It’s time for a drink! In Australia, you can basically say this sentence any time of the day, either to celebrate a special occasion or just because, and no one will be shocked.
In Australia, like most other English speaking countries, we have a drink when we feel like it: A beer at the pub at 5 to mark the end of a hard day’s work with fellow colleagues, cocktails at 6 with other friends followed by a glass of wine and nibbles and then a glass or two with dinner. And then, of course, ‘one for the road’! (one of the reasons why taxis are a lot more popular than in Reunion!). And the next day, it’s off to a brunch, which is obviously more exciting with champagne than tea!
That’s my life in Australia. And I’m not the only one who lives like that. My life in France however, is somewhat different. When I invited three friends for a champagne breakfast on the beach one year for my birthday, their first reaction was to ask “Really? Champagne? At 8am?” (after two glasses each, they were thrilled with the initial idea).
On the weekends, when I reach for the bottle of wine at 3pm, my partner even after five years together is still quite shocked, but follows up with one of my very own expressions, “Well I guess it’s five o’clock somewhere in the world”.
But the worst for me, is when I’m invited to a friend’s for dinner or when I’m staying with my in-laws and I’m obliged to respect the very French tradition of waiting for ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE to be together to start drinking. This is AFTER the painstaking process of waiting for everyone to choose what he or she wants drink, and then waiting for the host (who is alone in the drinks making task, as it’s out of the question that I help because I’m a guest) to prepare all of the drinks. During this time, I’m obliged to make small talk with everybody else when all I can think about is my damn drink that is sitting right in front if me but that I’m not ‘allowed’ to touch. So when everyone finally has their drinks (by this time, my glass of white is wine is now at room temperature) we have to look everyone in the eyes, clink glasses, make a toast and then I can FINALLY drink.
And given that I’m at this point dying of thirst, my warm glass of wine goes down in about two minutes. Next dilemma, how to get a second glass… Stay tuned!
nibbles – quelque chose à gringotter
one for the road – un dernier verre pour la route
brunch – un mélange entre breakfast et lunch
however – cependant
somewhat – assez
thrilled – ravi
in-laws – les beaux-parents
painstaking – laborieux
task – tache
make small talk – parler de la pluie et du beau temps
damn – fichu
room temperature – température ambiante
clink glasses – trinquer
finally – enfin
dying of thirst – mourir de soif
stay tuned – restez à l’écoute