French was no challenge for this native speaker who moved from Yaoundé, Cameroon to work in Tunisia for the last 7 years. With cheaper tuition fees and home to most of his friends, Clément relocated to France. As the only guy within the circle, he has held his ground and is considered our ‘Bodyguard’ turned ‘Translator’
If I had to describe our friendship with a quote:
“Friendship between women is different than friendship between men” – Jane Fonda
Clément and I met the first day of school thanks to our ‘Social Butterfly’. As he wasn’t in my program, I’d say he’s that friend who I didn’t see very often but who was always there. Does that make sense?
He was actually one of the main reasons I practiced speaking even slower because most times he couldn’t understand me. Communication is key right?
Speaking of communication, it’s quite easy to miscommunicate especially when you’re used to speaking in your own dialect. In the earlies, I often struggled with this and Clément was a victim, unfortunately.
Check out this dialogue between us:
Me: “You got a new number, papa!”
Clément: “Yes, I did, but why are you calling me daddy?”
For the non-Trinis, ‘papa’ is a Trini slang commonly used to express surprise or shock
Moral of the story: You must be willing to adapt your communication style when moving abroad. So be prepared for lots of miscommunication together with some lessons learnt.
OK, back to Clément.
“Patience is your best friend.”
Clément is always down for any and everything and he’s also a foodie. Though I haven’t tasted his cooking yet, he is a proper advocate for Trini food and alcohol. He also listened to a bit of Soca so I think he is ready for Trinidad’s Carnival. 2022 we coming!!! We haven’t had the opportunity to travel together but I hope we do in the near future.
We’ve shared a bit about our culture and he even introduced me to some French afrobeats music which has been on repeat in my playlists.
Our friendship is so refreshing and I’m excited to see how it evolves in the future.
One challenge faced since moving abroad?
“The Paperwork is always a torture to me.”
One food you can’t do without?
“I can adapt easily so there’s no food I can’t live without.”
What motivates you?
“Is it weird to mention MONEY? 😂 But for real I just want my family and friends to be proud of me. Most importantly I want to be proud of myself.”
What do you love the most about Cameroon?
“A lot of things actually… But most importantly the fact that we are open minded.”
Two fun facts about your country?
“We can have a whole discussion with only questions😂
We call everyone “brother,” girls included.”