Monthly Archives: March 2016

86 - Service with a Smile - Slow

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Our island is famous for many things: stunning scenery, beautiful landscapes, cultural and ethnic diversity, and scrumptious food. However, nothing is perfect. Sometimes, the service in Reunion is far from satisfactory. Sometimes, it is very near to satisfactory. But the experience I had at a restaurant in the west of the island last month was so awful, so bad, so atrocious, that if ‘Satisfactory’ were a town, I can say that the service would have been so far from Satisfactory that I could have found myself in another galaxy.

There we were, five adults and four kids, all enjoying a Friday night meal of mussels and chips.

 

Halfway through the meal, one of us discovered, in the bottom of the pot, a maggot. A big dead maggot. Now, you’re wondering what a ‘maggot’ is. Have a look at the vocab. Got it? I know. I nearly threw up. We told the waiter. He told the boss. The boss told his waiter to apologise. “No harm done” we said, “these things happen”.

 

Then my friend ordered a rum. Inside was something dark. Something crooked. Yes, it was the leg of a cockroach. I had had enough! My friends were being far too patient, so I picked up the cockroach leg and went to see the boss.

 

Typically British, I felt that all this was clearly my fault. But my Gallic side took over, and my guilt disappeared. “Erm, after the maggot, we have this…” I showed him the offending object. “It’s part of a cockroach.” He replied ‘no, that’s a bit of vanilla.’

 

I said, ‘I’m not an expert on vanilla, and I’m not an expert on cockroaches, but THIS is part of a cockroach.’

 

His wife appeared from the kitchen. She looked very angry indeed. “It’s impossible. We have no cockroaches in our kitchen!” she announced proudly.

“Are you suggesting that I go out to restaurants with bits of cockroach in my pocket for fun?” I countered.

 

Her reaction? She took a close look at my finger. Then grabbed the cockroach leg. And then yes, my friends, she put it in her mouth and she ate it. Like Luke Skywalker, I shouted ‘Noooooooooooooo!’

 

Chewing away, she went back into her kitchen shouting “you see, perfectly good!”

 

The boss then advised ME to go and sit down, as he was concerned that I would lose my temper. I was just trying not to throw up…

 

What could I do? What would you have done?

 

I didn’t want to annoy them. I just wanted to inform them of the problem. These things happen, even in 5 star hotels, it’s not the end of the world. But it’s all about how the situation is handled. And the way this situation was handled was light years from satisfactory.

 

Vocabulary

 

stunning - époustouflant
landscapes - paysages
scrumptious - succulent
satisfactory - satisfaisant
awful - affreux

far - loin
mussels - moules
maggot - asticot
to throw up - vomir
no harm done! - ya pas de mal !

crooked - crochu
guilt - culpabilité
cockroach - cafard
to grab - saisir
to lose your temper - perdre son sang froid

to handle - gérer
light years - années lumières

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86 - Service with a Smile

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

Our island is famous for many things: stunning scenery, beautiful landscapes, cultural and ethnic diversity, and scrumptious food. However, nothing is perfect. Sometimes, the service in Reunion is far from satisfactory. Sometimes, it is very near to satisfactory. But the experience I had at a restaurant in the west of the island last month was so awful, so bad, so atrocious, that if ‘Satisfactory’ were a town, I can say that the service would have been so far from Satisfactory that I could have found myself in another galaxy.

There we were, five adults and four kids, all enjoying a Friday night meal of mussels and chips.

Halfway through the meal, one of us discovered, in the bottom of the pot, a maggot. A big dead maggot. Now, you’re wondering what a ‘maggot’ is. Have a look at the vocab. Got it? I know. I nearly threw up. We told the waiter. He told the boss. The boss told his waiter to apologise. “No harm done” we said, “these things happen”.

Then my friend ordered a rum. Inside was something dark. Something crooked. Yes, it was the leg of a cockroach. I had had enough! My friends were being far too patient, so I picked up the cockroach leg and went to see the boss.

Typically British, I felt that all this was clearly my fault. But my Gallic side took over, and my guilt disappeared. “Erm, after the maggot, we have this…” I showed him the offending object. “It’s part of a cockroach.” He replied ‘no, that’s a bit of vanilla.’

I said, ‘I’m not an expert on vanilla, and I’m not an expert on cockroaches, but THIS is part of a cockroach.’

His wife appeared from the kitchen. She looked very angry indeed. “It’s impossible. We have no cockroaches in our kitchen!” she announced proudly.

“Are you suggesting that I go out to restaurants with bits of cockroach in my pocket for fun?” I countered.

Her reaction? She took a close look at my finger. Then grabbed the cockroach leg. And then yes, my friends, she put it in her mouth and she ate it. Like Luke Skywalker, I shouted ‘Noooooooooooooo!’

Chewing away, she went back into her kitchen shouting “you see, perfectly good!”

The boss then advised ME to go and sit down, as he was concerned that I would lose my temper. I was just trying not to throw up…

What could I do? What would you have done?

I didn’t want to annoy them. I just wanted to inform them of the problem. These things happen, even in 5 star hotels, it’s not the end of the world. But it’s all about how the situation is handled. And the way this situation was handled was light years from satisfactory.

Vocabulary

stunning - époustouflant
landscapes - paysages
scrumptious - succulent
satisfactory - satisfaisant
awful - affreux

far - loin
mussels - moules
maggot - asticot
to throw up - vomir
no harm done! - ya pas de mal !

crooked - crochu
guilt - culpabilité
cockroach - cafard
to grab - saisir
to lose your temper - perdre son sang froid

to handle - gérer
light years - années lumières

00:0000:00

85 - Grand Bassin - Vocabulary

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There's an expression in English: be careful what you wish for. A few years ago, I witnessed something that reminded me how true that is. It was 2009, and I was on my very first hike ever, in Grand Bassin. We had organised to go with a group of friends for the weekend. On Saturday, we descended, and it was great. It was a beautiful day, slightly cloudy and the perfect temperature for a walk. In the afternoon, we arrived at our destination and some of the group took a dip in the cold water. Then, we enjoyed a glass of rhum arrangé served by the owners of our gite, played cards and massaged our sore legs. I went to bed early in preparation for the steep hike up the next day. 

The next morning, we woke up to a very hot and sunny day. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, and at 7am it was probably already 30°. We all covered ourselves in sunscreen, packed plenty of water and started our hike. Having never hiked before in my life, and being from an extremely flat town, I found the walk a bit tricky and regularly stopped to drink, rest and complain about the heat. But I shouldn't have complained so much, because someone had a far worse experience than me.

About halfway to the top of the cliff, we came across a group of 3 hikers huddled together over a man who had collapsed. Within minutes, the deafening sound of propellers started and the other hikers signalled for us to hide behind a large boulder away from the rock face. A helicopter was about to land. After the unconscious man had been carried into the helicopter and it had flown away, we asked the remaining group members what had happened. It turns out that the group had set out with only a litre of water between the four of them on an extremely hot day, wearing flip-flops and totally unprepared for the hours of walking ahead of them. When his friends had warned him about how challenging and hot the hike was going to be, he laughed and said: “don't worry, it'll be easy. I'll just get a helicopter to come pick me up!” 

Their story has stayed with me through all these years as proof that our words and imagination can be pretty powerful.

Vocabulary

 

 

to wish - espérer
to witness - être témoin de quelque chose
to hike - randonner
cloudy - nuageux
to take a dip - piquer une tête

 

flat town - ville plat
tricky - difficile
to complain - se plaindre
halfway - à mi-chemin
huddled - regroupés

 

to collapse - s'évanouir
deafening - assourdissant
boulder - rocher
flip-flops - savates
to pick someone up - récoupérer quelqu'un

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85 - Grand Bassin - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

There's an expression in English: be careful what you wish for. A few years ago, I witnessed something that reminded me how true that is. It was 2009, and I was on my very first hike ever, in Grand Bassin. We had organised to go with a group of friends for the weekend. On Saturday, we descended, and it was great. It was a beautiful day, slightly cloudy and the perfect temperature for a walk. In the afternoon, we arrived at our destination and some of the group took a dip in the cold water. Then, we enjoyed a glass of rhum arrangé served by the owners of our gite, played cards and massaged our sore legs. I went to bed early in preparation for the steep hike up the next day. 

The next morning, we woke up to a very hot and sunny day. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, and at 7am it was probably already 30°. We all covered ourselves in sunscreen, packed plenty of water and started our hike. Having never hiked before in my life, and being from an extremely flat town, I found the walk a bit tricky and regularly stopped to drink, rest and complain about the heat. But I shouldn't have complained so much, because someone had a far worse experience than me.

About halfway to the top of the cliff, we came across a group of 3 hikers huddled together over a man who had collapsed. Within minutes, the deafening sound of propellers started and the other hikers signalled for us to hide behind a large boulder away from the rock face. A helicopter was about to land. After the unconscious man had been carried into the helicopter and it had flown away, we asked the remaining group members what had happened. It turns out that the group had set out with only a litre of water between the four of them on an extremely hot day, wearing flip-flops and totally unprepared for the hours of walking ahead of them. When his friends had warned him about how challenging and hot the hike was going to be, he laughed and said: “don't worry, it'll be easy. I'll just get a helicopter to come pick me up!” 

Their story has stayed with me through all these years as proof that our words and imagination can be pretty powerful.

Vocabulary

 

 

to wish - espérer
to witness - être témoin de quelque chose
to hike - randonner
cloudy - nuageux
to take a dip - piquer une tête

 

flat town - ville plat
tricky - difficile
to complain - se plaindre
halfway - à mi-chemin
huddled - regroupés

 

to collapse - s'évanouir
deafening - assourdissant
boulder - rocher
flip-flops - savates
to pick someone up - récoupérer quelqu'un

00:0000:00

85 - Grand Bassin

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

There's an expression in English: be careful what you wish for. A few years ago, I witnessed something that reminded me how true that is. It was 2009, and I was on my very first hike ever, in Grand Bassin. We had organised to go with a group of friends for the weekend. On Saturday, we descended, and it was great. It was a beautiful day, slightly cloudy and the perfect temperature for a walk. In the afternoon, we arrived at our destination and some of the group took a dip in the cold water. Then, we enjoyed a glass of rhum arrangé served by the owners of our gite, played cards and massaged our sore legs. I went to bed early in preparation for the steep hike up the next day. 

The next morning, we woke up to a very hot and sunny day. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, and at 7am it was probably already 30°. We all covered ourselves in sunscreen, packed plenty of water and started our hike. Having never hiked before in my life, and being from an extremely flat town, I found the walk a bit tricky and regularly stopped to drink, rest and complain about the heat. But I shouldn't have complained so much, because someone had a far worse experience than me.

About halfway to the top of the cliff, we came across a group of 3 hikers huddled together over a man who had collapsed. Within minutes, the deafening sound of propellers started and the other hikers signalled for us to hide behind a large boulder away from the rock face. A helicopter was about to land. After the unconscious man had been carried into the helicopter and it had flown away, we asked the remaining group members what had happened. It turns out that the group had set out with only a litre of water between the four of them on an extremely hot day, wearing flip-flops and totally unprepared for the hours of walking ahead of them. When his friends had warned him about how challenging and hot the hike was going to be, he laughed and said: “don't worry, it'll be easy. I'll just get a helicopter to come pick me up!” 

Their story has stayed with me through all these years as proof that our words and imagination can be pretty powerful.

Vocabulary

to wish - espérer
to witness - être témoin de quelque chose
to hike - randonner
cloudy - nuageux
to take a dip - piquer une tête

flat town - ville plat
tricky - difficile
to complain - se plaindre
halfway - à mi-chemin
huddled - regroupés

to collapse - s'évanouir
deafening - assourdissant
boulder - rocher
flip-flops - savates
to pick someone up - récoupérer quelqu'un

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