jueves, 26 de abril de 2007

A new French experience

Last Friday I was tiding my room when my parents arrived, as every day, to have lunch. My mom went upstairs, very excited and told me ‘Hey! There’s a French man that’s having lunch with us today!’. I looked at her with a face of strangeness, I didn’t understand who and why.
I washed my hands, and went downstairs. When I entered to the dinning room I saw a very tall figure with long grey leather trousers, a blue t-shirt and a pair of vertical black bands tightened to his belt. I was approaching to him and he turned round. I could see a bit more from him: long and grey hair, a pair of rounded glasses and behind them two shinning eyes. The man saw me and we greeted, but I noticed a difference: he gave me a kiss in the left side of my face, when I am accustomed to the other one. He expressed a funny ‘Hello, how are you?’ in Spanish. My dad showed him the wonderful landscape in my house, and minutes later we were all together (my family and he) sitting at the table. We ate a wonderful chicken pie and my father, who is a mechanic, explained to me why this man was there:
Jean-Louis dedicates his life to travelling. He is French, but now he is living in the United States. Yes, he ‘has a house’ but he travels, and after some long time, he goes back to it. This 50 year-old French man travels by motorbike and it had broken down, so when he asked where should he take it, people named my father. Jean-Louis has neither family, nor a friend in Tucumán, so he stayed in my dad’s shop until lunch time, talking with him and some other customers that arrived. When my dad had to get back home to have lunch, he invited the traveller to it.
Little by little conversation went through with a paused Spanish from us, and a funny French-Spanish from him. He talked about his trips, he told us that this time he sent the motorbike to Buenos Aires and he is travelling from there, that he was going to Cafayate and all the beautiful cities from our north Argentina, and then he was going to Bolivia. Then he told us that he makes perfumes, as typical French, that he is single, no kids, and he travels with a friend of him most of the time. But now he was waiting for him in Bolivia.
We learned a lot about Jean-Louis and he learned of us, of my father, who gave some good roads to do in the ‘Cordillera de los Andes’ whenever he came back to Argentina. Beyond all the language dilemmas, we understood perfectly. But there were some words that he didn’t understand, so my brother and I translated them in English in order to explain him, and some were said in English and we translated them to my parents! It was great to use English and be the translator of my parents.
We made great friends, and after a long lunch, and inviting him some ‘dulce de leche’, Jean asked us if we could take a picture with him. We accepted and he took one of us, all the family, and another with him. Then I gave this man my e-mail so he could send me the photographs, and he left with my father, who had to go to work again and finish his motorbike.
After this great experience, I stayed a long while thinking of it. I had felt really comfortable with this French man, he was a great person, he had had a good time with us and us with him. But I was not going to see him again… It was a weird feeling the one I felt inside of me. For that hour he had been at home, he had been a great friend of the family, we had laughed a lot, talked about many topics, we had passed a new, interesting and different launch at home. I felt as if I had given him a lot of affection, I had grown fond of him, and I was not going to see him anymore. It was a sad and strange feeling.
When my dad came back that night, we talked about the French man and I never told all these feelings to him. But, he said that Jean Lois told him that he felt very comfortable with us, and we were a great family. He had had fun in here, we treated him well and he was going to come back again.

Vale Becker

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