Conversations from the Haut-Savoire, France

Conversation 1: We had walked around the beautiful Lac e Montriond till we reached a bustling restaurant populated by way too many blonde children wearing pink.

Adam: I don’t think I’ll drink. I’ll just have a beer.Me: You’re becoming French, Adam.
Conversation 2: Emma, having once again managed to smear her face, up to her eyebrows with pain au chocolate. Leah: Adam, do you think our children eat too much chocolate? Are we bad parents?Adam: Leah, they live in France. Another aside: when I first arrived in Milano it was grey, raining and I was lost. Well, it’s raining in Milano and nobody speaks English. I couldn’t even begin to think in Italian, my head was full of Arabic. So when I was looking for the hotel this afternoon, I asked a man from Fayoum, south of Cairo. We had a very nice chat (aiwa, bil Araby) but he didn’t know where the hotel was. But the girl from my own suburb of Misr el Gedida did… So in the first day in Italy, I spoke more Arabic than Italian. The trip ended in a multi-country hop from the Haut-Savoire (France) by car to Geneva (Switzerland) by train to Milano (Italy) and finally by the bumpiest flight to Cairo (Egypt) where the naughtiest boy alive, four-year-old Ahmed slowly spat on my laptop bag during the flight. All done avec grand bagages. My arms are considerably longer as a result.

About the author

Fear is found on a creaking glacier in the Caucasus mountains and joy is encapsulated in the perfect Shanghai dumpling. And while I love a $500-a-night hotel room (who doesn’t?), sometimes the best stories are found in a $20 guesthouse. With an eye always out for good markets and great street eats, I write the travel news and features for the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne’s The Age newspapers, and features for whoever else asks. I have a particular soft spot for the wilds of the Middle East, scarves and carpets. My articles and photographs have been published in a range of consumer magazines and newspapers in Australia and abroad, and occasionally I chat on radio, too, from Essentials Magazine to 3AW or the Irish Times.

One thought on “Conversations from the Haut-Savoire, France

  1. Hi B,
    Welcome back Queen. It is really funny to talk arabic at the first day for you in Italy.Regarding speaking english in Italy, when I have been to Rome a funny story had happened to me. I wanted to go to visit Vatican and I stopped an Italian man and we had the following converstation:
    me: execuse me, do you speak english?
    him: Ce ( yes in italian language )
    me : which bus should I take to Vatican?
    He started to explain to me but in Italian and at the end he asked me : Capito ( understand?)
    I said : No capito, senoury (sir) do you speak english?
    he said : Ce
    I repeated my question again and he started to explain to me again in Italian and asked me again : Capito.
    Again we repeated the same conversation for the 3rd time and at the end he asked me : Capito?
    When I said: No capito. He just look at and left me raising his hand on the air making that voice:Oh
    You know I was surprised and after a moment of silence I start to laugh like crazy.

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