the beginning of the three weeks...

My Mother & Father-in-law arrived from France on Sunday, March 21.

The language barrier is more pronounced when they are here and now that I work 3 days a week, I'm with them more than their own son.

I had an idea, I have a work laptop that I was able to bring home with me so that while Jerome is at work, I could use Google Translate so that I could communicate with my in-laws and it could be portable.

The Monday after they arrived, I was on my own with them and it was decided that they could come with me and my mother on our weekly afternoon together.
We picked up my mother and drove to Port Huron to the Art Center.  My niece Jordan's art project that she made in school was being displayed.  It was a self-portrait in mask form.  We toured the Art Center checking out all the kids art projects - very colorful.
Then we headed out to have lunch at The Raven in Port Huron.  The Raven is such a cool little cafe on Main street in PH. They have a very nice atmosphere and good little things to eat.  Our MINI friends; Lou and Dee took us there one Saturday night and it had a lasting impression.

Since our afternoon started later than usual and the drive to PH was over an hour, we ended up at The Raven pretty late.  As we were going in, I heard my FIL say that he was not hungry, that we would be eating in the evening and my MIL tell him to have a salad.  They don't really know how much I understand of their language, so I'm sure they thought this went undetected.  I had brought the laptop along and used the Wi-Fi to communicate that I was sorry, when my mother and I are together, we have lunch late.  My MIL said it was not a problem.
On the way back, I missed an exit and we ended up taking a very long way home using the back roads!  UGH!

One problem that arose was that we were using my parents handicap van, of which I become the driver when my mother and I are together.  The van is old, loud and makes all kinds of noise as it shakes and rattles down the road. 

My FIL was in the front of the van with me while my mother and my MIL were WAY in the back part of the van.  The ladies could not communicate with each other and neither could me and my FIL.  My mother kept trying to have a conversation with me from WAY back there and although I could hear everything she was saying - she could not hear ANY of my responses.  It was a comedy of errors.  But an opportunity to make a mental note; in the future, the inlaws stay in the back with each other and my mother stays up front with me.


dynochick (Jan) said…

I can't imagine not being able to communicate with someone. I know when I worked with a lot of Japanese people it was interesting explaining what some of our words mean.

Actually we use soooo many slang words that we don't even realize it.

They really liked learning our little sayings late and dollar short. The Indian engineers I worked with loved it when I would ask them if they were cracking the whip. That would be the first thing they would tell me when I got to work at 4pm. They would say....Oh, I am cracking theee whip tooooday!!! I loved it.
Jabbles said…
I was under the impression you had a better understanding of Le Fran├žais.
Sounds like it was a memorable day though.

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