The French Alps have some of the most #gorg ski resorts in the world. Like, legit. But if you're navigating the slopes without a lick of French, then, just like some of my Club Med Instameet travel companions (we're in the 'hood to check out the facilities, spread the love on socials, and generally cause havoc on the mountains), you can find yourself forking out a hefty 95 euros for a cab ride back to your hotel — simply because the ski lift has closed for the day. Say what? IKR.
So, what are the French phrases you need to master to avoid being bamboozled by extortionist taxi drivers or to prevent confusing conversations with your ski instructor about the difference between a 'snowplough' and a 'pizza', when, in fact, they are exactly the same thing? Well, I'm glad you asked.
Today, as the snow was literally bucketing down outside in Val Thorens, I cornered Francophile Geraldine ("GeGe") Boyer, marketing manager for Club Med Singapore, to ask her for French translations to the top 10 phrases you need to know (and I mean, need) when skiing in the Alps. Some are ski-related. Some, not so much.
P.S. Are you following us on Snapchat (@buro247.sg) yet? It's the best way to catch all our random shenanigans and live reporting. And, this last week, we were all over the place — in addition to my ski antics in the French Alps, our lifestyle editor Denise Kok has been enjoying a luxe tour of Italy, and fashion writer Andrea Sim was in Hong Kong for Vilebrequin. Follow us already.
1. How do you stop? I don't want to fall off the cliff! Comment on freine? Je ne veux pas tomber dans le ravin!
Because sometimes a snowplough is not enough. Can I get an 'Amen'?
2. What time does the ski lift close? A quelle heure ferme le télesiège?
Hey, 95 euros can score you a full-body massage okay.
3. What are these poles for? A quoi servent ces batons?
No, seriously. What are they for? I mean, besides having additional things to trip over or stab myself with?
4. Where is the Altitude Bar? Où est le bar d'altitude?
Because we've been looking for it for bloody ages. And now, our legs hurt.
5. I'm tired. How do I get back? Je suis crevé. Comment on rentre?
After a drink or three at the Altitude Bar, depth perception is all about shot. If you don't ski back now, you'll be rolling back down.
6. This is too steep. Can I take the ski lift back? C'est trop pentu. Est-ce que je peux redescendre avec le télesiège?
Sure, good to know. But, let's be honest: No, you can't. Suck it up and ski down.
7. Baby, I don't need dollar bills to have fun tonight... Cheri, j'ai pas besoin d'une liasse de billet pour m'amuser ce soir...
I love cheap thrills! Okay, so this is a SIA song. But it sounds so sexy in French. And also, because everything is included when you travel with Club Med, it's super appropriate. I don't need no money, as long as I can feel the beat...
8. My hips are stiff. I need private lessons. Je suis un peu raide, non? J'ai besoin d'un cours particulier.
For those times when your ski instructor is easy on the eye.
9. I'm not getting the hang of this. Can I ski between your legs? Je crois que je n'y arrive pas. Est-ce que je peux skier entre tes jambes?
In case the previous line wasn't taken the way it was intended.
10. You and me. Fondue for two. Toi, moi et une fondue?
When all else fails, direct is best.
Check back every Monday for another @MusingMutley column from Norman Tan, Editor-in-Chief of Buro 24/7 Singapore. For more columns from @MusingMutley, click here.
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