A Day in a French Life… une tablette

A Day in a French Life… une tablette
une tablette (tah-blet) noun, feminine 1. shelf; flap; tray 2. bar; tablet; stick …………………….Expressions:inscrire sur ses tablettes = to make a note of somethingrayer de ses tablettes = to no longer take into account something …………………….Citation du Jour:Je ne connais rien de plus érotique qu’une tablette au fort pourcentage de cacao.I don’t know of anything more erotic than a bar with a strong percentage of cocoa bean. –Paul-Loup Sulitzer …………………………………….A Day in a French Life… We met on flight 83, leaving Nice, France for New York City. Little did I know that 45 minutes into the voyage I would be agreeing to a date with the man in seat 24A. We didn’t seem to have much in common. To start with, he graduated with the class of 45′. As for me, I graduated from high school in 85′. *       *      * I had made my way through first class, admiring the soft plaid blankets neatly folded and awaiting the lucky travelers. The first class blankets have a motif* while non-first class blankets are plain. I noticed the seats in first class, and how they reclined like the dos* of a yogi. I headed to the back of the plane, where the seats narrowed, le monde* multiplied and infants shrieked from the chaos of travelers trying to settle in, as comfortably as possible, for an 8.5 hour flight. My breath shortened, and so I paused to respirer.* The man in 24A sat silent, his blank stare slamming into the tablette* before him. I set down my purse, marking my seat, and reached up to the overhead bin to store my bag, the contents of which would be completely useless to me in the 20 hour voyage ahead, ending in Phoenix, Arizona. I pushed the bin shut, checking to make sure it wouldn’t burst open mid-flight. I always seem to be checking andrechecking things. That is when I heard the formal greeting: “Bonjour, madame.”“Bonjour, monsieur,” I replied. He didn’t say another word until the beverage cart came to a halt before the 25th row; at which point he raised an unsteady arm: “Je voudrais une bière, s’il vous plaît — I’d like a beer, please.” When the flight attendant said, “That will be four euros or four dollars,” he reached into a tan imperméable,* and struggled to find some cash. The next time the cart halted, monsieur ordered another beer, having found his wallet. When his cup went dry he shifted a bit, and cleared his throat. That’s when the paroles* slipped out. A fountain of meaningful words that would end with a proposition. But first, he would say: “May I take your hand?” *       *      *To be continued… ………………References: un motif (m) pattern; le dos (m) = back; le monde (m) = people; respirer = to breathe; tablette = pull-down tray; un imperméable (m) = raincoat ; une parole (f) = word……………… French Word-A-Day (formerly Café Letters) began in 1999 when Kristin Espinasse decided to share a piece of Provence from her office in the various cafés along the French Riviera. While trying to buy time at a euro ten per coffee, the writer-rat came up with a plan to distribute her “café letters” from France.  What began as an earnest attempt at freelance writing, eventually worked itself into a more suitable self-made mêtier as resident “French Word Artisan.”  We highly recommend these must-have books by Kristin Espinasse: Words in a French Life – Volume I Words in French Life – Volume II
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