Today I was so close to a total day of French interaction. I was batting 1.000, pitching a perfect game, getting a hole-in-one on every hole, etc., by which I mean I was speaking only in French to people, and receiving only French in response.
Things began swimmingly when I collected my mail at American Express. Confident from that transaction, I attempted to buy a phone card at La Poste (the post office) but discovered that a phone card "not to put in the phone but to press the numbers on the phone to use" (as I roughly garbled in French, because we needed one of two types of French phone cards) needed to be purchased at the Tabac (tobacco store) or "chez France Telecom." Unphased by the rapid French response I received from the postwoman, and understanding more or less what she'd told me, we headed to the Tabac where I repeated my ill-formed but apparently comprehensible request for une télécarte, paid, and exited with a wave of the hand and an au revoir, madame.
Several hours later, lunch was ordered sans problème, entrance was ascertained to the Picasso Museum, and hot chocolate enjoyed alongside the Place des Vosges, all in French (or tout en français as I like to say these days).
I was high on French, walking the streets of the Marais with a certain je ne sais quoi strut when we stopped at the fromagerie (cheese store). Jason and I became separated in the small store and when the shopkeeper approached Jason with a flurry of French, my streak abruptly ended when Jason responded with, je ne parle pas le français. The cheeseman switched right over to English from that moment on. I insisted on French. Back and forth we went, but I wouldn't budge a linguistical inch.
I picked the cheese, "Une brique de brebis, s'il vous plaît."
"Is that all? Anything else?" he replied.
"Non, c'est tout," I said firmly, but with a smile.
He rung us up, "4.80 euros."
I handed him the money and Jason took the cheese.
"Thank you. Good bye." he said.
"Merci monsieur. Au revoir." I replied.
Hell hath no fury like a woman determined to speak French.