for their BCG vaccines (finally) and turns out the pediatrician knows a few kiwis in these parts, mostly rugby players, and once saw to Andrew Mehrten’s kids.

Speaking of rugby, we’re off to a game this weekend. For someone who grew up in NZ I’m not much of a fan. I’d been to two live games in my life before moving to France. This time next week, I’ll have been to as many in France as I ever did in NZ. Unfortunately, my warm coat is blue. Might have to fashion some black ferns on my cheeks, just to be sure.


One thought to “Quoi?”

  • Erin

    Oh Amy! I’d be giving you a big hug right now if I could. That’s crazy talk that the US section has sweet popcorn (only in France do they do that. Kettle corn or caramel corn is the closest thing in the US, but most of us like butter and salt on ours). And I totally agree with you, peanut butter does not belong on a taco or a burrito. Skippy is not the brand to import either (All natural or if we must have a brand, Jif). *shakes fist at France* I too have fallen prey to the must meet the minimum bank card amount in a cafe. No screacher with me though. You win that one. 😉

    *Hugs again*
    How many days more until NZ home time? 🙂

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