AI click on the correct translation of the word “carrot.” A Duolingo owl flies across my screen to announce that I have completed all the lessons in beginner French.
“Very good!” I say, quickly calling it “Genial!” The owl flies into a circle and another text appears announcing that I am indeed the best beginner French student Duolingo has ever seen, and because of that, they are going to buy me an all-expenses paid trip to Paris. Sending on. Then!
When I arrive at Charles de Gaulle airport I see a serious, James Bond-esque man holding a sign with my name on it. He picks me up in a fancy SUV and drives me to the Ritz-Carlton, where I’ll be staying.
The driver told me, “The Z Duolingo team was so impressed with your word association skills and 17-day streak that they booked you a Z Penthouse suite.”
“Mercy,” I reply.
“Incredible,” says the driver slowly removing his sunglasses, “you really know your stuff.”
I make an espresso and drink it on my balcony, which has panoramic views of the Arc de Triomphe, the Sacre Coeur, and Notre Dame. Since arriving in Paris, I now enjoy the taste of espresso and it no longer gives me heartburn. I change into a blue striped shirt, a pair of dark jeans that fit me perfectly, and a little neck scarf that makes me look chic, not like a prepubescent Boy Scout.
I start biking with Sean when all of a sudden, I see a lost poodle on the streets. I pick her up and she wags her tail and smiles at me.
“Le Chien,” I say, correctly identifying him as a dog. She nods vigorously as if to say, “Ah, this is a French woman who certainly speaks French.” I see his owner’s address on his dog tag, so I put him in my basket and ride there.
I knock on the door and a man answers. this is gabriel from Emily in Paris (Not the actor playing Gabriel, but Gabriel himself). He apologizes profusely and hands me a bouquet of flowers.
“All French men carry fresh flowers,” he explains.
I say, “Les fleurs,” remembering Duolingo’s lesson on nature.
“Yeah, exactly,” he replies. He looks at me like a groom seeing his bride for the first time, and then asks if I’d like to come inside as he’s hosting a small soiree.
“Bien sur,” I say.
He replies, “Magnifice,” which is a word we didn’t really know in early French, but I knew it anyway.
I walk in and Gabriel introduces me to his friends Jean-Claude, Jean-Paul and Jean-Pierre. They both kiss me on both cheeks and I am able to respond to the action in a way that is natural and not awkward at all. Gabriel and Jeans learn the primary colors, a number between one and fifty, and “Where’s the library?” Let’s start a heated discussion about phrases like. I add, “There’s a library over there, it’s brown.” All four men are blown away by my impeccable communication skills.
I go back to my hotel room and begin to settle in when suddenly I hear a knock on my door. I open it and see that my visitor is Emmanuel Macron! Apparently, Duolingo called him directly to tell him about my French abilities. He asks if I can help him write an upcoming speech about common foods found at the grocery store. I tell him, “Oui,” and he’s so thrilled that he gives me French citizenship on the spot.
After she leaves, I finish with a simple yet elegant skincare routine, slip on silk pajamas that hang beautifully from my lovely frame, and get ready for bed. I see that Gabrielle texted me asking if I’d like to drink Chardonnay with her on top of the Eiffel Tower tomorrow. Absoluteness! Between that and helping write the presidential speech it’s certainly going to be a busy day, but c’est la vie!