Monthly Archives: June 2016

99 - Carless in Reunion - Slow

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Drivingthrough St Paul at seven am, or better yet, driving to St Denis when the coastalroad is closed and you are forced to take the winding road throughLa Montagne. I think these are the moments that make any resident of Reunionwish that they were home in bed, or riding a bike, or doing anything but drivingin their car. In 2014 there were an estimated 336,000 cars on the island;that’s almost one car for every two inhabitants (and many of those inhabitants are not even of legal drivingage.) That’s a lot of cars, and now, a few years later, I can only assumethat there are even more!

Since arriving on the island almost four years ago, my partner and Iare on our fourth car.  We soldthe first one, broke the second one, the third one is still going strong, thankgoodness, and I bought the fourth one just last week. After breaking thesecond car I decided to go without a car, I let my partner take the third carto work each day, and I stayed home. I was the literal definition of a stay-at-homemum. After spending seven months of being trapped in the hillsof St Leu with an infant, I gave in and I bought a car.

If I stilllived in Japan, going carless would be simple, hop on a bike, metro, train, orwalk. But in Reunion living carless means riding a bike up huge hills (bythe way, I live five hundred metres above sea level), walking on the road,since sidewalks are almost non-existent, or waiting forever for a minibus with seven seats and sporadic hours. Not that I am criticising thebus system, actually I’m impressed at some of the roads that they ventureonto. I was just not ready to wait in the sun and hop on a bus with my diaperbag, stroller, beach gear and new-born in arm. I chose to buyan inflatable pool and stay at home instead. But now that the poolturned green and my son is almost walking I decided that I needed to get out ofthe house. So, car number four is in the driveway.

 

Sitting intraffic on my way to St Paul last week didn’t feel so bad, even if thenew car is making weird clunking noises, it’s all a part of the game. Ihave accepted the fact that in Reunion a car is almost a necessity. Unless ofcourse you live along the coast, close to everything, but then you have othernecessities... Like air conditioning. 

Vocabulary

 

coastal - littoral
winding - sinueux
to assume - supposer
partner - compagnon, compagne
thank goodness - heureusement 

stay-at-home mum - mère au foyer
trapped - bloqué
in the hills - dans les hauts
infant - nourrisson
to give in- craquer 

by the way - à propos
sidewalk - trottoir
to criticise - critiquer
venture - se risquer
diaper bag - sac à langer 

stroller - poussette
newborn - nouveau-né
inflatable pool - piscine gonflable
driveway - parking
traffic - bouchon 

clunking - bruit sourd
air conditioning - climatisation

00:0000:00

99 - Carless in Reunion

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

Drivingthrough St Paul at seven am, or better yet, driving to St Denis when the coastalroad is closed and you are forced to take the winding road throughLa Montagne. I think these are the moments that make any resident of Reunionwish that they were home in bed, or riding a bike, or doing anything but drivingin their car. In 2014 there were an estimated 336,000 cars on the island;that’s almost one car for every two inhabitants (and many of those inhabitants are not even of legal drivingage.) That’s a lot of cars, and now, a few years later, I can only assumethat there are even more!

Since arriving on the island almost four years ago, my partner and Iare on our fourth car.  We soldthe first one, broke the second one, the third one is still going strong, thankgoodness, and I bought the fourth one just last week. After breaking thesecond car I decided to go without a car, I let my partner take the third carto work each day, and I stayed home. I was the literal definition of a stay-at-homemum. After spending seven months of being trapped in the hillsof St Leu with an infant, I gave in and I bought a car.

If I stilllived in Japan, going carless would be simple, hop on a bike, metro, train, orwalk. But in Reunion living carless means riding a bike up huge hills (bythe way, I live five hundred metres above sea level), walking on the road,since sidewalks are almost non-existent, or waiting forever for a minibus with seven seats and sporadic hours. Not that I am criticising thebus system, actually I’m impressed at some of the roads that they ventureonto. I was just not ready to wait in the sun and hop on a bus with my diaperbag, stroller, beach gear and new-born in arm. I chose to buyan inflatable pool and stay at home instead. But now that the poolturned green and my son is almost walking I decided that I needed to get out ofthe house. So, car number four is in the driveway.

Sitting intraffic on my way to St Paul last week didn’t feel so bad, even if thenew car is making weird clunking noises, it’s all a part of the game. Ihave accepted the fact that in Reunion a car is almost a necessity. Unless ofcourse you live along the coast, close to everything, but then you have othernecessities... Like air conditioning. 

Vocabulary

coastal - littoral
winding - sinueux
to assume - supposer
partner - compagnon, compagne
thank goodness - heureusement 

stay-at-home mum - mère au foyer
trapped - bloqué
in the hills - dans les hauts
infant - nourrisson
to give in- craquer 

by the way - à propos
sidewalk - trottoir
to criticise - critiquer
venture - se risquer
diaper bag - sac à langer 

stroller - poussette
newborn - nouveau-né
inflatable pool - piscine gonflable
driveway - parking
traffic - bouchon 

clunking - bruit sourd
air conditioning - climatisation

00:0000:00

98 - Why (did I come to) Reunion? Part I - Vocabulary

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

Veryoften, when we native English speakersmeet people for the first time here in Reunion, one of the most commonquestions we get asked is: ‘why on earth did you come to Reunion?’ It’s funny, you don’t hear the same questionfor people who have come from Mainland France, but I guess that’s because its commonplace. But when we say ‘I’m fromMelbourne’ or ‘London’ or ‘Texas’ the reaction of people is often this amazed look on their face, going wow!Why would someone as cool as you come to a place like Reunion?

Well, weall have our different reasons. For me, it was a collection of about five orsix. First and foremost, I wasliving and working in London, but it felt so boring, predictable and I was having a fun time I suppose, but I knew thatif I didn’t leave then, I would never leave, and the prospect of spending thenext fifty years in the same place scaredme to death.

Number twowas that it was also 1999, which meant that I wanted to mark the beginning ofthis new millennium with an outstandingexperience, one which would really put me to the test. 

The planwas to spend six months here, and then see how I felt afterwards. 99% of me thought I would be back in the UK within ayear, but there’s always that little 1%, that little spark which leads us to do adventurous things, to take new risks,and also to break the mould. Likemany people, society expected me toget a job in the same place I was born, and follow the crowd.

But thatwould have meant staying in England…

Whichbrings me to reason number three: the climate. I’ll admit it: sunshine makes mehappy. Rainclouds and gloomy skiesget me down. Before London I had lived in Beziers and Montpellier, and hadfallen in love with the south of France. And reason number four was thelanguage. What’s the point ofspending four years studying a language and never using it? I had to get backto the strange and exotic world of croissants, fine wines and the joys of thesubjunctive tense.

So it wasa classic example of when you know exactly what you want, and you go for it – my criteria: somewherehot, French, adventurous and unique. Someone suggested a tiny place in the Indian Ocean, and off I went. Reunion Island itwas.

They saythat the rest is history, but the second question I often get asked, and thiswill be Part II of this podcast, is ‘Why on earth did you stay…?’

Vocabulary 

native Englishspeakers - anglophones
funny - marrant
commonplace -courant
amazed - étonné
first and foremost -tout d’abord 

predictable -prévisible
scared - effrayé
outstanding - remarquable
afterwards - aprèscela
spark - étincelle 

mould - moule
to expect -s’attendre
crowd - foule
gloomy - lugubre
what’s the point -quel est l’intérêt? 

you go for it - tute lances
tiny - minuscule

00:0000:00

98 - Why (did I come to) Reunion? Part I - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

Veryoften, when we native English speakersmeet people for the first time here in Reunion, one of the most commonquestions we get asked is: ‘why on earth did you come to Reunion?’ It’s funny, you don’t hear the same questionfor people who have come from Mainland France, but I guess that’s because its commonplace. But when we say ‘I’m fromMelbourne’ or ‘London’ or ‘Texas’ the reaction of people is often this amazed look on their face, going wow!Why would someone as cool as you come to a place like Reunion?

Well, weall have our different reasons. For me, it was a collection of about five orsix. First and foremost, I wasliving and working in London, but it felt so boring, predictable and I was having a fun time I suppose, but I knew thatif I didn’t leave then, I would never leave, and the prospect of spending thenext fifty years in the same place scaredme to death.

Number twowas that it was also 1999, which meant that I wanted to mark the beginning ofthis new millennium with an outstandingexperience, one which would really put me to the test. 

The planwas to spend six months here, and then see how I felt afterwards. 99% of me thought I would be back in the UK within ayear, but there’s always that little 1%, that little spark which leads us to do adventurous things, to take new risks,and also to break the mould. Likemany people, society expected me toget a job in the same place I was born, and follow the crowd.

But thatwould have meant staying in England…

Whichbrings me to reason number three: the climate. I’ll admit it: sunshine makes mehappy. Rainclouds and gloomy skiesget me down. Before London I had lived in Beziers and Montpellier, and hadfallen in love with the south of France. And reason number four was thelanguage. What’s the point ofspending four years studying a language and never using it? I had to get backto the strange and exotic world of croissants, fine wines and the joys of thesubjunctive tense.

So it wasa classic example of when you know exactly what you want, and you go for it – my criteria: somewherehot, French, adventurous and unique. Someone suggested a tiny place in the Indian Ocean, and off I went. Reunion Island itwas.

They saythat the rest is history, but the second question I often get asked, and thiswill be Part II of this podcast, is ‘Why on earth did you stay…?’

Vocabulary 

native Englishspeakers - anglophones
funny - marrant
commonplace -courant
amazed - étonné
first and foremost -tout d’abord 

predictable -prévisible
scared - effrayé
outstanding - remarquable
afterwards - aprèscela
spark - étincelle 

mould - moule
to expect -s’attendre
crowd - foule
gloomy - lugubre
what’s the point -quel est l’intérêt? 

you go for it - tute lances
tiny - minuscule

00:0000:00

98 - Why (did I come to) Reunion? Part I

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

Veryoften, when we native English speakersmeet people for the first time here in Reunion, one of the most commonquestions we get asked is: ‘why on earth did you come to Reunion?’ It’s funny, you don’t hear the same questionfor people who have come from Mainland France, but I guess that’s because its commonplace. But when we say ‘I’m fromMelbourne’ or ‘London’ or ‘Texas’ the reaction of people is often this amazed look on their face, going wow!Why would someone as cool as you come to a place like Reunion?

Well, weall have our different reasons. For me, it was a collection of about five orsix. First and foremost, I wasliving and working in London, but it felt so boring, predictable and I was having a fun time I suppose, but I knew thatif I didn’t leave then, I would never leave, and the prospect of spending thenext fifty years in the same place scaredme to death.

Number twowas that it was also 1999, which meant that I wanted to mark the beginning ofthis new millennium with an outstandingexperience, one which would really put me to the test. 

The planwas to spend six months here, and then see how I felt afterwards. 99% of me thought I would be back in the UK within ayear, but there’s always that little 1%, that little spark which leads us to do adventurous things, to take new risks,and also to break the mould. Likemany people, society expected me toget a job in the same place I was born, and follow the crowd.

But thatwould have meant staying in England…

Whichbrings me to reason number three: the climate. I’ll admit it: sunshine makes mehappy. Rainclouds and gloomy skiesget me down. Before London I had lived in Beziers and Montpellier, and hadfallen in love with the south of France. And reason number four was thelanguage. What’s the point ofspending four years studying a language and never using it? I had to get backto the strange and exotic world of croissants, fine wines and the joys of thesubjunctive tense.

So it wasa classic example of when you know exactly what you want, and you go for it – my criteria: somewherehot, French, adventurous and unique. Someone suggested a tiny place in the Indian Ocean, and off I went. Reunion Island itwas.

They saythat the rest is history, but the second question I often get asked, and thiswill be Part II of this podcast, is ‘Why on earth did you stay…?’

Vocabulary 

native Englishspeakers - anglophones
funny - marrant
commonplace -courant
amazed - étonné
first and foremost -tout d’abord 

predictable -prévisible
scared - effrayé
outstanding - remarquable
afterwards - aprèscela
spark - étincelle 

mould - moule
to expect -s’attendre
crowd - foule
gloomy - lugubre
what’s the point -quel est l’intérêt? 

you go for it - tute lances
tiny - minuscule

00:0000:00