Octobre 6, 2017. Un Autre Faux Pas. Ah…We Don’t, A Cultural Disconnect. And An Ultra Training Update – D.C. Heat and Humidity In Octobre.

Bonjour mes amis.  Comment ça va?  Moi? Ça va très bien.  J’aime octobre!  Mais – je n’aime pas les jours courts!  Toutefois, les feuilles sont belles à l’automne.

La Porte –


Faux-pas –

There was the time in France when being introduced to a man that I kissed him on each cheek.  Because, isn’t that what you do in France when you meet people?

Apparently,  I should have just shaken his hand as he was just an acquaintance.  I guess there are actual rules around the whole cheek kissing thing.

And then there was the time I misspronouced le boeuf (the beef) in the fancy restaurant by saying la bouffe (a causal term for food – like how we would use grub or chow).

Ah the looks of horror and French BOFs I received from those at the table.  Made me laugh out loud.  I still think it’s pretty funny.  And I’m sure I still mispronounce le boeuf as la bouffe. 

Ah…We Don’t –

But my all time favorite cultural disconnect is when I sneezed in France and no-one blessed me.

Emotionally scarred I proceeded to ask ma belle mère how to say “bless you” in French and she replied, “we don’t.”

EYES wide “huh?”  I said at first as the English words, “we don’t” didnt register and as my brain tried to translate “we don’t” into English.  Then I realized she said “we don’t.” in English, and I gasped!  “Ok, that’s wierd,” I thought.

What she actually meant was – the French don’t say it everytime someone sneezes, comme les américains.

The French do have words for this situation, apparently they just don’t use them as often as we do here in the states. That’s her story and she’s sticking with it.  Love her!

So for the record when someone sneezes in France you can respond with:

À tes souhaits / Informal for bless you.

À vos souhaits / Formal for bless you.

However, in our family we simply respond with the ever loving words “we don’t.”

We are a simple people.

For the record, the  next time I met the casual French acquaintance I offered my hand as he swooped in for the cheek-to-cheek.  You can’t fool me twice – monsieur.

But actually now, that I know him isn’t the cheek kiss acceptable?  Je ne sais pas? Et je ne comprends pas le culture françaises. Mais j’adore le français.

Ultra Training Update –

So far so good!  I’m not going to set any land speed records, but I’m holding my own in my quest to conquer the 50 miler in Novemeber.

Lots of fall races!  This past weekend I traveled to Washington D.C. to run the Army Ten-Miler and it was…WHOA…HUMID.  I felt like I was flying but was actually a minute per mile slower than my normal ten mile pace.

The race was actually downgraded to a recreational run due to the heat and humidity.  So odd for October.  This downgrade helped to relieve some of my personal disappointment – but I still felt I could have pushed a little harder or maybe have trained a little harder.

The knee tried to fall apart about mile 8 but I must have forgotten about it because at mile 10 it was fine.  The knee strap to stabilize the knee cap must be working.

This race puts it all into perspective  – when you see the wounded warrior marching on…on prosthetic legs.  

So many emotions…


Next weekend I run with 12 other people, a 200 mile relay race through Kentucky’s beautiful Bourbon Country.  I’ll cover about 17 of the 200 miles over a 24 hour period.  Hoping to streghthen my body and prepare it well as I continue my quest to conquer the 50 miler.

À Plus Tard







Author: suzlearnsfrench

My name is Suz and I'm addicted to France and all things French. I can't speak French, but I'm working on it. I've been working on it for 33 years. I'm married to a man who is half French and our running joke is "my next husband will be full French". However, I'm never giving this one up.

7 thoughts on “Octobre 6, 2017. Un Autre Faux Pas. Ah…We Don’t, A Cultural Disconnect. And An Ultra Training Update – D.C. Heat and Humidity In Octobre.”

  1. This one is good! I taught to my mother to say “vesels” – “bless you” cause it feels good. But here in Latvia – we don’t as well :D. And I would take whole “la bouffe” I’m so hungry right now! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just clicked over to your blog from another one where you commented. I’m a French learner and runner too, although of shorter distances!

    Living in the French-speaking part Switzerland, the kiss thing gets me every time … as does the tu/vous distinction. I can’t count how many people I’ve insulted, either by being too informal too quickly or by staying too formal too long. Also, here, when someone sneezes, we say, “Santé.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bonjour ! Thank you so much for stopping by. Santé – this I will use!

      I’m looking forward to getting back to the shorter distance…

      And I’m also looking forward to reading more of your blog – what an interesting life you’ve had thus far.

      I hope to really focus on my French this winter – once the 50 miler is checked off.

      Please stop back by – I’d love to have you comment as needed on my French.



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