Sunday, November 10, 2013


WHILE at Wallis and Futuna in August, we (the other Team PNG manager and I) - at two different instances - stopped by at a family stall (a kai place) for dinner.
The place, a simple shelter with tables and chairs, was set up by a Wallisian family to sell food and drinks to those who do not want to eat at home.
It is situated on the other side of the road from the King’s (Lavelua’s) palace at Mata-Utu, the capital.
The mother of the family and chef of the place was Teresa.
Teresa and her daughters ran the place.

On the first evening that we arrived, I tried some of my French and Wallisian with them. (I learned some Wallisian words before we left PNG from a Wallisian who lives in Nouméa – and also from a dictionary I downloaded from a website.)
A few nights later, my colleague came late in the evening. By then I had already eaten a big meal at the hotel that we were staying at.
He said he was going to the kai place for some dinner and asked me to join him.
Since I had already eaten, I said I would join him just to drink some coffee.

When we arrived at the kai place, the mother (Teresa) was happy to see both of us – so were her other relatives. 
She asked what we would like to eat.
My colleague chose what he wanted.
Then Teresa asked me: “Et toi, Thomas. Est-ce que tu veux quelque chose (And you Thomas. You want something)?”  
I replied: “J’ai déjà mangé mais je voudrais du café (I already ate but I would like coffee).”  
And she went on to serve us.

Now, the point of this entire story is the word “déjà”.
It means “already” – and I learned it a day or two before by going through my dictionary in the attempt to communicate better with the locals there.

A related phrase that has been used a lot in English nowadays is “déjà vu” – and it means “already seen”.
There is a movie by the same name.
“Déjà vu” refers to a situation you are in and realize/feel that you have been through such an experience before.
“Vu” is a part of a French past tense (passé composé) form of the word “voir” – to see.

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