When I was 6, I heard a man speaking French. Just one whole conversation that lasted about 5 minutes. It was on the television in a random movie. He’s not even the main character.
But I was in love.
It was a big deal. The language sounds intricate and flawless. I want to learn this language! So when I knew that Mahadhir Lokman speaks French I was so jealous of him. How can I beat this man speaking a foreign tongue so perfect?
I listen to him every time he appears on t.v. Oh, how I study each syllable. It can’t be that difficult, right?
So when opportunity arose when I was 13, I quickly chose French as my favorite subject. I didn’t even think when they told me you could choose between French, Arabic and Japanese.
It’s too obvious which one is my favorite.
My favorite nightmare.
Mademoiselle Teh is a communist dictator in disguise of a French teacher. She walked like a hungry rhinoceros and stampeded across the hall. Move away or you’ll be gorge. She never spoke English with us, the 16 terrified little girls wishing to be good in an exotic language and this started from the first class.
She will write everything she’s going to teach that day, ask us to memorize everything (no writing or she’ll scream bloody murder) and rub it off. End of the class she would write everything again and this time she let us copy.
The only girl who’s on top of the class is Baya and darn she’s lucky to have a relative in France. She’s the teacher’s pet.
On the first class she already got the teacher’s attention while most of us were breaking in cold sweat on our chairs. With every incorrect pronunciation we will be greeted with her famous quote.
“I’ll kill you for good!”
If looks could kill we’d be all dead on the floor each class.
But she made us spoke the language in less than 3 months. We were scared, blackmailed and screamed at but we remembered everything, we pronounced the words properly and we spoke French, which was the ultimate goal.
She was a great teacher!
The next teacher was nice and like most foreign language, we forgot.
But I never forget the thrill I get from listening, acknowledging and even listening to French. It was my First Love.
Like most First Loves, it’s never completely forgotten, nor completely remembered.