Sunday, November 14, 2010

Numbers Games

As I write, someone is probably squirming in his or her seat at our big community hall, anxiously awaiting one last number... Loto is Bingo, and it's big here. This has likely drawn four or five hundred people, perhaps more since it's raining. Again.

The kids wanted to go because the jackpot is an American fridge. Translation: it's usually got one of those water dispensers and it's énorme by French standards. They loved playing with the buttons on these when we last visited the US. I never told them some models could even make crushed ice. Their little heads would have exploded. Our fridge here doesn't even have a freezer. Other top prizes were a 42-inch flat screen TV, an oven, and a laptop. The fridge alone was worth $1,780.

Cards cost 4€, five for 16€ or ten for 30€ (~$5.50, $22, $41). Not cheap! And Loto is really a test of your comprehension of French numbers. Certain categories of numbers still fry my brain. Soixante is sixty, but soixante-dix is 70. So if you need 64, you could start to hear sixty-something and it ends up being seventy-something. For this reason, I've always wished the French would adopt the system Belgium uses, where 70 is septante. Like that, septante et un would be 71. And for 90, instead of quatre-vingt-dix (four times twenty and ten) it's just nonante. Ninety-one is nonante et un. Simple.

So, we didn't go... we were home playing a different kind of cards... more on that tomorrow...

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