vendredi, novembre 04, 2005

You Know You've Been Reading Too Many Financial Reports When...

When you think about going to the corner café, and then worry about the downward pressure they must be feeling to limit their churn. And whether their YOY sales are improving.

I don't speak French, which is criminal, I know, and I don't deserve to be here for that reason alone. I don't deny the drawbacks of my laziness and ignorance, which are massive and continual. But it does force me to live in a space of extreme alienation, and this can be a very good place for an artist. I don't have any truck with traveling to a foreign land, and then carrying on as if you're on a bender at home, just in a different language. This ain't junior year abroad for me.

The pageant of a culture and its people are fascinating enough in pantomime, and appeal to the silent movie buff in me. I try to limit the inconvenience of my non-native presence to all the French folk I encounter, but I am surely exasperating in the same way that an American gets exasperated with a Mexican who doesn't speak English. And I sympathize with the added exasperation that is seeing your capital infested with and bought up by these foreigners who don't the language--imagine if those non-English speaking Hispanics were also moving into many of the nicest Manhattan apartments.

We aren't planning to live here for very long, and in the meantime I wll just struggle along. It is a constant source of embarrassment, yes, but I resist sitting down with a French textbook and digging into the language when I've got so much else needing my attention. And these other priorities do not include enjoying much of this city, either--you readers are probably all too aware how staid and homebound our routine is here. No, it just seems like too much time for a new language when I am still so wobbly in my native tongue, and when I'm trying to nurse my ragged Italian along until we make it to Rome, which leaves scant capacity in my brain for a third language.

Especially not with my current immersion in financialese.