First peek at the real world and they’re speaking French to me


Coming from long sleep, the first thing I am aware of is the beeping of machines in a constant sign of the rhythm of life.

Then, off camera, a woman’s voice is calling my name. But my name is floating in the ether, so I can’t
grasp it. I must have looked puzzled because the voice changed to French.

Parlez-vous anglais? Monsieur Foret?

The woman popped into my vision from the right. I still had the appearance of being puzzled.

DO… YOU… SPEAK …FRENCH? she added in English in typical
tourist pronunciation so that she was sure the words would make sense because
they were slowed down, each enunciated precisely, something English speaking
tourists have relied for generations to use on foreigners before the invention of Google Translator.

I found later she was Kate, a part of my post-operation recovery team that also included Emma, two students
at some point in their studies (hopefully not BTEC), in their blue scrubs, just like on Scrubs. And bi-lingual, to boot.

(That French GCSE came in handy after all, even it was talking to an American, in England with a three-tiered too French name)

I confessed to knowing English and she responded with news that I‘d just finished my operation all went well,
and what I was experiencing was the after effects of the anaesthesia.

I wondered why I couldn’t grasp my name when it was called. I nodded affirmation.

And, I completed my first interview which isn’t bad for an asphasiac. (Is that word? It is now)

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3 responses to “First peek at the real world and they’re speaking French to me

  1. I’m glad that’s done -hopefully that’s that for life – no more scary surgical encounters, Your bilingual encounter reminds me of the way my mum speaks French. When confronted by a francophone who doesn’t understand English, simply turn up the french accent (on your English a la allo allo) and speak louder. MENTAL!
    Is it Aphasic? not aphasiac, implies aggression.

  2. An Oz girl rushed by ambulance to Jakarta’s central hospital. Different lingos all around me. Mainly Indonesian languages I suspect. Thanks forever to my angel nurse Marlena who spoke some English and the Irish sister-in charge or matron. Each day came a heart specialist speaking German until my Dutch-born husband insisted on them looking into my head,hence a CAT scan after 3 days, then an Indonesian neurologist who spoke some English. But most of what was going on then was and is still double Dutch to me, except for kindness shown.But my brain operation was not until a medical evacuation return to Tasmania after 16 days. My first peek at the real world was my mother and our children waiting at the R.H.H. door before I was rushed inside. Then all seemed well.

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