I made it 45 minutes before they switched to breakfast English!
Something about me just screams American and I don’t know what: flip-flops, pastels, flag that’s stamped onto my bag even though I am vehemently against misplaced patriotism… but I’m trying really hard to fake some French. Christine and I noticed that the second we started trying French words, people would speak English back to us and now that I’m solo, it’s become a game to me to keep it exclusively Français for as long as possible. I accomplished breakfast using a couple of strategies:
a) taking a page out of Teddy R.’s book and speaking softly (the big stick I left for les gendarmes, which are everywhere, apparently foiling terrorist attacks with them. This is good in the sense that I like my terrorist attacks best when they’re foiled.)
d) referencing 1999’s Strange Pleasure go-to encore request phrase, except instead of “un autre chanson! UN AUTRE CHANSON!” which would be bizarre at 11 a.m. in a place called “The Green Fairy” I meekly subsituted “un autre café, s’il vous plaît?”
La Fee Verte! I just connected that this is called that because it’s an absinthe bar. Despite a recent nonsensical Mr. Boombastic experience that was directly related to afternoon absinthe consumption, I love the stuff. I love pretending I’m an old timey, roaring ‘20s intellectual, sipping thoughtfully to become less so. I love forgetting I’m trying to be thoughtful and skipping gleefully to a Shaggy concert afterward. Anyway, I’ll definitely be back. Or in my newly self-invented Franglais, je’ll definitely be derrière.
Oh! France is the greatest! Actually, “international” is the greatest. I read a couple of old blogs last night and realized that I was really excited about some guy hitting on me when I had dirty hair in the Philippines, too. And I don’t want to be someone who struts around going, “look at ME everybody, I’m a hockey player!” (another phrase I borrowed from 1999… sorry hockey team, but some of you guys were sort of ridiculous) so I want everyone to know that this NEVER happens to me in Maine. I mean outside of cabdrivers. So I’m only mentioning these things because they truly are exciting anomolies, although I’m starting to recognize the pattern that people maybe only find me attractive with dirty (or facial) hair. Weird.
Anyway, this tall, dark drink of water (which is gross in an actual drink of water but I’m for it in people) just stopped me and struck up a conversation as I was hanging out by the cemetery.
Side note: this is not something I normally do, but Jim Morrison and Rin Tin Tin are buried here and I had a picture of myself sort of peacefully hiking through it, eventually settling near some muse’s grave- not that Rin Tin Tin is a muse; I probably would’ve been allergic- and kicking back with a book for awhile. I thought it would get my mojo rising and whatnot. Turns out, though, this isn’t Evergreen Cemetery and I wasn’t going to be alone with the turtles. This place has no grass but is wall-to-wall above-ground crypts and there were real-time, actual layings-to-rest happening. Nope.
Right, so I didn’t understand much from this tall guy except his name was David (pronounced with an accent on the second syllable, like “living DaVid-a loca”) and the word “proposal”, but I had no trouble accepting a date to go dancing tonight, knowing that
a) it was an easy phrase to translate based on Christina Aguilera’s belting it out in Moulin Rouge (substitute “danser” for “coucher”) and
b) I knew I wouldn’t actually go because he had no possible way of getting in touch with me.
So after some lighthearted shouting: “C’est compliqué! C’est compliqué! D’accord, d’accord, d’accord,” we shook hands, au revoired, and I giddily moved on.
Le Jardin des Plants, Notre Dame, the Seine… it was really a beautiful day overall. I finally found my reading spot near a busker playing Jeff Buckley on accordion, and it was so lovely that I wished I had euros to throw at him. Perfect skies, scent of spring flowers, super creepy gargoyles hovering above.
Je t’aime, Paris… je t’aime.