“Une Serviette”

Nichole Palmero
September 15, 2014

       The only coat I’m bringing for the winter, or super soft blanket I just got last week? . . . The only coat I’m bringing for the winter, or super soft blanket I just got last week?

       As far as being comfortable in a new place goes, all I need is either my stuffed bear, Ladijosifee – who I didn’t introduce in my first post (about what I ended up putting in my suitcase), a pillowcase I can stick my feet in for when I’m cold, or a soft blanket for when I decide on staying in bed for the whole day listening to music and going through photos on Facebook. For those of you that are still thinking, “Why does she put her feet into a pillowcase when her feet get cold? Can’t she just put socks on?” Well, growing up, I used to always have socks on, even during the summer. And when my feet were still cold, I used to stick both my feet into my pillow and continue watching T.V. It’s a habit I never tried getting rid of.

       I tucked Ladijosifee into my pink silk polka-dotted pillow case, and pushed them into my hand-carry. There was no question whether or not I was going to bring her. I didn’t think of mentioning that I was bringing my Bear with me during my study-abroad, but I’ve lived everywhere – including boarding school – with Ladijosifee, and I didn’t think leaving her while I studied in Paris was going to be a very nice thing to do. It was also a very last last-minute decision to bring her to Paris because I had left her with my best-friend H. when I left school because I didn’t have space for her in my suitcase for the summer, but couldn’t resist and finally asked H. to mail my bear to me the week before I flew out.

       “Une serviette?” I asked.

       “Oui, une serviette. Est-ce que tu as une serviette?” she asked again. Why is my host mother asking me if I have a table napkin? Why would she assume I brought a table napkin with me to the Paris?

       “Uh, non. Je n’ai pas une serviette. No, I don’t have a table napkin.”

       She looks at me with a confused look and grabs the towel in the bathroom next to me mumbling and looking for a word under her breathe as she showed me the bathroom towel.

       “Towel?” she replies. As my host mother mumbled trying to find the translation for ‘une serviette’ in English, I realized that I had been thrown into the deepest end of the language pool.

       I started to nervously laugh and said, “Ahhhh, une serviette! Ça c’est une serviette? Oh, a towel (or table napkin.) That’s a towel! (or table napkin).” She looked at me with a very confused look and nodded.

       I wasn’t sure what ‘bathroom towel’ was in french at the time, but I was very sure that ‘une serviette’ only meant “table napkin.”  When I started getting ready for bed my first night in Paris, I grabbed Ladijosifee out of my bag and slipped into my happy pjs and put my favorite orange cotton socks on. I looked out of my window, and felt my head throb from the amount of translating I did the whole day. I started daydreaming about how Paris ended up being the way I had always imagined, and all I was thinking of right before I fell asleep was how much I wished I had brought my super soft blanket to Paris.

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Nichole Palmero

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Nichole Palmero, and I&#39;m a rising junior from Ithaca College. I am currently majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance, and am minoring in Art History and Honors in Humanities and Sciences. I&#39;m from the Philippines, but was born in and grew up in Saudi Arabia, but went to boarding school in the States for three years. As an Art History minor, I&#39;m really excited to be in Paris to study the art in the area and to see the pieces that were made there! Also, I live for donuts.</span></p>

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