Hello friends! It’s time for another episode of L’Etudiant Etranger!
There’s a lot of French in this episode, so I’ll make sure to include translations.
I was going to publish the answers to the Q&A post today, but I don’t feel that there are enough questions. So please ask some more here! I’ve extended the deadline. (I’ll remind you again at the end of this post)
Enjoy learning some more about Adeline in this episode!
“Enchanté* Adeline,” Clarice greeted.
“Bonjour! Es-tu Madame Clarice**?” my sister asked in a thick French accent.
Though my sister knew English, she wasn’t as fluent in it as I was, even before my year abroad. I wondered if I might need to help her in conversations.
*Nice to meet you
**Hello! Are you Madame Clarice?
“Would you like something to eat?” Clarice asked, switching to English.
Adeline blankly stared for a moment before her understanding sunk in. “Euh…oui.”
“Let’s go to Chick-fil-a!” I winked at Clarice. Even though Adeline didn’t share my aversion to hamburgers, I knew she was going to love Chick-fil-a.
The three of us got in the car and left for the wonderful restaurant known as Chick-fil-a.
“Comment vont Mère et Père?*” I asked. It was nice to be able to speak my own language with a native speaker once more.
“Ils sont bien. Et toi?**”
“Bien. J’adore les Stones! Et vous aussi!***”
*How are Mom and Dad?
**They are well. And you?
***Good. I love the Stones? And you too!
She glanced up at Clarice, who was grinning at my praise.
Adeline hadn’t met many Americans. And though I had met far more than she had, I still hadn’t met many that were fluent in French.
*Is she French?
“Non. Elle a étudié le français à l’université. Son accent est très bon, n’est-ce pas?*”
*No. She studied French in college. Her accent is very good, is it not?
“Merci*,” Clarice smiled. “What do you two want to eat?”
“How about…euh, what does this Chick-fil-a serve?” Adeline asked.
“Ils servent le meilleur poulet,” I explained. “C’est mon restaurant favori!*”
*They serve the best chicken. It’s my favorite restaurant!
“Gisselle,” Adeline scolded.
Though she was only three years my senior, my sister seemed to think she was an authority figure to me.
“Can we use English words this week?” she asked.
I stared past her. What? I thought that it would help her to speak in the language she was most familiar with. Not to mention I could use a refresh of my native tongue before returning home to Mère and Père.
“Uh, sure. But why?”
Adeline sighed. “Just do it, s’il vous plait.*”
I smirked. It seemed Adeline was already breaking her own rule.
“This is sweet, but I need to know what you girls want to eat,” Clarice interrupted.
Adeline glanced at me. “I’ll have whatever Gisselle’s having.”
“You know what I would like Madame…the chicken sandwich!”
After Clarice ordered three chicken sandwiches, we moved up in the drive-thru line. Adeline eyed all the cars in front of us. “Are there usually this many cars?”
I nodded. “This is Chick-fil-a on a slow day.”
Her eyes widened. “Oh là là.”
Some things were worth the wait.
Adeline smiled when she saw the sandwich. “It looks delicious!”
I grinned. “I do not care how it looks…just how it tastes.”
With that, I took a bite. Adeline followed, and her face lit up.
I was taken back to my first Chick-fil-a experience. I had a feeling that Adeline was going to love Chick-fil-a just as much as I did.
“Adeline!” Claire and Rudy cheered as we entered the house.
“I am glad to see you too, mon petit frère et sœur.*” I returned the greeting. I couldn’t blame them for being excited…I’d been telling them all about Adeline for the past week.
“Oh you know we love you,” Rudy grinned.
*My little brother and sister
“Bonjour!” Adeline beamed. “You must be Rudy and Claire. Gisselle has told me so much about you!”
Claire and Rudy shared a smug glance. “We’ve heard all about you too.”
“Good things, yes?”
I placed my hand on Adeline’s shoulder. “As if there’s anything bad I could say about my big sister.”
“I can think of some things about you…” Adeline teased.
Rudy smirked. “Why don’t you tell us?”
I shot Adeline a glare. Surely she would dare embarrass me in front of my American friends.
“Well, when we were young, Gisselle used to drool on her pillow. Mère had to buy extra pillow covers!”
I shoved her. “Adeline!”
Rudy and Claire giggled.
“That’s awesome!” Rudy laughed.
I cringed. “Ugh!”
“Aha! What are big sisters for but to tease little sisters!”
Clarice came to my rescue by changing the subject. “I see you’re all getting along,”
“Adeline was telling us embarrassing stories about Gisselle!” Rudy exclaimed.
“I’ve got a few about the two of you,” Clarice teased.
“Let’s uh…play a get-to-know-you game with Adeline!” Claire exclaimed.
“That sounds like a splendid idea,” Clarice decided. “How about two truths and a lie?”
“Perfect! I’ll go first,” Claire said. “I have never stayed up past midnight, I like to write flash fiction, and my favorite holiday is Christmas.”
Rudy and I shared a glance. The lie was pretty obvious to us.
Adeline stared at Claire for a while. “I think the lie is that you have not stayed up past midnight.”
“I will go next,” Adeline decided. “I love to meet new friends, I am not good with children, and I am creative.”
“I think…you aren’t creative,” Rudy tentatively replied. I knew that he was wrong.
“No…” Claire thought aloud. “She is. I think the lie is that she isn’t good with kids.”
Adeline grinned. “I love children!”
“My turn!” I smiled. “I do not like school, I like to sing, and I like to shop.”
“I can’t believe this, but I think the first one is the lie. How can anyone like school?” Rudy sputtered.
I nodded. “Learning is fascinating.”
“Alright.” Rudy went next. “I think reading is dumb, I love chocolate and basketball is my favorite sport to watch.”
I was stumped. They all seemed true of Rudy.
“The reading one?” Adeline guessed.
Rudy chuckled. “No, actually the basketball one. I prefer watching football.”
Adeline stifled a yawn. “I have enjoyed getting to know the two of you, but I think I am getting tired. Will you show me to my room?”
“You are sleeping in my room,” I grinned. “I will take you there.”
We got to my room and Adeline sat on my bed. “I need to talk to you.”
“Of course. What’s this about?”
“I…actually let’s have this conversation in French.”
A look of confusion spread across my face. “But I thought you wanted to improve your English?”
“Les murs ont des oreilles.*”
The confusion lingered until I heard two whispering voices outside the door. “Ah.”
“Je vais être une fille au pair.**” she announced.
“Adeline, c’est incroyable! Où iras-tu?***” I asked.
“Ici.****” came her reply.
*The walls have ears
**I am going to be an au pair(a nanny)
***Adeline, that’s incredible! Where will you go?
I froze. Adeline was moving to the US?
“Qu’est-ce que cela signifie?*”
“Gisselle…je veux vivre ici. Tu l’as fait! Mère et Père sont d’accord avec ça**,” she explained.
*What does this mean
**Gisselle, I want to live here. You did! Mom and Dad are okay with it.
Though I understood the language, I wondered if my time in America had lessened my understanding. I decided to switch to English. “I’m sorry, do you mean to say you are moving here?” I confirmed in a hushed voice.
Adeline nodded. “I think it would be good for me.”
I sighed. “But Adeline, I have to go back home. I wanted us to be together.”
My heart ached when I considered another year without Adeline.
“Well,” Adeline shrugged. “I was wondering if maybe you wanted to stay.”
My jaw dropped. What? Was that even a possibility?
“What about Mère and Père? What about school? Where would I even live?”
The questions kept coming. There was no way this could work.
“We’d figure it out,”
I took a deep breath. “J’ai besoin de réfléchir*.”
My mind was swimming. This was a lot to take in.
I needed some peace and quiet to think things over.
*I need to think
Whew…well that’s a big announcement. Do you think Gisselle will stay in America with her sister?