Look I don’t want to brag, but today I went into Sephora and had a conversation about skincare products, in French!
Florian has been encouraging me to try and speak as much as I can and often takes a step back, but when the topic may be a little difficult to articulate he jumps in and helps.
When I arrived in Paris, my eyebrow pencil ran out and I ducked into Sephora to buy a new one. As is the usual custom, I got a little goodie sample and was given a sachet of serum to try.
I immediately fell in love with it (well done, you got me!) and I headed back in store to buy it. My excitement swiftly turned to disappointment when I saw it was 85 euros a bottle 😩😭🤬
Me being in the ‘oh just treat yourself’ mood (one I’m often finding myself in) decided to buy it and my skin is looking better than it ever has.
I’m on my last little bit of the serum and when walking past Sephora this afternoon, I saw there was no line and decided to take advantage, because I never line up to enter any shop- a personal rule of mine.
I asked Florian if he could help me discuss with the shop assistant if there was something similar but not so expensive, although I knew it was expensive because it works.
As we walked up to a lovely gentleman packing perfume, I decided to jump in and give it a go. Nowadays I preface any conversation with ‘J’apprends le français, donc j’essaye parler’ which isn’t perfect French but roughly translates to ‘I’m learning French so I try to speak.’ This seems to be the magic phrase that sees people slow right down and help me out when I don’t know a word- who says Parisians aren’t nice people?
One thing I hate is the thought of looking and/or sounding stupid, which means I am hesitant throwing myself in out of fear of making a mistake. I know this is stupid but it’s something that sits in my mind and I need to stop this fear.
Of course I’m going to make mistakes, I’ve only been living in for four months and I’m speaking English 99% of the time with Florian. I make mistakes in English and I’ve been speaking it my whole life. I’m not sure why I thought it’s either fluency or nothing at all, especially given you need to speak in order to get better.
French grammar is impossible sometimes and people speak really fast, plus they have masks on which makes it even more of a challenge but these are the parameters I’m working with so I need to adapt and just try my best.
So back to Sephora. I managed to tell the sales assistant I used a sample and loved it so I bought a bottle but was wondering if he could recommend something similar but cheaper. Long story short, he referred me to his colleague (who spoke way too fast, but Florian helped me out with what I missed) and she ended up giving me 25% off and I signed up to their loyalty program- winning!
There were moments I didn’t know the word and I just pointed or said “ahhh” as I was searching through my brain, but everyone understood me and ended up jumping in and helping me out.
Whenever I have an interaction in French I always look to Florian once it’s all done where I find him with a big smile telling me he’s proud, which makes trying even more worth it.
Anyways I just wanted to share that even when you think you can’t do something, just try and do it roughly and chances are you’ll surprise yourself, and even get a discount too!