Saturday, September 5, 2009

Saturday Conversations with Adrian

Saturday mornings in Paris begin with the now almost usual Parler Parlor French-English Conversation group sessions at the Lutce Lange school. Some mornings I arrive, my brain does not feel like creating speech in French. This was one of those mornings.

Lucky for me, although Adrian wants me to improve, she gives me some slack every now and then if I want to "skip" the conversations. I decided to use the time, to study French prepositions, which we're learning in the actual class I've started attending. "Okay, you can skip the group, only if you promise not to talk to me, while I'm working." Adrian tells me as I sit at the school secretary's desk.

Somehow, between my silently studying French prepositions and her working on her next business deal over the internet, her iphone, skype and the telephone, she still manages to share a few more business words of wisdom.

She was excited to learn about the status of property values in New York, where she recently completed an investment and began to read out loud the latest statistics. (Something she does not ignore) "Wow, that's amazing. You really lucked out on your deal!" I said, after being 'interrupted' from studying Prepositions et noms de pays. (Prepositions and Names of Countries). "No." she said matter of factual. "It wasn't luck at all." I looked at her, waiting for explaination.

She smiled her, Okay, pay attention, I'm about to teach you something smile and explained. "Listen, some investments ARE just luck. But if you look at the statistics, do your homework and know exactly where you want to invest..." she explained, " and DON'T BACK DOWN, or change your mind about investing in that particular area, then it's NOT luck; you made a good investment!" she finished. Wow, I wondered how many of my investments were good investments or just plain luck.

I stared at the French preposition lesson, but my mind was stuck on thinking about great investments, how amazing Adrian is as a business woman, where would my next apartment be?, how will I succeed in Paris?, and why is the French language so complex? I wondered if Adrian could explain French prepositions as easily as she explains business. So I asked her for help.

She took the time to explain French prepositions just as easily, "Don't try to translate to English, you'll get confused." She explained, followed by "You can learn this if you stop getting frustrated and realize that you are not going to learn it all in a day!" She's so assuring and generous as she offers once again with the sincerity of a mother who cares, "Please, come and raid my library of the French verb books and dictionaries. They will really help you." I wonder how I was so lucky to have met her.

We finished Saturday afternoon celebrating her 15 years of Living in Paris as of 4 September. We had red wine. I had the BEST STEAK EVER in Paris, she had roast duck and for dessert we shared an amazing selection of creme brulee, chocolate mousse, macaroons, jelly beans, coffee and more great conversation!

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