Sunday, December 11, 2011

Malaysian's view of France

I stumbled across this fellow Malaysian's blog. Joanne and her family moved to Paris in early 2011. She has a sarcastic and hilarious way of describing her adventures, and I would say that she has sharp observations on how things work in France. She shared her findings about French culture in Only in France Part 1 and Part 2. It gives me many bitter and sweet memories of my first year here.

It is shameful but I have to admit, that even after 6 years in France, I still feel stress when I have to say or listen to numbers from 70 to 99. The reason is explained in Part 2. That's why I'm doubtful when I read that people who are multilingual will find it easier to learn another new language compared to those who are monoglots. I think it all depends on one's learning capability and how similar the languages are. French is a language that has many exceptions to its own rules, and the best way to learn it is to simply accept it instead of asking why and the logics behind it.

As for her question about what is Toilet Milk, well, frankly, I asked myself this question but didn't insist to find out what was it. My MIL gave me some toilet milk and I just don't use it. I told myself that I do not need to use milk in toilet! So, after seeing her post, I asked grandma what was it. She told me that in French, when she goes to "faire ma toilet", it means that she is going to brush her teeth / wash her face / refreshing up / make up. Toilet milk is actually cleansing milk to remove make up, or wipe baby's butt. Another product related to toilet is "l'eau de toilette" (toilet water) which means perfume. Well, it is hard to associate toilet with perfume if you ask me.

As I said, do not find the logic behind the French word you learn, simply memorize it and use it.


  1. for counting I prefear the belgium way septante (70) hoctante (80) and nonante (90).
    As a french (and having a to logical mind) I find our langage with too many rules and exeptions that I find silly (I often said "mais c'est stupide" to my french teacher and they responded "c'est comme ça!").

    for "lait de toilette" there a similar belgium joke with "eau de toilette"

    for the origine of the word

  2. Hello, i'm also a malaysian staying in france. I suppose you are talking about lait de toilet? It is just a cleansing milk for make up removal when it is meant for the adult woman. There's also a baby version to wipe the butt. I thought you should have come across it with Aelig? They do use lait de toilet to clean the baby's butt.

  3. hi Yongling,

    Yes lait de toilet is cleansing milk, I got confused with l'eau de toilette. Thanks for correcting me. No I have not come across it with Aelig, maybe I didn't pay attention, we use coton to wipe her butt.

  4. Hi Bee Ean,

    Thanks for visiting my blog, and the feedback! Perhaps we'll have a chance to meet one day? In the meantime, keep blogging; we're all reading!