Ce Soir

Saturday, April 19th, 2003 | Travel

Bonsoir, mes amis! I’m well on the way to making shopping in France. I can now order an Orangina for my femme, some wine for me, four of those, and a booklet of tickets for le Metro. I still can’t get with the rolling r’s. My poor little uvula. Wrapping it and my tongue around trente trois is, sadly, the only challenging flex of those muscles of late. One would think that my oral dexterity would lend itself to trilling and trenting, and the Italian r isn’t all that different, but instead I spit and choke, gurgle, honk, and aspirate. Italian is the language for me. There’s a delight in every sound, every letter given clarity and purpose, delivered with gesticulation and emotion, tasted as leaving the mouth. French seems to challenge my gag reflex too much. It’s actually a beautiful language–I only wish it would sound beautiful passing my lips. And I love the idea of all those silent consonants, existing only in the mind, or wed briefly to passing vowels.

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