Monthly Archives: September 2016

110 - My Cup of Tea - Vocabulary

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My name’sCatharine and I have a confession to make. I’m a cliché. A walking cliché infact. I’m British and I only drink tea. 

When youlive in Reunion what do you have to do to get a decent cuppa? Well, it turns out quite a lot actually. Something that you takefor grantedwhen you grow up in Britain can become quite difficult once youlive abroad. 

Now Idon't want to make a storm in a teacup,but having spent twenty of the past twenty-five years living in Reunion thereare many things that I love about my adopted home, including some great foodand drink, but making tea is not a strong point on the island. 

There’sthe time I ordered tea with milk ina Saint-Denis café and was served a frothyconcoction in a teapot, with moremilk than tea. In a fancy west coast hotel I once ordered plain tea and wasbrought lemon tea. I was given the explanation that plain tea wasn’t served otherthan at breakfast time because it wasn’t, and I quote, classy enough. 

Anothertime in the south of the island after a Scottish-themed evening I requested myfavourite drink at the end of the meal, only to be told “do you think this isbreakfast here or what?”. And I’ve given up ordering thé gourmand in restaurants as I’m invariably served half a thimbleful of black,lukewarm flavoured tea. 

Newfriends who invite me to their house must find me rather rude as when they offer me a cuppa they’re often subjected to questioning aboutwhether they have a kettle, fresh milk, and mostimportantly, proper tea. 

Recentlywhen my elderly mother came to visitwe got into the habit of going on our outingswith a thermos and some teabags toensure that she got a decent cup whenever and wherever. I’m pretty sure we gotsome funny looks as we sipped ourrefreshment by the side of the road in Plaine des Gregues or Salazie. 

When Itravel I take the opportunity to visit tea plantations in various far-flungcorners of the globe, and enjoy bringing some tea back to savour on my return.However there can be problems elsewhere too, like the hot drink vendingmachines that use the same equipment to make tea and coffee, thus leaving youwith a revolting beverage that doesn’t know which drink it is! 

But forall the tea in China I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else than Reunion, and inrecent years I’ve seen some improvement.We do say in Britain that “where there’s tea there’s hope” – so here’s to a brilliant future for tea-making in Reunion!

Vocabulary

cuppa – ‘cup of’ tasse de
actually – en réalité
to take for granted – prendre pour acquis
abroad – à l’étranger
a storm in a teacup – tempête dans un verre d’eau 

to order - commander
frothy - mousseux
teapot - théière
thimble – dé à coudre
lukewarm - tiède 

rude - impoli
subjected to – assujetti
whether – si (oui ou non)
kettle - bouilloire
elderly - agé 

outings - sorties
teabags – sachets de thé
to sip - siroter
improvement - amélioration
hope - espoir

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113 - Getting a Driver’s License: Reunion Style! - Vocabulary

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In my pre-Reunion life, I was happily car-free. Buses and trains were perfectly fine for trips to work, university or visiting friends. And I would walk to the shops and markets a few times a week to get food or other necessities. I knew how to drive, and had a learner’s permit allowing me to drive as long as another person was in the car with me. But since life was so easy without a car I never found the motivation to actually sign up for the driver’s exam.

That is, until I arrived on the island in 2007 and was immediately confronted with the reality of Reunion’s public transport system. Or lack of it. Buses ran every hour, and stopped at seven pm. Half the places I wanted to go were nowhere near a bus stop, and tickets were expensive. The only fun part of taking the bus was clapping to signal the driver to stop. But that was no consolation as I spent each day stuck at home and unable to go anywhere interesting.

So I signed up to do the famous ‘code de la route’. For those who haven’t done this exam recently, here’s an example of a question, which I’ve only slightly exaggerated: “It’s three pm on a Wednesday in September. Am I allowed to park on the left side of the road if I have snow chains on the tyres of my car and my headlights are on?” The questions were crazy and at the time I couldn’t speak a sentence in French. Luckily, I’m stubborn and over several months I studied with the code book in one hand and a French English dictionary in the other. After passing the theory exam, it was time to sign up for the driving exam.

Even though I could already drive, I took extra lessons in order to adapt to driving on the other side of the road, and dealing with the mountains. Back home in Perth, the roads are all flat but here I needed to get used to extremely steep roads, hairpin curves and trying not to drive into any ditches. My first attempt at the driving exam, I failed miserably after it started raining heavily, another situation I had no experience with in Australia, and I panicked. The second time, I passed with flying colours. That was in October 2010, and today I’m proud to say I can do a pretty good parallel park and drive in torrential rain up and down mountains. What was a frustrating situation turned out to be a gift in disguise, and as a bonus I learnt to speak French because of it.

Vocabulary

car-free - sans voiture

learner’s permit - permit provisoire

to sign up - s’inscrire

lack - manque

clapping - taper les mains

 

slightly - légèrement

snow chains - chaines à neige

tyres - pneus

headlights - les phares

sentence - phrase

 

stubborn - tétue

even though - malgré

other side of the road - l’autre côté de la route

flat - plat

steep - raide

 

hairpin curves - virages en épingle

ditches - caniveaux

with flying colours - avec distinction

to parallel park - faire un créneau

gift in disguise - un mal pour un bien

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113 - Getting a Driver’s License: Reunion Style! - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

In my pre-Reunion life, I was happily car-free. Buses and trains were perfectly fine for trips to work, university or visiting friends. And I would walk to the shops and markets a few times a week to get food or other necessities. I knew how to drive, and had a learner’s permit allowing me to drive as long as another person was in the car with me. But since life was so easy without a car I never found the motivation to actually sign up for the driver’s exam.

That is, until I arrived on the island in 2007 and was immediately confronted with the reality of Reunion’s public transport system. Or lack of it. Buses ran every hour, and stopped at seven pm. Half the places I wanted to go were nowhere near a bus stop, and tickets were expensive. The only fun part of taking the bus was clapping to signal the driver to stop. But that was no consolation as I spent each day stuck at home and unable to go anywhere interesting.

So I signed up to do the famous ‘code de la route’. For those who haven’t done this exam recently, here’s an example of a question, which I’ve only slightly exaggerated: “It’s three pm on a Wednesday in September. Am I allowed to park on the left side of the road if I have snow chains on the tyres of my car and my headlights are on?” The questions were crazy and at the time I couldn’t speak a sentence in French. Luckily, I’m stubborn and over several months I studied with the code book in one hand and a French English dictionary in the other. After passing the theory exam, it was time to sign up for the driving exam.

Even though I could already drive, I took extra lessons in order to adapt to driving on the other side of the road, and dealing with the mountains. Back home in Perth, the roads are all flat but here I needed to get used to extremely steep roads, hairpin curves and trying not to drive into any ditches. My first attempt at the driving exam, I failed miserably after it started raining heavily, another situation I had no experience with in Australia, and I panicked. The second time, I passed with flying colours. That was in October 2010, and today I’m proud to say I can do a pretty good parallel park and drive in torrential rain up and down mountains. What was a frustrating situation turned out to be a gift in disguise, and as a bonus I learnt to speak French because of it.

Vocabulary

car-free - sans voiture

learner’s permit - permit provisoire

to sign up - s’inscrire

lack - manque

clapping - taper les mains

 

slightly - légèrement

snow chains - chaines à neige

tyres - pneus

headlights - les phares

sentence - phrase

 

stubborn - tétue

even though - malgré

other side of the road - l’autre côté de la route

flat - plat

steep - raide

 

hairpin curves - virages en épingle

ditches - caniveaux

with flying colours - avec distinction

to parallel park - faire un créneau

gift in disguise - un mal pour un bien

00:0000:00

113 - Getting a Driver’s License: Reunion Style!

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

In my pre-Reunion life, I was happily car-free. Buses and trains were perfectly fine for trips to work, university or visiting friends. And I would walk to the shops and markets a few times a week to get food or other necessities. I knew how to drive, and had a learner’s permit allowing me to drive as long as another person was in the car with me. But since life was so easy without a car I never found the motivation to actually sign up for the driver’s exam.

That is, until I arrived on the island in 2007 and was immediately confronted with the reality of Reunion’s public transport system. Or lack of it. Buses ran every hour, and stopped at seven pm. Half the places I wanted to go were nowhere near a bus stop, and tickets were expensive. The only fun part of taking the bus was clapping to signal the driver to stop. But that was no consolation as I spent each day stuck at home and unable to go anywhere interesting.

So I signed up to do the famous ‘code de la route’. For those who haven’t done this exam recently, here’s an example of a question, which I’ve only slightly exaggerated: “It’s three pm on a Wednesday in September. Am I allowed to park on the left side of the road if I have snow chains on the tyres of my car and my headlights are on?” The questions were crazy and at the time I couldn’t speak a sentence in French. Luckily, I’m stubborn and over several months I studied with the code book in one hand and a French English dictionary in the other. After passing the theory exam, it was time to sign up for the driving exam.

Even though I could already drive, I took extra lessons in order to adapt to driving on the other side of the road, and dealing with the mountains. Back home in Perth, the roads are all flat but here I needed to get used to extremely steep roads, hairpin curves and trying not to drive into any ditches. My first attempt at the driving exam, I failed miserably after it started raining heavily, another situation I had no experience with in Australia, and I panicked. The second time, I passed with flying colours. That was in October 2010, and today I’m proud to say I can do a pretty good parallel park and drive in torrential rain up and down mountains. What was a frustrating situation turned out to be a gift in disguise, and as a bonus I learnt to speak French because of it.

Vocabulary

car-free - sans voiture

learner’s permit - permit provisoire

to sign up - s’inscrire

lack - manque

clapping - taper les mains

 

slightly - légèrement

snow chains - chaines à neige

tyres - pneus

headlights - les phares

sentence - phrase

 

stubborn - tétue

even though - malgré

other side of the road - l’autre côté de la route

flat - plat

steep - raide

 

hairpin curves - virages en épingle

ditches - caniveaux

with flying colours - avec distinction

to parallel park - faire un créneau

gift in disguise - un mal pour un bien

00:0000:00

112 - Komidi - Vocabulary

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

I was really into going to the theatre when I was younger. In my town in England, we had our own place called the Mowlem Theatre where I would regularly watch shows and sometimes perform in them. Moving to Reunion in 2007, I found it hard to enter the theatre scene (pardon the pun). This was for two very good reasons, firstly I couldn’t understand French, and secondly because I couldn’t drive, so I would have had a hard time getting to and from the theatre. By the time I had learnt how to drive, I had totally forgotten about the wonderful experience going to the theatre could be.

While looking for family activities during the school holidays, I found out about the Komidi theatre festival. I had already missed the majority of the festival but luckily there were still three days left. I had really wanted to see a piece for adults, but we decided to see Thumbelina because it was for children, and this would be the first French show that my daughters would see. We arrived in St Joseph early to walk around the town and appreciate being in a new environment. Stopping off for some ice-cream too we really felt on holiday. 

In the theatre, there were thirty of us crammed into a very small area. The stage was set already, and the curtains open. As the last of us took our seats, the house lightsdimmed. A woman entered the stage and smiled at the audience. She took out a book and started to read the story. Soon into the performance, however, the story took over, and she became the characters she was narrating. Quick on-stage costume changes followed as she moved from one character to another. Going from a witch, to a mouse, to a mole and to Thumbelina herself without breaking a sweat. The stage transformed too, from a bedroom, to a lake and to a forest. All of the children in the audience were gobsmacked.

What a show! I’d never been so enthralled and entertained by a one-man performance even if it was aimed at children from the age of three. If you haven’t guessed already, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

The Komidi theatre festival takes place every year in the south of the island and I highly recommend you go. There are plays for all ages and tastes. Even if you’re not a theatre lover, your children will absolutely fall in love with the magical experience of the children’s shows. At €1 a ticket, it’ll hardly break the bank! Next year I’ll remember about this festival, and I won’t miss the chance to see as many shows as I can. 

Vocabulary

own - propre

to have a hard time - avoir du mal

Thumbelina - Poucette

crammed - entassé

curtains - rideaux

 

to dim - tamiser

to take over - prendre le contrôle

witch - sorcière

mole - taupe

sweat - transpiration

 

gobsmacked - stupéfiés

enthralled - captivés

thoroughly - complètement

taste - goût

to break the bank - être coûteux

00:0000:00

112 - Komidi - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

I was really into going to the theatre when I was younger. In my town in England, we had our own place called the Mowlem Theatre where I would regularly watch shows and sometimes perform in them. Moving to Reunion in 2007, I found it hard to enter the theatre scene (pardon the pun). This was for two very good reasons, firstly I couldn’t understand French, and secondly because I couldn’t drive, so I would have had a hard time getting to and from the theatre. By the time I had learnt how to drive, I had totally forgotten about the wonderful experience going to the theatre could be.

While looking for family activities during the school holidays, I found out about the Komidi theatre festival. I had already missed the majority of the festival but luckily there were still three days left. I had really wanted to see a piece for adults, but we decided to see Thumbelina because it was for children, and this would be the first French show that my daughters would see. We arrived in St Joseph early to walk around the town and appreciate being in a new environment. Stopping off for some ice-cream too we really felt on holiday. 

In the theatre, there were thirty of us crammed into a very small area. The stage was set already, and the curtains open. As the last of us took our seats, the house lights dimmed. A woman entered the stage and smiled at the audience. She took out a book and started to read the story. Soon into the performance, however, the story took over, and she became the characters she was narrating. Quick on-stage costume changes followed as she moved from one character to another. Going from a witch, to a mouse, to a mole and to Thumbelina herself without breaking a sweat. The stage transformed too, from a bedroom, to a lake and to a forest. All of the children in the audience were gobsmacked.

What a show! I’d never been so enthralled and entertained by a one-man performance even if it was aimed at children from the age of three. If you haven’t guessed already, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

The Komidi theatre festival takes place every year in the south of the island and I highly recommend you go. There are plays for all ages and tastes. Even if you’re not a theatre lover, your children will absolutely fall in love with the magical experience of the children’s shows. At €1 a ticket, it’ll hardly break the bank! Next year I’ll remember about this festival, and I won’t miss the chance to see as many shows as I can. 

Vocabulary

own - propre

to have a hard time - avoir du mal

Thumbelina - Poucette

crammed - entassé

curtains - rideaux

 

to dim - tamiser

to take over - prendre le contrôle

witch - sorcière

mole - taupe

sweat - transpiration

 

gobsmacked - stupéfiés

enthralled - captivés

thoroughly - complètement

taste - goût

to break the bank - être coûteux

00:0000:00

112 - Komidi!

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

I was really into going to the theatre when I was younger. In my town in England, we had our own place called the Mowlem Theatre where I would regularly watch shows and sometimes perform in them. Moving to Reunion in 2007, I found it hard to enter the theatre scene (pardon the pun). This was for two very good reasons, firstly I couldn’t understand French, and secondly because I couldn’t drive, so I would have had a hard time getting to and from the theatre. By the time I had learnt how to drive, I had totally forgotten about the wonderful experience going to the theatre could be.

While looking for family activities during the school holidays, I found out about the Komidi theatre festival. I had already missed the majority of the festival but luckily there were still three days left. I had really wanted to see a piece for adults, but we decided to see Thumbelina because it was for children, and this would be the first French show that my daughters would see. We arrived in St Joseph early to walk around the town and appreciate being in a new environment. Stopping off for some ice-cream too we really felt on holiday.

In the theatre, there were thirty of us crammed into a very small area. The stage was set already, and the curtains open. As the last of us took our seats, the house lights dimmed. A woman entered the stage and smiled at the audience. She took out a book and started to read the story. Soon into the performance, however, the story took over, and she became the characters she was narrating. Quick on-stage costume changes followed as she moved from one character to another. Going from a witch, to a mouse, to a mole and to Thumbelina herself without breaking a sweat. The stage transformed too, from a bedroom, to a lake and to a forest. All of the children in the audience were gobsmacked.

What a show! I’d never been so enthralled and entertained by a one-man performance even if it was aimed at children from the age of three. If you haven’t guessed already, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

The Komidi theatre festival takes place every year in the south of the island and I highly recommend you go. There are plays for all ages and tastes. Even if you’re not a theatre lover, your children will absolutely fall in love with the magical experience of the children’s shows. At €1 a ticket, it’ll hardly break the bank! Next year I’ll remember about this festival, and I won’t miss the chance to see as many shows as I can. 

Vocabulary

own - propre

to have a hard time - avoir du mal

Thumbelina - Poucette

crammed - entassé

curtains - rideaux

 

to dim - tamiser

to take over - prendre le contrôle

witch - sorcière

mole - taupe

sweat - transpiration

 

gobsmacked - stupéfiés

enthralled - captivés

thoroughly - complètement

taste - goût

to break the bank - être coûteux

00:0000:00

111 - Raising Kids in Reunion - Vocabulary

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

Having grown up in South Africa, I spent most of my childhood playing outside. We would spend hours in the garden around the house, climbing trees, making mud pies and building tents.  We would ride our bikes and play with other kids in the street. Summers were spent splashing about in the pool and holidays and long weekends were enjoyed down at the beach with family and friends.

South Africa has very sunny weather like Reunion, and even though it doesn’t have a tropical climate, it certainly doesn’t have cold winters like in Europe. So you can only imagine that I find the outdoor life we get to enjoy here in Reunion great for kids.

I love our regular trips down to the beach - playing in the sand, chasing crabs, swimming and watching the multi-coloured fish in the sea.  Mother Nature offers us such a fascinating classroom without the restrictions of four brick walls. I love the freedom my family enjoys while walking barefoot outside, with the big blue sky and elegantwhite-tailed tropicbirds above our heads. I love sitting in the motley shade of an old, wise tree!  The year-round picnicking and walking in the forests and fresh air are also a real pleasure.

Apart from the climate and natural surroundings, I also adore the fact that Reunion has such a multi-cultural society – a group of people that generally lives respectfully and peacefully amongst each other.  I just love seeing the kids at my daughter’s crèche playing together.  Kids from African, Indian, Asian and European descent all mixed up in the same activity, playing as absolute equals.  I hope that these little beings will not learn the prejudices that are so present in the world we live in today. 

A mixed race society, unfortunately, wasn’t the case for me when I attended playschool at the end of the apartheid era. So these points all make raising kids in Reunion quite delightful.

Being far away from family, however, is not always so easy.  The grandparents are not around to enjoy the growing up and everyday doings of their grandchildren… or to lend a helping hand to sometimes exhausted parents!

And as you all know, travelling can be a very pricey affair from Reunion.  We have a huge travel budget every year.  Flying to mainland France and South Africa to visit family and friends during school holidays ends up costing us an arm and a leg. So as for everything in life, there are pros and cons to all the decisions we make.  The trick is to find a happy balance for a happy family!

Vocabulary

to raise - elever

childhood - enfance

to climb - grimper

to splash - éclabousser

barefoot - pieds nus

 

white-tailed tropicbird - paille-en-queue

motley - hétéroclite

wise - sage

year-round - pendant toute l’année

surroundings - environnement

 

a being - un être

unfortunately - malheureusement

playschool – garderie

delightful - enchanteur

to grow up - grandir

 

exhausted - épuisé

pricey - coûteux

during - pendant

to cost an arm and a leg - coûter un bras

the pros and cons - les pours et les contres

00:0000:00

111 - Raising Kids in Reunion - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

Having grown up in South Africa, I spent most of my childhood playing outside. We would spend hours in the garden around the house, climbing trees, making mud pies and building tents.  We would ride our bikes and play with other kids in the street. Summers were spent splashing about in the pool and holidays and long weekends were enjoyed down at the beach with family and friends.

South Africa has very sunny weather like Reunion, and even though it doesn’t have a tropical climate, it certainly doesn’t have cold winters like in Europe. So you can only imagine that I find the outdoor life we get to enjoy here in Reunion great for kids.

I love our regular trips down to the beach - playing in the sand, chasing crabs, swimming and watching the multi-coloured fish in the sea.  Mother Nature offers us such a fascinating classroom without the restrictions of four brick walls. I love the freedom my family enjoys while walking barefoot outside, with the big blue sky and elegantwhite-tailed tropicbirds above our heads. I love sitting in the motley shade of an old, wise tree!  The year-round picnicking and walking in the forests and fresh air are also a real pleasure.

Apart from the climate and natural surroundings, I also adore the fact that Reunion has such a multi-cultural society – a group of people that generally lives respectfully and peacefully amongst each other.  I just love seeing the kids at my daughter’s crèche playing together.  Kids from African, Indian, Asian and European descent all mixed up in the same activity, playing as absolute equals.  I hope that these little beings will not learn the prejudices that are so present in the world we live in today. 

A mixed race society, unfortunately, wasn’t the case for me when I attended playschool at the end of the apartheid era. So these points all make raising kids in Reunion quite delightful.

Being far away from family, however, is not always so easy.  The grandparents are not around to enjoy the growing up and everyday doings of their grandchildren… or to lend a helping hand to sometimes exhausted parents!

And as you all know, travelling can be a very pricey affair from Reunion.  We have a huge travel budget every year.  Flying to mainland France and South Africa to visit family and friends during school holidays ends up costing us an arm and a leg. So as for everything in life, there are pros and cons to all the decisions we make.  The trick is to find a happy balance for a happy family!

Vocabulary

to raise - elever

childhood - enfance

to climb - grimper

to splash - éclabousser

barefoot - pieds nus

 

white-tailed tropicbird - paille-en-queue

motley - hétéroclite

wise - sage

year-round - pendant toute l’année

surroundings - environnement

 

a being - un être

unfortunately - malheureusement

playschool – garderie

delightful - enchanteur

to grow up - grandir

 

exhausted - épuisé

pricey - coûteux

during - pendant

to cost an arm and a leg - coûter un bras

the pros and cons - les pours et les contres

00:0000:00

111 - Raising Kids in Reunion

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

Havinggrown up in South Africa, I spent most of my childhood playing outside. We would spend hours in the gardenaround the house, climbing trees,making mud pies and building tents.  Wewould ride our bikes and play with other kids in the street. Summers were spentsplashing about in the pool andholidays and long weekends were enjoyed down at the beach with family andfriends.

SouthAfrica has very sunny weather like Reunion, and even though it doesn’t have atropical climate, it certainly doesn’t have cold winters like in Europe. So youcan only imagine that I find the outdoor life we get to enjoy here in Reuniongreat for kids.

I love ourregular trips down to the beach - playing in the sand, chasing crabs, swimmingand watching the multi-coloured fish in the sea.  Mother Nature offers ussuch a fascinating classroom without the restrictions of four brick walls. Ilove the freedom my family enjoys while walking barefoot outside, with the big blue sky and elegant white-tailed tropicbirds above ourheads. I love sitting in the motleyshade of an old, wise tree!  The year-roundpicnicking and walking in the forests and fresh air are also a real pleasure.

Apart fromthe climate and natural surroundings,I also adore the fact that Reunion has such a multi-cultural society – a groupof people that generally lives respectfully and peacefully amongst eachother.  I just love seeing the kids at mydaughter’s crèche playing together.  Kidsfrom African, Indian, Asian and European descent all mixed up in the sameactivity, playing as absolute equals.  Ihope that these little beings willnot learn the prejudices that are so present in the world we live intoday. 

A mixedrace society, unfortunately, wasn’tthe case for me when I attended playschoolat the end of the apartheid era. So these points all make raising kids inReunion quite delightful.

Being faraway from family, however, is not always so easy.  The grandparents are not around to enjoy the growing up and everyday doings of their grandchildren… or to lend a helpinghand to sometimes exhausted parents!

And as youall know, travelling can be a very priceyaffair from Reunion.  We have a hugetravel budget every year.  Flying tomainland France and South Africa to visit family and friends during school holidays ends up costing us an arm and a leg. So as foreverything in life, there are pros andcons to all the decisions we make. The trick is to find a happy balance for a happy family!

Vocabulary

to raise - elever

childhood - enfance

to climb - grimper

to splash - éclabousser

barefoot - pieds nus

 

white-tailed tropicbird - paille-en-queue

motley - hétéroclite

wise - sage

year-round - pendant toute l’année

surroundings - environnement

 

a being - un être

unfortunately - malheureusement

playschool – garderie

delightful - enchanteur

to grow up - grandir

 

exhausted - épuisé

pricey - coûteux

during - pendant

to cost an arm and a leg - coûter un bras

the pros and cons - les pours et les contres

00:0000:00