Neal Durando, in An Abécédaire Fugitif, begins “My grammar has crossed the Atlantic four times since I began giving English lessons in western France three years ago,” and goes on to list French words with associations they call up for him, often how he learned them:
“Cómo se dice ‘vez’?” I asked my Spanish friend Oscár as we crossed the tramway tracks to eat lunch at café Les Facultés in between classes at the University of Nantes. There were no English speakers within earshot, so Spanish was how I learned about French. We were anxious about crossing the tracks as the tramway announces itself with only a slight sighing sound. “Fois” he answered without looking at me, as he had an eye out for the tram that could have put an end to us. Vez, fois, once upon a time pedestrians had to watch for streetcars everywhere in the United States, even in Chicago, the city where I was to shortly find myself.
An enjoyable collection of motments. (Via wood s lot.)