The other day in class, I was trying to teach my 6ieme class (roughly equivalent to sixth or seventh grade) about food, and how to ask if there were "any apples" or "any cheese", et cetera. I always have a hard time keeping this class on track (this is the one with the boy who routinely asks me, "Do you like rugby?" or "Do you like soccer?" in French, and no matter what my answer tries to tell me his personal experiences with the sport...) when one of the more talkative girls asks, "Ashley, qu'est ce que ca veut dire 'in the navy'?" (what does 'in the navy' mean?). Baffled at such an odd question, I quickly tried to explain that the Navy was part of the American army, et cetera, before moving on to ask if there were any nuts in the cupboard.
Last night, while hanging out at the house of some of the French people we have met, Remy (an avid music fan, and a die-hard karaoke singer) turned on the karaoke machine, projecting the videos and words onto the six-foot high sheet strung on the wall. He popped in a disc and the Village People's "In the Navy" video came on. How does a twelve year old girl know the words to a song written in 1979 by a musical group appropriated as mascots by the gay community? I love this country.