Right now (time of writing), I am at my hubby’s grandma’s. This course means ‘business’. I am in Prefailles, a seaside French town. It is more like Intensive PLUS infinity crash course. O, and I am alone without my husband. Let’s review on what I have learnt during my 10 days immersion course. I summarised them into 3 points.

1. French conjugation is my friend

The ultimate test to my vocab list. I am super proud that I completed 3 games of Scrabble in French with no letter left. (yes, please clap) Grandma had an intense score of 500+ She has the all letter cleared bonus like 4-5 times in every single game. I swear she is probably a pro and I end up with 200. Frankly, I am more concerned about having a qualifying word than finding high score. Spotting a word with my limited vocab knowledge is challenging to say the least. For once, I appreciated the CRAZY conjugations.

E.g. Vais, va, vas ==> all means the same thing, but are different forms of the same word. Can also benefit from some words where adding ‘ir’ or ‘er’ changes the word to the infinitive form 😀 How desperate do I get? I spell sex in French in front of grandmother. I hope I impressed her with my creative survival skills haha.



2. Food coma & other mystics

Do you know that ‘food coma’ does not exist in the French vocabulary? Non stop eating and drinking is not an excuse to food coma. Remain chic at all times (?!?!?!?)  Culinary skill is decisively the only skill that can impress any body in my family. The art of fitting into any French conversation is to talk about food. This stereo type is true, at least for my better half’s family. Thank goodness I have mastered that dish I learnt from Instit Paul Bocuse. Brownie points to me 😛

I cooked this 😛 1.5. hours worth of cooking time. Recipe is available here
Home made 😀 La complete

While we cooked, we talked about food. While we’re eating breakfast, we discussed what to do for lunch. While we’re cooking, we share our cooking hacks… you get the drift? Food & wine is clearly the top vocabulary list to work on. The set of culinary vocab is endless (example: each cutting method has a unique name…) My family is very encouraging when it comes to talk about food. I get a lot of affirmation whenever I talk about food/drink.


3. Composure

Intense all day drinking skills (with composure). I honestly don’t quite understand how they do it. Think 60 people gathered together, drink wine from noon to midnight. Wake up and it is time to drink again… In the mean time, everyone is in perfect composure. No one passes out or vomit during or after the party. It is right to be jealous of the French. Composure and elegance under heavy influence. Remain calm… I only understood 30% of the time, but, I LOVED having spent the week with my in-laws. It was so much fun. My miming skills improved in leaps and bounce 😉 In terms of my French, I think I’ve improved somewhat. At least, I got the hang of applying past tense in my conversation 😀

**Gardening was big on the agenda, but that was more labour intensive than French intensive 😛 Almost all herbs used for cooking was fresh from the garden 😀



Where am I?

Prefailles, France


Blogging from the guestroom 😉

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Salut, I am Joyce. 40 something living in Paris. Appreciate little things and share giggles. Prudent, no nonsense reviews. #ExploreLaughRepeat


  1. Hey, just came accrss you blog, such fun informative posts:) I share your pain and joy of learning french! I’ve survived it, was super hard though! Nice to see others share same opinions. Welcome to France, it’s heaving in Toulouse where I live, what with the music festivals and football, exciting times! Paris of course is the epitome:) you can check out my ups n down stories, and more tips on mastering the French on my site, quite new at this though. All the best 🙂

      • Thanks for reading my post 🙂
        Love yr blog, I can travel just by browsing on it. Really awesome! Thanks for yr honest reviews too. So useful 🙂

  2. lucky you! I loved the three years i spent in France! Are you just visiting or you moved there for good?

  3. Can I give myself and invitation to visit Grandma as well? 🙂

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