J’ai un colis pour vous.

J’ai un colis pour vous.

zhay uh koh-LEE poor voo. Click below to hear this. 

I have a package for you.

And the story goes on! Oh, you just tuned in? We’re talking about the movie The Tourist. You can go back here to catch the beginning of the conversation. Go ahead, I’ll wait for you.

Thanks for coming back! So we had Elise Ward sitting in the sidewalk café, drinking her tea. And here comes a fellow riding a bike, weaving among the tables. We see him dismount and speak to the waiter, who points towards Elise and says C’est madame. The messenger carries an envelope to her table and hands it to her with a charming smile. J’ai un colis pour vous.

Let’s put the movie on “pause” for a moment. Note, first of all, that the waiter doesn’t say That’s her (C’est elle). He says C’est madame, which dignifies her and gives her a certain amount of status. It is clear, just from that tiny interaction, that Elise Ward is not only well-known in this establishment, but is well-respected.

Secondly, if you look up le colis in the dictionary, you are likely to find package as the first meaning. But accordingly to French postal regulations, un courrier may weigh up to 3kg, and un colis may weigh anywhere from 0 to 30kg. So it can be an envelope, a small parcel, or even a great big carton.

Okay, you can push “play” now. Elise Ward opens the large envelope, only to find a smaller one inside. She sees the monogram, AP, on the envelope. She reads the note, with only a trace of a smile. And then she burns the note and the envelope in her tea saucer.

Sorry, that’s all the time we have for today! Next time we’ll talk about this messenger. He elicits quite a reaction from the mysterious men in the van.

Alternate link to audio file: jai-un-colis-pour-vous

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