All good things must come to an end, and today we say goodbye to our Swiss lodger, Julien. Having a native French speaker in the house has helped to settle any vexing questions about pronunciation or grammar.
We have been careful not to abuse the situation, though. Julian has been here to learn English, after all.
We have tried to help him with his language skills. Every night we have cooked him dinner and sat and talked with him as we all ate.
We’ve discussed everything, from the success of the far-right parties at the recent European elections to future greener power sources. We’ve seen an improvement in the speed at which he talks – he definitely hesitates much less now.
For the three months he’s been with us, we have treated him like a member of the family, including teasing him a little. (I am not convinced that our humour has always translated, however, as he has looked perplexed a few times.)
While he’s been here, it’s fair to say he’s made the most of what Brighton has to offer. There is a lot more going on here than in his home town. That explains why he’s been out till three or four o’clock many mornings. Impressively, he’s still been able to get up and get into college by nine o’clock the following morning.
We took him out for a farewell dinner last night. We tried to choose somewhere that was typically English – so we opted for a fish and chip supper at a local pub. He won’t get that at home.
Hopefully, we have done our bit for international relations.
Our next lodger arrives in a couple of weeks’ time. He’s from South Korea. Something tells me we won’t be picking up too many language tips from him.