Humor of Living in France

Humor of Living in France for many years is adapted from ‘When You Are Engulfed in Flames’ by David Sedaris, a humorous book with this part about still struggling with French after many years in France.

Here is an excerpt from the chapter The Man in the Hut in the book ‘When You Are Engulfed in Flames’, page 186:


If I spent as much time speaking (French) to my neighbors as I do practicing imaginary conversations in the prison crafts center [see Humor Learning French in Prison], I’d be fluent by now and could quit making excuses for myself.

As it is, whenever someone asks (in French) how long I’ve been in France I wonder if it’s possible to literally die of shame.

“I’m away a lot,” I always say (in somewhat broken French). “Two and a half months a year in America, and at least two in England, sometimes more.”

“Yes, but how long ago did you come to France?”


“I asked, “How. Long. Have. You. Been. In. France?”

Then I might say,

“I love chicken.”


“Big bees can be dangerous,”

anything to change the subject.


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