As I’ve mentioned, I’m going to be traveling to Paris with a group of students. They are going to attend immersion classes in the morning, and then in the afternoon we are going on various sightseeing excursions. I’ve done all the booking and planning, as I like to retain control of every café, restaurant, and museum visit. We are going to stay with Parisian families, arranged by the Accord Language School.
Staying with a host family is rather different than staying in a hotel. I’ve talked with the students about how to be good guests, particularly warning them about the fact that they may be sharing the family’s one and only bathroom. We’re going to be there for a week, so it’s particularly important to be good guests, because L’hôte et la pluie après trois jours ennuient (lote ay lah ploo-ee ap-reh twah sjoor ahn-wee). This literally means “The guest and the rain annoy after three days.” This sounds a little clunky doesn’t it?
You may be more familiar with the saying “Fish and visitors stink in three days.” Although this is often attributed to Benjamin Franklin, it actually dates to 16th century writer John Lyly who said, “Fish and guests in three days are stale.” The common denominator between all of these sayings is three days. I hope the fact that we’ll be busy each day will keep relations between guests and hosts as smooth as possible! Perhaps my students will be able to turn their experiences into a bestseller like Jennifer L. Scott’s experience with Madame Chic. If so, I’d like 10% of the royalties.