When I was in France, I drank a lot of water. Coming from the humidity of Florida's climate, the naturally drier climate of France in September had us sucking on bottled water pretty much all day long. Like everything in France, the water was expensive. Whenever we sat down to eat in a restaurant, we would order the complementary "carafe d'eau" - a pitcher of cold water, to save the $4.00 bottled water charge.
One day in Lyons, I got separated from our group after I made an extended stop at the post office. Since I was on my own for the next six hours, I decided to make the best of it and stopped to have lunch at the outdoor seating area of a cafe on the central square. I was able to order the special, a pork chop with cauliflower gratin, without any problem and I asked for the pitcher of "d'eau" (pronounced DOH). The waitress looked at me quizzically and asked me "a pitcher of what?" "D'eau", I replied, "D'eau, d'eau, d'eau." Which made me feel like a Doh (Homer Simpson style.)
I ended up ordering lemonade.
And to this day, I still don't know what I was saying so incorrectly that the waitress couldn't understand me. C'est la vie.