Accentuating The Problem

, | Paris, France | Food & Drink, Language & Words, Tourists/Travel

(My family is on vacation in Europe with a large tour group, consisting of about 40 people from Canada and the US. My sister and I are trying to order at a Parisian McDonald’s, while a middle-aged Texan woman from the same tour is waiting in the next queue over.)

Me: *in bad French* “Uh, could I have a… McChicken?”

Employee: *in French* “Sorry, what did you want?”

Me: *in French, more clearly* “Um, McChicken.”

Employee: *in French* “Ah! Of course. That’ll be [amount].”

Sister: *to me* “I think you were trying too hard to get the accent right. You sounded ridiculous.”

Me: “I didn’t think it sounded that bad… At least I tried.”

(While waiting for our food, we can’t help but overhear what’s going on in the next queue…)

Texan Customer: “Yeah, I’d like a combo number four–”

Employee: *in French* “Sorry, what?”

(The woman gives the flustered employee a death stare, then speaks loudly and slowly.)

Texan Customer: “COMBO. COOOOOMBO.”

(We left then, so I don’t know if the customer ever got her food. To this day, no one in my family ever says the word ‘combo’ without putting on an exaggerated drawl!)