We were walking down the street in the Old City in Montreal, when I saw a woman with simply amazing hair. It was iron-grey, fell to her lower back, and was beautifully braided in hundreds of cornrows. It looked lovely. I always try to pass along compliments where due; my French is poor but I thought it up to the challenge. I thought a minute, confirmed a word with my husband, and approached the woman as we were stopped at a light. "Your hair is very pretty!" I said in my best grade-school French.
Turns out it was a wasted effort- she was a visitor in town too and spoke not a word of French. I laughed in relief and repeated my compliment in English. She smiled, thanked me and we turned different directions at the street corner and parted ways.
I turned to find my husband killing himself with laughter. My poor grasp of French made my compliment to translate "Yous has a pretty horse."
Chevaux, cheveux. Whatever. :)
Just as well she didn't speak French. Just as well I don't try more often.