The French seem to love to associate. Every patisserie, sandwicherie and brasserie in my ville testifies to the French tendency to gather. But it was never more evident than at the annual Forum des Associations. This is like a fair for all the clubs and organizations to promote themselves, and it is your opportunity to sign up. The associations all run for the school year, and are by interest, age, and location. They span a staggering range of interests, from sports, martial arts, and archery, to various dance groups, to hobbies, and include two neighborhood community centers. The fair was large and crowded.

What to check out? And does anyone speak English? Stoney and Theo find that few do.

Some booths were interactive, like the chess club.

They also had demonstrations throughout the day. Stoney enjoyed the martial arts demos, but his favorite was the country line dancing group:

Line dancing to old rock and roll songs. I actually preferred the Happy Days group, which dances the Lindy every week. Unfortunately, not a night we’re available.

The best take-aways I got from the Forum were the existence and location of MY neighborhood association, which has groups which meet to paint and do field trips and who knows what all, which will be cool when I get a little more French, and also the existence of a French language class for folks new to Tournefeuille. I enrolled in that baby in a hot minute!

My class meets twice a week. I placed in the first level (no surprise there) with a gentleman from India and one from Pakistan, and we converse with the instructor almost entirely in French, which makes my head spin. I am so bad! But I am sure I will get better now. The instructors hang with me as I struggle, whereas French merchants and such aren’t inclined to just chat and try to figure out what I’m trying to say so ridiculously. Hopefully, I’ll soon speak well enough that I can associate, too!


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