I recently posted a note on the possibilities to find French lessons even in British high street sex shops... Well, YouTube is also a great place to find such lessons.
Two Kiwis in the Big Apple
Browsing videos, I bumped into some extracts of a new HBO TV series: Flight of the Conchords. According to the channel:
Flight of the Conchords follows the trials and tribulations of a two man, digi-folk band from New Zealand as they try to make a name for themselves in their adopted home of New York City. The band is made up of Bret McKenzie on guitar and vocals, and Jemaine Clement on guitar and vocals. Bret and Jemaine have moved to New York in the hope of forging a successful music career. So far they've managed to find a manager (whose "other" job is at the New Zealand Consulate), one fan (a married obsessive) and one friend (who owns the local pawn shop) -- but not much else.So when two kiwis try to make their way in the US, they obviously try to develop their private life too. And they then rely on French flair in such instance...
France 0 / New Zealand -1
As you may know New Zealand and France have a very special relationship since our secret services bombed a Greenpeace boat in Auckland harbour, killing accidentally a member of the Rainbow Warrior crew. Since this interference in local affairs, Kiwis benefit from privileged conditions when coming to France: they can stay longer than other non-EU visitors, get a temporary working permit more easily... This is what happens when guilt and diplomacy work hands in hands.
Anyway, due to this relationship, Kiwis seem to be attracted by France. Our mountains, sheeps and shores must remind them of their green pastures when they come to old Europe (not sure that the typical French Rugby player reminds them any of their Blacks though)... So to get ready for their immersion in the Hexagon, they try to learn French at school, between two Maori and sheep breeding classes. This is hardly a success for French is quite complex a language and the opportunities to practice in their country are rare now that Chirac has decided to stop the nuclear bomb tests in the Pacific Ocean. But they can usually articulate a few words and imagine mastering the language of Molière and its appeal:
I remember one of my former kiwi colleague who could actually manage only two sentences of proper French: "Je voudrais une baguette" and "Prochain arrêt, le pub" ("I'd like a baguette" and "Next stop the pub", critical to survive you may say). Every time I was coming to his desk, he was repeating them in loop adding some onomatopoeias in between to pretend he could speak French... No blame on him, we are doing exactly the same when it comes to "speaking" English (read here).
Anyway, I love Kiwis for their natural and friendly way of living. I like their country and hope to be soon able to discover the great diversity of sheepkind. I enjoy seeing the All Blacks playing rugby (even when they accept to lose against France during World Cups). And I am really looking forward to seeing the Flight of the Conchords on TV... But in France we have a idiom that says "qui aime bien, châtie bien" (whoever likes you well gives you hell, or as you say in English "spare the rod and spoil the child").