En tout pays, il y a un lieue de mauvais chemin

winter stormToday’s saying is En tout pays, il y a un lieue de mauvais chemin (ohn too pay-ee, eel ee ah uhn lyuh duh mow-veh shuh-mahn), which literally means “In every country, there is a league of bad roads.” We’d be more likely to say, “There will be bumps in the smoothest road” and we’d probably be talking about life rather than the highway. Today, however, this expression applied literally and figuratively in my life. I was driving home to Massachusetts after having picked up our daughter in Michigan for the Thanksgiving holiday.

imageWe’d planned to stop along the way last night and finish up today, probably getting in after lunch. When we woke up this morning, it looked a whole lot more like Christmas than Thanksgiving.  Huge flakes of snow were falling at a great rate. From what was on the ground, it had been snowing for a while. We set out, thinking that we’d be fine if we just reduced our speed, but it became clear that we were risking life and limb and that there were going to be a few hundred more leagues of bad roads. After three and a half fairly fraught hours and only a few leagues traveled, we pulled off the highway and checked into another hotel. When we get safely to Massachusetts tomorrow (we hope!), we’ll have another reason to be thankful.

About Patricia Gilbert

Patricia Gilbert is a French teacher. She's Canadian, lives in the United States, but dreams of living in France. Follow her on Instagram @Onequalitythefinest and on Twitter @1qualthefinest.
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2 Responses to En tout pays, il y a un lieue de mauvais chemin

  1. Marta Pavan says:

    Dear Patricia, I randomly found your post of the last year autumn and it seems me beautiful. Did you already know the saying or did you find it in a book?

    • Thanks for visiting the blog and for taking the time to leave a comment. Often a blog post comes about because I hear an expression on the French news or read it in a blog or magazine. Either it is new to me or one that I’ve heard before that appeals to me that day. If I remember correctly, I came across that particular expression in the excellent Bien Dire magazine.

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