How to Kiss Like the Natives

By Kristin Espinasse

I met my French husband at a nightclub in Aix-en-Provence. While the lieu was not so romantic, our courtship was: a table for two at the restaurant chinois where we stared into each other's eyes as our riz cantonais went cold... walking on clouds (for that is how French cobblestones feel when one is in love) to the bakery for pain au chocolat... those winding roads leading to Roussillon where the earth's colors are as warm and rich as romance itself.

Twenty years later... and my husband still sweeps me off my feet for a weekend getaway once or twice a year. I like to record these week-ends en amoureux, which make wonderful souvenirs for a relationship "rainy day". Recently I came across this journal entry, which serves as a reminder that our romance is not always as predictable as I think it is:

Jean-Marc and I are walking hand in hand when we run into The Kissers. Jean-Marc's eyebrows shoot up and down, up and down as he draws my attention to the steamy scene. I look over to find a couple of Italians standing in the middle of a high-traffic pedestrian lane. Apparently handholding isn't original enough and so they're linked at the head.

"Remember when we used to kiss like that?" I say to Jean-Marc, only kidding him because we never used to kiss like THAT.

I'm still staring at the couple, staring as only a traveler can when she's an ocean away from home and when cultural rights and wrongs are still blurry enough that one might stare until the Italian cows come home. Jean-Marc doesn't seem to mind my staring, in fact did he even hear my comment? I clear my throat:

"Remember when we used to kiwmmmmmmmmmmmmmhhhmmmm--"

I feel a tightening around my waist and notice my feet have left the ground. The buildings are spinning around me as I twirl along with my husband... who seems to feel that handholding is no longer original enough.



.............................
French Vocabulary
............................

le lieu = place
chinois, chinoise
= Chinese
le riz cantonais = Cantonese (Fried) Rice
le pain au chocolat = chocolate croissant
Roussillon = a perched and picturesque village in the Vaucluse
le week-end en amoureux = a romantic getaway

Kristin Espinasse is the author of Words in a French Life. Her blog, French Word-A-Day, began in 2002.  She photographs the villages around her wine farm in Provence, where she lives with two Goldens, a Marseillais, and their Franco-American kids.

If you'd like to make plans for your own week-end en amoureux, find a hotel room in locations all over the world through Booking.com.


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