I took a day off from work this past week and decided to go to the neighborhood sushi place to get take-out. While I was waiting for my order I heard a couple of Americans at a nearby table. Even though I tried to tune them out, I couldn’t for very long. I’d focus on something else, but a minute or two later I’d realize that I was listening to them again. Then it hit me that this happens quite often. When I’m out and about, I can usually tune out French conversations if I choose to. I just go into “not listening” mode. But English, particularly when spoken with American accents, tends to cut through any other noise. When I’m in France, there’s something about hearing an accent from across the Atlantic that makes my ears automatically perk up. Funnily enough, the same thing happens when I’m in the US and hear French.