October 18, 2011 in Belgium, Europe, Travels ,

A year ago I was sitting in Brussels and passionately learning French. It lasted about a month and was preceded by self learning for a couple of months (we all love books like “learn French in 1 week”) I can say that it ended somewhat successfully. I could order a coffee and a sandwich and determine what I want in it. I could also understand the banal conversation, or say what I think at the moment (no one wrote it was fluent and without mistakes).

A year has passed and I’ve realized that I wasn’t able to say a word in French! It might have something to do with immediate intensive study of Spanish in each long hours bus ride through South America. It could also be affected by the first situation when I really had to go toilet and couldn’t find it, because this expression in Spanish lays nowhere close to “toilet”. During that 5 months I was trying my best, involving chollitas in conversations, was talking with a miner from Chile, and finally it hit me – I can ask about the bathroom in Spanish. Beautiful.

And then, one fine night I was walking around Amsterdam, just before the next glass of wine and after one, and I met these incredibly nice people from France. Then I said “hey, I can speak French!” and I did. But each word was in Spanish. Literally each word. What is the conclusion? I do not know French anymore.

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