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Token Frenchy

Holy cow here we are S E A S O N - count - it - F I V E ✋ overseas landing me in the South of France. Funny to think that initially all I wanted was to have one season as a professional player. I remember thinking to myself "Just one adventure, I just want one adventure in my life and then I'll go back to California and start on the path of creating a career and stepping into that next phase of my life." Who knew that I was already starting a new "next" phase of my life. And a beautiful phase at that; one filled with endless adventure, lessons, blind turns and growth. To think that five years ago I was sitting in my office chair at work, having just graduated college with an open door into the corporate world waiting for me to jump through. Never would I imagine to be the person who now spends the majority of the year on a different continent, creating a life of her own. Turning away from the orthodox and following the colorful. The life that I know and love today.

So here we are in a picturesque region called Provence. Yeahh, this is real life ;)


Now don't get me wrong, Germany will always hold a special place in my heart. The two years that I had spent playing in the Bundesliga were definitely some of the most rewarding, challenging, beautiful experiences that I could have ever come out with. And when it comes to the culture, the people, the cities, oh man how much more incredible can you get. What I didn't realize however was just how much the consistent grey skies affected me. It wasn't until we'd get a day of blue over our head and I'd all of a sudden wanna go out for a walk instead of take a two hour nap. I'd wanna start my day earlier before it was time to leave for practice. I found that my motivation was soaring and my mind was working. I was thinking of possibilities for the day; perhaps a mini yoga session or maybe time to fill up an empty canvas. And then the next day "The Glow" would come back. Waking up to a muted sky and having the "Glow" set at 4pm called for a tricky time for a California girl.

I am happy to say that it is December 20 and I am writing this blog sitting on my balcony in a sunny 60 degree weather😎 woooo-sawww🙌 The temp has actually been dropping a bit over here in a rather bipolar way. Just yesterday it was pouring rain with lightning accompanied by some gnarly thunder. So the winter still does bring its rainy days out here - I guess as a way to pay tribute to those sweet German days. But to have most mornings gifting me with a blue sky, oh it makes all the difference.

Oh What a Beaut

So let's take a moment to talk about the unrealll markets that are laid out here!

Fresh produce fresh fish fresh seafood fresh veggies. Oh my it's just the most beautiful thing to wake up to every Friday and Saturday morning. Aix, the city that is about a 12 minute drive from Venelles has a massive market every Tuesday/Thursday and Saturday morning offering the most beautiful seasonal fruits, legumes, meats, cheeses, truffle cheeses, gouda cheeses, hard cheeses soft cheeses more fromages freshly picked apples, cheeses. Wowee.

And on top of that they have a flea market-type of area with at least 30 tents of clothes, hand bags, belts, kitchen-ware, jewelry even sleep mattresses. It's like a Sunday Costco trip but outside in the middle of the South of France. Just let that sink in...A COSTCO IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE. Currently there are Christmas Markets out here which, almost surprised me to see since I thought those were more of a German/Switzy cold af location kind of thing to have. But hey, I'll take it. So now in addition to the fresh produce stands, we now have the classic gluhwein tents with Nutella crepes, chocolate churros and all kinds of holiday treats.

Parlez-vous anglais? Je parle un peu français maintenant

I am very proud to say that my language ability here is about a thousand times more productive than its tragic progress back in Germany. Every week, us five foreigners (4 Americans and 1 Brazilian) go to French class for an hour and a half. It was initially twice a week but once season started to ramp up we cut it down to once a week. I've made it a true goal of mine to come back from this season, comfortably attempting conversations in French.

Here we are just 5 months in and I actually feel like we've covered some serious ground. We've just recently gone over the past tense and future tense so I'm really trying to incorporate that into my conversations with the locals here. Luckily they happen to be some pretty patient listeners. I think they just appreciate that I'm even trying at their language. I personally find it quite funny to watch their engagement levels spike once I start talking. Not because I have anything interesting to say or anything, but more because my sentence structure is currently all over the place.

So as I'm trying to properly conjugate my way through conversations , these poor Frenchies are on the other side trying to decode the adlib mixtape of verbs, nouns and adjectives that I just dropped on them. Quickly the eyes turn into a bit of a squint, the head tilts a soft 45 degrees and a small smirk appears on the mouth as every smirk does when that toddler in the shopping cart at the Target check out line tells you a full story in some garbled language that just doesn't make any kind of sense does. But even then, with every attempt of mine comes a response filled with a whole lot of encouragement. A lot of "Yes, Yes good." or if I'm just flat out wrong, they'll politely correct my word choice and sentence with how it should be put together and a swift head nod to continue with the attempts.




What a fun process. It's made me realize how much I appreciate learning just for the sake of, learning.

French Boardgames

We started our first week of class by learning the irregular verb "to be" also known as être. Je suis (I am), Tu es (You are), Il et (He/She is), Nous sommes (We are), Vous êtes (You guys are), Ils sont (They are). We were then given a set list of vocab to learn how to properly use each one. Pictures showing a person who is happy, sad, worried scared etc. It actually came pretty easily at first, but then came the French class #2 where we were introduced to another irregular verb: "to have." Also known as Avoir. (Similar to spanish, the french say I have cold, or I have hunger. Where as in english we would say I am cold or I am hungry). So we would then get a separate list of vocab pictures pertaining to avoir such as a person being hot, someone that is 8 years old, someone who is hungry etc.

There was this one specific time in class where we started playing a board game to help differentiate between the two verbs. We would roll a dice to decide the amount of spaces we would could move. Then roll a separate dice to tell us which subject (Je, Tu, Il, Nous, Vous or Ils) we'd have to conjugate. Then finally our teacher would point to a specific picture depicting either a verb connected to avoir or to être. The game was going pretty well for a while; everyone was conjugating correctly and people were making their way across the board game. But. I then received a picture of someone eating. I rolled a two and the subject "il." I said "Il est faim." Boom! I got it. Grabbed that dice so quick and moved it up two spots into second place. -"EHH! Wrong!" I look up at my French teacher. "Wrong!? What'd you mean wrong!? Il = il est. Hungry = faim. So a + b = c Il est faim!?... No!?" -"Nope." She said followed by a swift move of my game piece moving me back now 4 spots because I got it wrong. "You used the incorrect verb for this sentence." -"But it's three words!!" I said. Why can't I use être for this word it literally means the same exact thing. She explained that someone can never be a hungry. My argument of course was "Uhhh yes, you can. People are hungry all the time! I'm hungry now!!" I lost it. All over a game piece in French class.

What we hear. What they hear.

It's gotta be pretty funny for the people working in the office every Monday afternoon between 2:00 to 3:30 who have to listen to our asses fiercely try to put together oh the simplest of sentences. Usually we start class practicing conjugations and answering questions from our teacher. She'll hold up the card with the particular verb that we need to work with. We then have two dice to roll: One listing which subject we have to conjugate, and the other telling us whether it needs to be in the positive form, negative form or question form. Now, everyone in the class is quite bright, but when you're put on the spot and asked to speak in a foreign language that just doesn't come even kind of naturally to you, sometimes your nerves come in and your brain just stops. Luckily all of us are pretty supportive when it comes to the oral tests because we all know just how difficult it is to put together that sentence (of 6 words). When any one of us form a sentence correctly, the group gets genuinely excited. Similar to a baby being potty trained and going to the bathroom for the first time. "Yes you did it!! Wow!" Yeah that's us every Monday. Potty training our way to French sentence structures. But to the actual French speakers listening, our personal struggle has got to be their greatest amusement.

For example, this past week we learned how to properly speak in the past tense and present tense.

Quick French lesson: When speaking past tense you use the verb avoir to have. And when speaking future tense you use the verb aller to go. What's tricky for us is that the form for "us" and "you guys" avoir sounds like avo and avay. And the form for "us" and "you guys" in aller is allo and allay. Sounds pretty similar, but means Complete Opposite things. So the struggle was real when it came to testing time between the two.

So this is literally what goes through the mind during the oral test: Okay so the card says acheter which means to buy. This dice says vous; that dice says negative and she wants the past tense form so that means I use avoir. But also the subject is Vous so the vous form of avoir issss uhh oh avez. Okay okay okay so acheter stays sounding the same because we use past tense but don't forget it's negative so put the n' before the conjugated avoir and don't forget the pa after the avoir. Okay then you put the verb in and oh shoot what was the last part of the sentence that we're supposed to say? Potatoes, potatoes potatoes potatoes what is potatoes in french?? We learned this last class, mm it was right under the brussel spourts...ah! Pommes de terres! but what's the article before it? It's not feminine so it's not de la but maybe it's masculine so du? Oh oh oh it's plural so des! Okay okay okay, So Vous n'avez pas acheté des pommes de terre demain. .

..Holy crap I'm sweating

Imagine just how many wires are trying to connect in the brain during that!? Yes that is why we celebrate a correct answer. Because it is hard. And it is a lot. And it is deserving of a hard celebration.


But to the French speakers?? Just think, this is actually what they're hearing...



They are

They are going to.

No. We are

We are going to. No? Shoot, ok They, did not


They did not buy

a potatoes


The apples

They did not buy the potatoes yesterday. ....???

quick nod from the teacher signing it to finally be correct

Yes!? That's right!?



It's the small victories that really can make your day man. Any time someone from the club walks into our French class, you can see their desperation to not start laughing. Our struggle to put together the simplest of sentences followed by the most genuine excitement from a group of grown women. Priceless.

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