Monthly Archives: October 2014

33 - Band Cochons

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I must admit, Reunion Island is a lot cleaner today than when I first arrived in 2000. I remember walking through the streets of Saint-Denis, when sometimes the pavements were covered with dustbin bags and scuttling cockroaches. I remember the litter along the Barachois. I even remember taking a wrong turn in Mafate and coming across the refuse tip in La Nouvelle…

Today it is different. I think people are more aware of the importance of keeping the island tidy, and the local councils are doing their best to keep the place clean. But not everyone is helping. How many smokers still stub their cigarettes out in the sand? How many people throw chocolate wrappers on the ground? How many people decide just to leave their old washing-machines by the side of the road?

I had a bizarre experience not so long ago in the town centre of Saint-Paul. I was sitting in a traffic jam, and the road was blocked. Looking at the car in front of me, I watched as the woman inside threw an empty plastic Coca-Cola bottle out of the window into the street.

I opened my door, picked up the bottle, walked to the woman and said (ever so politely!): 

Excuse me, you seem to have dropped something. Here you are.’ 

Her response was rather curious. ‘It’s not mine’, she said.

Ok’, I replied, ‘just for your information, my car is right behind you and I saw you do it.’

I don’t care,’ she said. ‘It’s not mine.’

I kept my cool and said ‘I’ve got an idea - either you can look after it until you find a bin, or if you want, I can do that myself. What do you think?

I don’t care,’ she repeated. ‘Do what you want.’ I kept the bottle.

Now this could be an extreme case, but her use of the words ‘I don’t care’ or rather in French ‘je m’en fous’ is pretty unfortunate, and it will be difficult to keep the island clean with this kind of mentality. But there is hope! Have you heard of Band Cochon? It’s a website which charts rubbish, litter or fly-tipping around the place, helping to promote a cleaner Reunion Island. If you see rubbish somewhere you can upload your photo to the website.

Another idea would be simply to ask the radio presenters on RFO, Festival and Freedom to simply finish each programme with the words: ‘Thanks for listening, good bye, and keep your island tidy.’ 

But not in English of course…

Vocabulary

cleaner - plus propre

pavement - trottoir

dustbin bags - sacs poubelles

scuttling - courir vite

cockroach - cafard

litter - déchets

refuse tip - décharge

aware - conscient

tidy - proper, range

to stub out - écraser (cigarette)

wrapper - emballage

washing-machine - machine à laver

traffic jam - embouteillage

to throw - jeter

empty - vide

to drop - faire tomber

to keep your cool - garder son calme

to look after - s’occuper de

bin  - poubelle

pretty - assez

rubbish - ordures

fly-tipping - dépôt sauvage

00:0000:00

33 - Band Cochons - Vocabulary

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

 

I must admit, Reunion Island is a lot cleaner today than when I first arrived in 2000. I remember walking through the streets of Saint-Denis, when sometimes the pavements were covered with dustbin bags and scuttling cockroaches. I remember the litter along the Barachois. I even remember taking a wrong turn in Mafate and coming across the refuse tip in La Nouvelle…

 

Today it is different. I think people are more aware of the importance of keeping the island tidy, and the local councils are doing their best to keep the place clean. But not everyone is helping. How many smokers still stub their cigarettes out in the sand? How many people throw chocolate wrappers on the ground? How many people decide just to leave their old washing-machines by the side of the road?

 

I had a bizarre experience not so long ago in the town centre of Saint-Paul. I was sitting in a traffic jam, and the road was blocked. Looking at the car in front of me, I watched as the woman inside threw an empty plastic Coca-Cola bottle out of the window into the street.

 

I opened my door, picked up the bottle, walked to the woman and said (ever so politely!): 

 

Excuse me, you seem to have dropped something. Here you are.’ 

Her response was rather curious. ‘It’s not mine’, she said.

Ok’, I replied, ‘just for your information, my car is right behind you and I saw you do it.’

I don’t care,’ she said. ‘It’s not mine.’

I kept my cool and said ‘I’ve got an idea - either you can look after it until you find a bin, or if you want, I can do that myself. What do you think?

I don’t care,’ she repeated. ‘Do what you want.’ I kept the bottle.

 

Now this could be an extreme case, but her use of the words ‘I don’t care’ or rather in French ‘je m’en fous’ is pretty unfortunate, and it will be difficult to keep the island clean with this kind of mentality. But there is hope! Have you heard of Band Cochon? It’s a website which charts rubbish, litter or fly-tipping around the place, helping to promote a cleaner Reunion Island. If you see rubbish somewhere you can upload your photo to the website.

 

Another idea would be simply to ask the radio presenters on RFO, Festival and Freedom to simply finish each programme with the words: ‘Thanks for listening, good bye, and keep your island tidy.’ 

 

But not in English of course…

Vocabulary

 

cleaner - plus propre

pavement - trottoir

dustbin bags - sacs poubelles

scuttling - courir vite

cockroach - cafard

 

litter - déchets

refuse tip - décharge

aware - conscient

tidy - proper, range

to stub out - écraser (cigarette)

 

wrapper - emballage

washing-machine - machine à laver

traffic jam - embouteillage

to throw - jeter

empty - vide

 

to drop - faire tomber

to keep your cool - garder son calme

to look after - s’occuper de

bin  - poubelle

pretty - assez

 

rubbish - ordures

fly-tipping - dépôt sauvage

00:0000:00

33 - Band Cochons - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more!

 

I must admit, Reunion Island is a lot cleaner today than when I first arrived in 2000. I remember walking through the streets of Saint-Denis, when sometimes the pavements were covered with dustbin bags and scuttling cockroaches. I remember the litter along the Barachois. I even remember taking a wrong turn in Mafate and coming across the refuse tip in La Nouvelle…

 

Today it is different. I think people are more aware of the importance of keeping the island tidy, and the local councils are doing their best to keep the place clean. But not everyone is helping. How many smokers still stub their cigarettes out in the sand? How many people throw chocolate wrappers on the ground? How many people decide just to leave their old washing-machines by the side of the road?

 

I had a bizarre experience not so long ago in the town centre of Saint-Paul. I was sitting in a traffic jam, and the road was blocked. Looking at the car in front of me, I watched as the woman inside threw an empty plastic Coca-Cola bottle out of the window into the street.

 

I opened my door, picked up the bottle, walked to the woman and said (ever so politely!): 

 

Excuse me, you seem to have dropped something. Here you are.’ 

Her response was rather curious. ‘It’s not mine’, she said.

Ok’, I replied, ‘just for your information, my car is right behind you and I saw you do it.’

I don’t care,’ she said. ‘It’s not mine.’

I kept my cool and said ‘I’ve got an idea - either you can look after it until you find a bin, or if you want, I can do that myself. What do you think?

I don’t care,’ she repeated. ‘Do what you want.’ I kept the bottle.

 

Now this could be an extreme case, but her use of the words ‘I don’t care’ or rather in French ‘je m’en fous’ is pretty unfortunate, and it will be difficult to keep the island clean with this kind of mentality. But there is hope! Have you heard of Band Cochon? It’s a website which charts rubbish, litter or fly-tipping around the place, helping to promote a cleaner Reunion Island. If you see rubbish somewhere you can upload your photo to the website.

 

Another idea would be simply to ask the radio presenters on RFO, Festival and Freedom to simply finish each programme with the words: ‘Thanks for listening, good bye, and keep your island tidy.’ 

 

But not in English of course…

Vocabulary

 

cleaner - plus propre

pavement - trottoir

dustbin bags - sacs poubelles

scuttling - courir vite

cockroach - cafard

 

litter - déchets

refuse tip - décharge

aware - conscient

tidy - proper, range

to stub out - écraser (cigarette)

 

wrapper - emballage

washing-machine - machine à laver

traffic jam - embouteillage

to throw - jeter

empty - vide

 

to drop - faire tomber

to keep your cool - garder son calme

to look after - s’occuper de

bin  - poubelle

pretty - assez

 

rubbish - ordures

fly-tipping - dépôt sauvage

00:0000:00

32 - Halloween - Vocabulary

Visit www.anglais.re for more !

 

Halloween was always my favourite holiday. It probably has something to do with the thespian in me...dressing up in costume, pretending to be someone else, living out a fantasy...I quickly learned that Halloween in the States is much different from Halloween in Reunion.

 

To start with, pretty much ALL Americans get into the Halloween spirit, and it starts in the beginning of October. Halloween goes hand in hand with the fall. In Michigan, we would always go to cider mills and eat fresh donuts and drink warm apple cider in the forest. In Texas, we'd have pumpkin carving contests on the patio at the local bar. Haunted houses were on every corner. EVERYONE decorated their homes in spider webs, tombs, and other spooky things. And then, the weekend of Halloween, we'd always have an amazing costume party. Scary movies would scream in the background. Everyone dressed up—kids, adults, dogs, cats, and we'd drink way too much vodka punch out of a smoking caldron.

 

The American version of Halloween may be incredibly commercialised, but it's fun that way! You can dress up as anything you want---Spiderman, a princess, President Obama...it doesn't HAVE to be scary. In France and especially in Reunion, it seems that many people are afraid of Halloween. Here, they have kept the real origins of Halloween and so it's is equated to horror, the dead, the scary.

 

I learned this when I threw my first Halloween party in La Possession, our group costumes included 3 devils, one witch, and the rest of the guys wore ugly masks that came off the moment they opened their first beers. We couldn't find any pumpkins to carve, so someone tried the same thing with a watermelon and a coconut. We didn't have any creatively themed desserts, but I did spend a little too much time making spooky appetisers. There were no kids to take trick-or-treating...but I did have a little trick up MY sleeve....

 

I was planning on secretly setting up my friend Julie, (who was part of my original host family when I first arrived in Reunion,) with Richard's friend Christian. Julie came to the party in a pink wig and cat-eye contact lenses, and still it was still love at first sight! The two of them hit it off and interestingly enough, they just got married a few months ago.

 

So I guess it goes to show you...you never know what you might encounter on Halloween night!

 

Vocabulary:

 

To dress up - se déguiser

The States - les Etats Unis

The fall - l’automne

Cider mill - cidrerie

Pumpkin - citrouille

 

To carve - sculpter

Spider web - toile d’araignée

Spooky - qui donne la chair de poule

To scream - crier

Cauldron - chaudron

 

To throw a party - organiser une fête

Devil - diable

Witch - sorcière

To come off - enlever

Watermelon - pastèque

 

Trick-or-treat - bonbons ou un sort

A trick up my sleeve - un tour dans mon sac

To set up - jouer les entremetteurs

Wig - perruque

To encounter - rencontre

00:0000:00

32 - Halloween - Slow

Visit www.anglais.re for more !

 

Halloween was always my favourite holiday. It probably has something to do with the thespian in me...dressing up in costume, pretending to be someone else, living out a fantasy...I quickly learned that Halloween in the States is much different from Halloween in Reunion.

 

To start with, pretty much ALL Americans get into the Halloween spirit, and it starts in the beginning of October. Halloween goes hand in hand with the fall. In Michigan, we would always go to cider mills and eat fresh donuts and drink warm apple cider in the forest. In Texas, we'd have pumpkin carving contests on the patio at the local bar. Haunted houses were on every corner. EVERYONE decorated their homes in spider webs, tombs, and other spooky things. And then, the weekend of Halloween, we'd always have an amazing costume party. Scary movies would scream in the background. Everyone dressed up—kids, adults, dogs, cats, and we'd drink way too much vodka punch out of a smoking caldron.

 

The American version of Halloween may be incredibly commercialised, but it's fun that way! You can dress up as anything you want---Spiderman, a princess, President Obama...it doesn't HAVE to be scary. In France and especially in Reunion, it seems that many people are afraid of Halloween. Here, they have kept the real origins of Halloween and so it's is equated to horror, the dead, the scary.

 

I learned this when I threw my first Halloween party in La Possession, our group costumes included 3 devils, one witch, and the rest of the guys wore ugly masks that came off the moment they opened their first beers. We couldn't find any pumpkins to carve, so someone tried the same thing with a watermelon and a coconut. We didn't have any creatively themed desserts, but I did spend a little too much time making spooky appetisers. There were no kids to take trick-or-treating...but I did have a little trick up MY sleeve....

 

I was planning on secretly setting up my friend Julie, (who was part of my original host family when I first arrived in Reunion,) with Richard's friend Christian. Julie came to the party in a pink wig and cat-eye contact lenses, and still it was still love at first sight! The two of them hit it off and interestingly enough, they just got married a few months ago.

 

So I guess it goes to show you...you never know what you might encounter on Halloween night!

 

Vocabulary:

 

To dress up - se déguiser

The States - les Etats Unis

The fall - l’automne

Cider mill - cidrerie

Pumpkin - citrouille

 

To carve - sculpter

Spider web - toile d’araignée

Spooky - qui donne la chair de poule

To scream - crier

Cauldron - chaudron

 

To throw a party - organiser une fête

Devil - diable

Witch - sorcière

To come off - enlever

Watermelon - pastèque

 

Trick-or-treat - bonbons ou un sort

A trick up my sleeve - un tour dans mon sac

To set up - jouer les entremetteurs

Wig - perruque

To encounter - rencontre

00:0000:00

32 - Halloween

Visit www.anglais.re for more !

Halloween was always my favourite holiday. It probably has something to do with the thespian in me...dressing up in costume, pretending to be someone else, living out a fantasy...I quickly learned that Halloween in the States is much different from Halloween in Reunion.

To start with, pretty much ALL Americans get into the Halloween spirit, and it starts in the beginning of October. Halloween goes hand in hand with the fall. In Michigan, we would always go to cider mills and eat fresh donuts and drink warm apple cider in the forest. In Texas, we'd have pumpkin carving contests on the patio at the local bar. Haunted houses were on every corner. EVERYONE decorated their homes in spider webs, tombs, and other spooky things. And then, the weekend of Halloween, we'd always have an amazing costume party. Scary movies would scream in the background. Everyone dressed up—kids, adults, dogs, cats, and we'd drink way too much vodka punch out of a smoking caldron.

The American version of Halloween may be incredibly commercialised, but it's fun that way! You can dress up as anything you want---Spiderman, a princess, President Obama...it doesn't HAVE to be scary. In France and especially in Reunion, it seems that many people are afraid of Halloween. Here, they have kept the real origins of Halloween and so it's is equated to horror, the dead, the scary.

I learned this when I threw my first Halloween party in La Possession, our group costumes included 3 devils, one witch, and the rest of the guys wore ugly masks that came off the moment they opened their first beers. We couldn't find any pumpkins to carve, so someone tried the same thing with a watermelon and a coconut. We didn't have any creatively themed desserts, but I did spend a little too much time making spooky appetisers. There were no kids to take trick-or-treating...but I did have a little trick up MY sleeve....

I was planning on secretly setting up my friend Julie, (who was part of my original host family when I first arrived in Reunion,) with Richard's friend Christian. Julie came to the party in a pink wig and cat-eye contact lenses, and still it was still love at first sight! The two of them hit it off and interestingly enough, they just got married a few months ago.

So I guess it goes to show you...you never know what you might encounter on Halloween night!

Vocabulary:

To dress up - se déguiser

The States - les Etats Unis

The fall - l’automne

Cider mill - cidrerie

Pumpkin - citrouille

To carve - sculpter

Spider web - toile d’araignée

Spooky - qui donne la chair de poule

To scream - crier

Cauldron - chaudron

To throw a party - organiser une fête

Devil - diable

Witch - sorcière

To come off - enlever

Watermelon - pastèque

Trick-or-treat - bonbons ou un sort

A trick up my sleeve - un tour dans mon sac

To set up - jouer les entremetteurs

Wig - perruque

To encounter - rencontre

00:0000:00

31S - Signing in Creole

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I was recently introduced into the wonderful world of Sign Language. But not just any sign language, Reunionese Creole sign language! Well, 40% of it anyway. 

I originally signed up for the sign language course because I thought it might be interesting, as a language teacher, to see how a completely different language is taught. I was keen to pick up on some new teaching techniques and thought it might also be fun to be able to have a basic conversation in sign language. 

What I hadn’t realized was that learning to sign could go way beyond just learning a new language. From the very first lesson, our teacher Emmanuelle, who is deaf, made us understand that going into a sign language classroom meant going into a world of silence. A world where speaking instead of signing is inappropriate because it would cast her aside. So off with the chatting and the side jokes, and into a world where in order to communicate we must look into each other’s eyes and be mindful of all our gestures. 

I was amazed to learn that sign language isn’t one universal language, although there is an international sign language called International Sign, which is mainly used at international meetings. There are in fact over three hundred different sign languages around the world, as well as regional dialects! The sign language I’m learning is actually 60% LSF - Langue des Signes Française, or French Sign Language, and 40% Reunionese Creole. I feel silly now to have thought there could be only one sign language, especially as I studied sociolinguistics and did research into language varieties. 

I’ve also learned to what extent language and culture and intrinsically linked. I speak Portuguese, English and French, and have always known that understanding a culture is an important part of learning a foreign language. But learning sign language takes this to a whole different level. I think this is because we get so used to our native languages or to our second languages that we forget to question the origins of the words and expressions we use, and we fail to notice the link between these words and expressions and our cultures. Learning to sign makes us ask those questions and notice those links because that knowledge comes in really handy when trying to remember the signs.  For example, the sign for ‘Ste Rose’ is lava flowing around a building.

Doing this sign language course has therefore been more than just a way to pick up new teaching techniques. It’s really been an eye-opener, and a very humbling introduction into the silent world of Reunionese culture! 

Vocabulary

To be keen - être désireux

To pick up on - apprendre

Beyond - au-delà

Deaf - sourds

To cast someone aside - mettre qqn de côté

Off with - arrêter

Side jokes - plaisanterie

To be mindful - être attentif

To feel silly - sentir idiot

Linked - lié

To fail - échouer

To notice - remarquer

To flow - s’écouler

Therefore - donc

An eye-opener - une revelation

00:0000:00

31N - Signing in Creole

Visit www.anglais.re for more !

I was recently introduced into the wonderful world of Sign Language. But not just any sign language, Reunionese Creole sign language! Well, 40% of it anyway. 

I originally signed up for the sign language course because I thought it might be interesting, as a language teacher, to see how a completely different language is taught. I was keen to pick up on some new teaching techniques and thought it might also be fun to be able to have a basic conversation in sign language. 

What I hadn’t realized was that learning to sign could go way beyond just learning a new language. From the very first lesson, our teacher Emmanuelle, who is deaf, made us understand that going into a sign language classroom meant going into a world of silence. A world where speaking instead of signing is inappropriate because it would cast her aside. So off with the chatting and the side jokes, and into a world where in order to communicate we must look into each other’s eyes and be mindful of all our gestures. 

I was amazed to learn that sign language isn’t one universal language, although there is an international sign language called International Sign, which is mainly used at international meetings. There are in fact over three hundred different sign languages around the world, as well as regional dialects! The sign language I’m learning is actually 60% LSF - Langue des Signes Française, or French Sign Language, and 40% Reunionese Creole. I feel silly now to have thought there could be only one sign language, especially as I studied sociolinguistics and did research into language varieties. 

I’ve also learned to what extent language and culture and intrinsically linked. I speak Portuguese, English and French, and have always known that understanding a culture is an important part of learning a foreign language. But learning sign language takes this to a whole different level. I think this is because we get so used to our native languages or to our second languages that we forget to question the origins of the words and expressions we use, and we fail to notice the link between these words and expressions and our cultures. Learning to sign makes us ask those questions and notice those links because that knowledge comes in really handy when trying to remember the signs.  For example, the sign for ‘Ste Rose’ is lava flowing around a building.

Doing this sign language course has therefore been more than just a way to pick up new teaching techniques. It’s really been an eye-opener, and a very humbling introduction into the silent world of Reunionese culture! 

Vocabulary

To be keen - être désireux

To pick up on - apprendre

Beyond - au-delà

Deaf - sourds

To cast someone aside - mettre qqn de côté

Off with - arrêter

Side jokes - plaisanterie

To be mindful - être attentif

To feel silly - sentir idiot

Linked - lié

To fail - échouer

To notice - remarquer

To flow - s’écouler

Therefore - donc

An eye-opener - une revelation

00:0000:00

30S - Bug Off!

Visit www.anglais.re for more !
Often, when people find out I'm a foreigner, the first thing they ask is "so, do you like Reunion?" My usual response is "I love Reunion! It's a shame about the mosquitoes, though".
I don't know anyone that loves these tiny insects, but my experience with them has been pretty terrible. When I first arrived on the island, any time I got bitten by a mosquito I'd develop a red lump the size of a marble where the bite was. Multiply this by the dozens of bites I'd receive each day and it wasn't pretty. This reaction lasted for my entire first year in Reunion.
Today, my body has adapted to mosquito bites but nevertheless I'm always searching for techniques to repel them. Here are the results of a mosquito repellent road-test I did recently just for fun.
First, I borrowed a mosquito net from a friend, thinking I would get a good night's sleep without being bitten. The next morning, I had several red spots on my legs. It's surprisingly tricky to keep the net completely closed...especially if you get up during the night and forget to put it back in place.
Plan B was a natural mosquito repellent. I'm very sensitive to chemicals, so using a conventional product wasn't an option. I chose the best-selling (and most expensive) organic insect repellent I could find at the pharmacy and sprayed it on liberally. That evening, we ate dinner outside and I didn't notice any mosquitoes on me. But for the price, I'd need to pay the equivalent of a movie ticket each week just to keep myself bite-free. I also tried a homemade version of the spray, using geranium, eucalyptus and lemongrass oils mixed together with alcohol and water. It was just as good as the pharmacy version, and far less expensive.
Method number 3: garlic. An article online advised me that crushing a clove of garlic and rubbing it on my skin would repel mosquitoes effectively. So, for my experiment I did exactly that. I rubbed the clove on my wrists, ankles, neck and behind my knees, all places that mosquitoes generally love. This was by far the most effective method I'd tried so far. But my family and friends weren't impressed. When leaning in for a kiss, my husband asked me if I'd been making pesto.
Next, I tried citronella candles. As I said, I can't use conventional products filled with chemicals, so using mosquito spirals wasn't possible. Instead, I lit a couple of citronella candles in my living room. It smelt great, but in the evening there were still plenty of mosquitoes flying around.
Finally, a mosquito trap. Another idea I found on the internet, the mosquito trap is made out of an old water bottle, inside which you put a mixture of sugar, water and yeast. After making my trap, I left it for two weeks on the balcony. There wasn't a single mosquito inside.
So, to sum up my experiment, the natural mosquito repellent and garlic method were the most effective. But the garlic is definitely not for anyone with a social life. I guess I'll be sticking to the repellent spray, either shop-bought or homemade.
Vocabulary:
A foreigner - un étranger
A shame - dommage
A marble - bille
A road-test - un essai
To borrow - emprunter
A Net - un filet
Tricky - difficile
Lemongrass - citronnelle
A clove of garlic - une gousse d’ail
Yeast - levure
To sum up - pour résumer
00:0000:00

30N - Bug Off!

Visit www.anglais.re for more !

Often, when people find out I'm a foreigner, the first thing they ask is "so, do you like Reunion?" My usual response is "I love Reunion! It's a shame about the mosquitoes, though".

I don't know anyone that loves these tiny insects, but my experience with them has been pretty terrible. When I first arrived on the island, any time I got bitten by a mosquito I'd develop a red lump the size of a marble where the bite was. Multiply this by the dozens of bites I'd receive each day and it wasn't pretty. This reaction lasted for my entire first year in Reunion.

Today, my body has adapted to mosquito bites but nevertheless I'm always searching for techniques to repel them. Here are the results of a mosquito repellent road-test I did recently just for fun.

First, I borrowed a mosquito net from a friend, thinking I would get a good night's sleep without being bitten. The next morning, I had several red spots on my legs. It's surprisingly tricky to keep the net completely closed...especially if you get up during the night and forget to put it back in place.

Plan B was a natural mosquito repellent. I'm very sensitive to chemicals, so using a conventional product wasn't an option. I chose the best-selling (and most expensive) organic insect repellent I could find at the pharmacy and sprayed it on liberally. That evening, we ate dinner outside and I didn't notice any mosquitoes on me. But for the price, I'd need to pay the equivalent of a movie ticket each week just to keep myself bite-free. I also tried a homemade version of the spray, using geranium, eucalyptus and lemongrass oils mixed together with alcohol and water. It was just as good as the pharmacy version, and far less expensive.

Method number 3: garlic. An article online advised me that crushing a clove of garlic and rubbing it on my skin would repel mosquitoes effectively. So, for my experiment I did exactly that. I rubbed the clove on my wrists, ankles, neck and behind my knees, all places that mosquitoes generally love. This was by far the most effective method I'd tried so far. But my family and friends weren't impressed. When leaning in for a kiss, my husband asked me if I'd been making pesto.

Next, I tried citronella candles. As I said, I can't use conventional products filled with chemicals, so using mosquito spirals wasn't possible. Instead, I lit a couple of citronella candles in my living room. It smelt great, but in the evening there were still plenty of mosquitoes flying around.

Finally, a mosquito trap. Another idea I found on the internet, the mosquito trap is made out of an old water bottle, inside which you put a mixture of sugar, water and yeast. After making my trap, I left it for two weeks on the balcony. There wasn't a single mosquito inside.

So, to sum up my experiment, the natural mosquito repellent and garlic method were the most effective. But the garlic is definitely not for anyone with a social life. I guess I'll be sticking to the repellent spray, either shop-bought or homemade.

Vocabulary:

A foreigner - un étranger

A shame - dommage

A marble - bille

A road-test - un essai

To borrow - emprunter

A Net - un filet

Tricky - difficile

Lemongrass - citronnelle

A clove of garlic - une gousse d’ail

Yeast - levure

To sum up - pour résumer

00:0000:00