Saturday, November 14, 2015

The cursive handwriting

Hubby's family are big in letters, so we still received them from time to time. His grandmothers send us religiously a birthday card for all our birthdays, sometimes including their fête. They send us postcards when they are on holidays.

I love receiving letters and postcards but the problem is, their handwritings are indecipherable, for me. All of them write in cursive and I have hard time understanding them. I learnt cursive writing in art classes, I remember we had to buy a special pen and use it to write connected letters during several art classes.

Here an example of a letter from the family. I never quite understand why my French family chose to write in cursive which makes my head spins each time I read it.

Now that my daughter goes to standard one, I'm seeing her learning to write in cursive everyday. So it is a norm in France! French learn to write in cursive since young age and they continue it into their adulthood. My daughter is learning to write in Uppercase, Lowercase and Cursive (script) in school. And now when she writes a sentence, every alphabet is connected.

 One of her homeworks was to write her name in Uppercase and in script.

She got a letter from a schoolmate, the last sentence was written in cursive.

Hubby was the only in her family that writes in print instead of cursive. He explained that his teachers found that he wrote badly in cursive and advised him to write exclusively in print. No wonder I can understand his writing!

PS: I was checking out why France still implement cursive handwriting in school and realised that it is a tradition back to the quill time. By connecting all the alphabets, it would improve writing speed and it would require less hand lifting. However, this is less practiced in US and UK now, some schools have stopped completely teaching cursive to their students.

The world's aisle

When I go for grocery shopping, I would sometimes check out "The World" aisle. It displays the typical Asian foods (instant noodles, sauces, rice, coconut milks), Mexican foods, African foods... I would quickly browse through the Asian section, but what I usually buy are from the British and American section. Yes, I didn't realise Malaysians are influenced in some way by the British : Jacob's crackers, Marmite, Marie biscuit, pudding, peanut butter. And, I got Dr Pepper softdrink for Hubby (influenced by our time in Austin TX).

Marmite is one kind of yeast extra. I grew up eating rice porridge with soya sauce or Marmite. It has a weird taste but I grew to love it. After I moved to France, I didn't eat it for a while, until I found online that it was sold in an Irish shop in downtown Nantes. Now they even have it in some traditional French supermarkets. French in general have not heard of it or couldn't believe that people are eating it. Yes, once a coworker mentioned that his friend from Australia was spreading Marmite on his sandwiches, he couldn't stand the smell so didn't even take a bit.

As of crackers, French generally spread something on crackers and serve them during apéro. Malaysians dip crackers into milo (chocolat drink) as breakfast, I'm not sure French can accept it.

How about pudding? Have not seen pudding being served in any typical French household. Hubby doesn't like pudding nor agar-agar (a popular dessert in Malaysia).

My kids love crackers and Marie biscuit. I haven't let them tried Marmite (ok I found spreading Marmite on a sandwich weird too). Aelig accepted agar agar in Malaysia. Hubby does eat crackers. He learnts to eat British food from a Malaysian. lol