French

Charles-isms

I first met Charles five years ago when he was almost two years old. He’s such an adorable kid…  and I so so so love him dearly! 😀

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Click the links below to read the related posts:
Mr. Anderson                                Where’s Charles?
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Up to this day, Fritchie (Charles’ Mom) and I still shares a good laugh whenever we recall Charles’ funny antics. 🙂 Here are some new ones that are truly remarkable. Read on!

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SENSATIONAL SPELLER
Charles got an award in school. Sensational Speller

 chaz-Christmas  charles-

Charles: Mommy, I can spell anything now! My level is grade 3 level… that’s what Ms. Whiteside said
Mommy: I know Charles, you did a really good job in school and we are so proud of you.

(as Charles enters the house…)

Charles: Daddy… Daddy! I got a trophy! I’m the best speller in our class, grade 3 level. I can spell anything now.
Daddy: Ohhhh really? Spell “anything”
Charles: E N I T H I N G

Mommy and Daddy looked at each other stifling a laugh and they both tried to sound out  the word “anything”.

Charles: I know! I know! A N Y T H I N G   I told you I know!

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BEDTIME
In bed… Daddy was snoring, Charles couldn’t sleep, and Mommy was pretending to be fast asleep.

 chaz  Charles

Charles: Daddy, Daddy… I’m bored… I can’t sleep… Can I have the remote please?
Daddy: Go to sleep
Charles: I can’t. I’m too bored. I wanna watch TV.
Daddy: Count the holes on the wall
Charles: What? There’s holes on the wall?
Daddy: Pretend there are holes on the wall and count it.

(Mommy was trying hard not to laugh because she’s supposed to be fast asleep.
After two minutes)

Charles: But Daddy I can’t see the holes. Can you please turn on the light?
Daddy: Charles go to sleep

(After few minutes….)

Charles: I can’t really sleep. I need the remote.

(Daddy ignored Charles)

Charles: Can I watch TV now Daddy? I will sleep if you give me the remote.

(Then, Daddy eventually gave him the remote)

After ten minutes of watching TV, Charles’ finally fell asleep.

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CHRISTMAS CARD

Fritchie-Charles

Mommy: Can you write a card for Mlle. Dorman? We will go out tomorrow to buy her a present.
Charles: Ok Mommy. (then he proceeded to get his markers and paper)

(After 10 minutes, Charles went to the kitchen to show his work of art.)

Charles: Mommy I did it. I even did it in French and I made the letters in patterns like red and green.  (He also drew a Christmas tree)
Mommy: (wondering) Charles, how did you know the French words for Merry Christmas?
Charles: Mommy I searched it in Google. Everything is in Google you know, Mommy.

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See??? Isn’t he adorable? 😀 See you again soon! 

 

Montreal

Montreal is dubbed as the sin city of Canada and the largest city in the province of Quebec. It is said to be the second-largest in Canada and the 8th-largest in North America. There’s so much to see and do in Montreal… it would probably take a month or so!

Little did I know that I would be in for a challenge when my Popster friend, Mydzz, and I decided to go to Montreal via train (VIA Rail) last October 9th, 2012. Thanks to Google, Mydzz found the a number of popular places in Montreal to visit in our 4-hour time frame.

viarail viarail-

 

As expected, we had several bloopers during our trip…

1. Confused!
We nearly got off at the Dorval station, one stop away from Montreal, because we got confused with the announcement for the next stop.

2. Photo oppsie!
I was taking my photo (a.k.a. “selfie”)  with the Notre-Dame Basilica in the background when a guy across the street offered to take my photo. His shouting was so loud and animated that I ended up being the center of (unwanted) attention. OMG! Mydzz laughingly walked away and pretended not to know me. O_O

montreal-notredame--- Montreal-NotreDame-selfie

It’s a good shot though…. 😀 Hmmm… better than my “selfie” on the right… Don’t ya think?

3. Train seats mixed up.
We were finally settled in our designated seats when the VIA Rail officer asked us to move. Our fellow passengers told us that there was a glitch in the online booking system that mixed up the seating arrangements.

4. So French!
The VIA rail employees were talking to us in French while directing us what car to take. All we could do was to smile and say thank you. “Car 4” was the magic word that we needed to hear to put together all the things they were saying.

5. So lost!
Our million dollar smiles opened the hearts of strangers, happily chatting with us and helping us find the best views in the city.

Below are some of our snapshots:

montreal-port montreal-port-
montreal-science centre Montreal---
montreal-chinatown montreal-
montreal-archeology Montreal-Mydz
montreal-coloredbuilding montreal-justicepalace

Notre Dame

montreal-notredame- montreal-notredame--

 

Surprisingly, we covered several tourist spots in 3-4 hours with no tour guide. Ha! We spent an hour having lunch in a Chinese buffet… we pigged out at the Jade Restaurant! :p

The trip to Montreal proved to be enjoyable after all. Until next time! Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmwa!

mistaken “nationality”?

After eating a mouthwatering lunch at Yip Hong, a famous Chinese Restaurant in this side of the world, we decided to go to Superstore to buy weekly food supplies. With my nephew in tow, I was grinning while pushing the cart when I saw a Chinese lady looking and smiling at me.

I thought she’s the same lady that I often had a chance encounter whenever I go to work but I was wrong. All of a sudden, she stopped near our cart and asked me something. The brief conversation went this way:

Lady:      Hi! Are you from Huangzhong?
Me:          Sorry?
(I had a clueless expression on my face… I did not quite catch what she said)

Lady:    Huangzhong, China.
(Smiling with a twinkle in her eyes)

Me:          No. Do I look like a Chinese?
(I was laughing while talking.)
Lady:      Yes.

I just smiled and then we went separate ways. I still have that smirk on my face when I turned to my nephew, James.

Me:        Do I look like a Chinese?
James: No. You look like a Canadian.
(Looking at me with an incredibly serious expression on his face)

That did it. I can’t stop laughing while pushing the cart. Merci Beaucoup James! You’re such a sweetheart.

One last note, it’s really strange because I got that all the time…wherever I go, whoever I meet. Ha! I’ve been asked if I’m a Dutch, French, Latin American, Indonesian, Malaysian, Singaporean, Thai, and Chinese.

I must be a human chameleon? What do you think? 🙂

Proud to be a Filipino 🙂

English

I’ve always thought that if you have good command of the English language, it will be enough to make you “global”. Hence, I did everything within my mighty power to learn English even though I abhor the intricacies of its “technical” aspect.

A lot of people say I speak and write English well… Hmm.… I might have succeeded in a certain way but I know in my heart that I still have a long way to go.

My accent turned topsy-turvy after communicating with people having various mother tongue such as:

  • Filipino (Ilokano, Tagalog, Bisaya, Ilonggo, etc)
  • Dutch
  • German
  • French
  • Singaporean Mandarin
  • Chinese Mandarin
  • Cantonese
  • Hokien
  • Bhurmese
  • Bhutanese
  • Nepalese
  • Indonesian
  • Malay
  • Arabic
  • Ethiopian Language
  • Hindi
  • Tamil

I usually adapt the most prominent accent but my tongue seemed be confused on what accent to follow. Strange huh? Even so, I did manage to improve my accent  slowly and it got better when I worked at HSBC. We were dealing with American clients, so, we were taught to neutralize our accent to minimize communication barrier. After a few months, I can already speak English with that American twang.

However, when I went to work in Singapore, I needed to unlearn that American twang and speak English the “local” way inorder to get the message across and minimize receiving blank stares. (See related article -> Singlish).

Now, I need to unlearn the Singlish and bring back the North American way of speaking English. It’s a work in progress and it’s a bit difficult because I’ve also adapted the unresponsive nature of Singaporeans. It’s a total struggle!

Looking at the brighter side of things, I know things will work well in the next couple of months. The naturally bubbly, giggly. and chatty me will soon surface.

How to think English is also added in my to do list. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not removing Ilokano and Tagalog in my system. I’m a Filipino and will always be. I just want to improve myself and make my Mama proud (wherever she is now).   (Note: Writing is given. :p)

Thus, my mantra now is:
“I must speak English and think English.”

Why don’t we do this together? Aja! 🙂

Belgium

One of the favorite destination of our group during the weekend was Belgium. Liege, Belgium is a convenient place to visit since it’s just a 45-minute travel via train from Maastricht (Netherlands) where we were based. We all have soft spot for Liege because it’s the place where we spent our first weekend in Europe.

We like to roam around the place without map, check out shops, and take photos. Whenever we couldn’t find our way, we ask for directions from the youngsters because majority of the old folks only speak French.

Our second travel to Belgium was a work visit (a combination of “work” and pleasure). Our lecturer served as our guide and the transportation was provided by Maastricht School of Management. We get to visit a factory, shops and not to forget the red light district. The factory stopover provided a great insight on how the internal procedure work and among other things.

Although Belgium shops have somewhat similar structure with Netherlands, they have a greater selection of items being sold.

Also, it’s in Belgium where I tasted the best chocolate ever! Both the dark and milk chocolate are incredibly delectable! It’s thin, not too soft and not too hard. I’ve been looking for those type of chocolate for ages yet it’s super elusive… maybe, it’s only available in Belgium. Sigh. Anyway, I’m not a fan of fries and waffles however, Belgian fries and waffles are incredibly irresistible and savory! It turns out, fries and waffles originated in Belgium. It’s a good to know information eh? :p

A “tour” to the red light district (a.k.a. prostitution den) culminates our trip to Belgium. To be clear, we were not suppose to go there but the guys in the group practically begged our lecturers to bring us there. After several discussions and “negotiations”, they reluctantly gave in. 😀

We went around the red light district as a group so NO hanky panky. It’s my first time to visit such place and my heart bleeds when I saw a pregnant girl, putting up a strong front and still working. She’s with the other ladies standing in a display window wearing seductive attire (mostly flimsy underwear). The display window is similar to the area where mannequins are placed in front of a shop. It would be great to listen to their stories and know the reason why they chose that path. Hmmmm…

On a lighter note, I was looking for European gigolos in a display window for my to feast eyes on but they’re nowhere to be found! -_- I was totally disappointed! If guys have the opportunity to stare at ladies, ladies should also be given a chance to stare at guys. :p

With all the bantering and teasing, the trip ended on a happy note…

Next stop, Brussels. 😀

nespresso

One morning, a French gentleman was expected in our office for a business meeting with my two gorgeous chiefs (F and S). Out of the blue, F gave me a “crash course” on preparing a “long” nespresso and requested me to  prepare one  for the visitor.

Although, it’s considered a very simple task, I was still a bit jittery because I don’t belong to the coffee world. Yup… I’m more of a tea person and if ever I drink coffee (which happens once in a blue moon), I can only take 1 or 2 sips because my stomach can’t stand it.

Anyway, the French gentleman asked for nespresso “short” (I have no idea what “short” means) and when I used the machine, it just filled one fourth (1/4) of the cup. I was already in a panic mode and nearly added hot water into the cup to make it full.

nespresso

In order to signal my predicament, I tried to catch S’ attention but to no avail. I approached my other co-worker to help me out but she also doesn’t know how. Nonetheless, my co-worker suggested to transfer the coffee in a small glass but I can’t find any. Moreover, I was not comfortable giving a very small portion of coffee because I felt that its not enough for a gentleman like him. :p

While figuring out what to do next, F seemed to sense my little problem and she came to my rescue. I was so relieved when she took over. I went back to my desk as if nothing happened. Although, at that point I was hoping that the floor will just open up and swallow me. I was so embarrassed! Until now, I still laugh whenever I remember that incident.

Lessons Learned:
Learn from bloopers.
Let out that hearty laugh to lighten up a not so good situation.

Aja!