There really are two types of young French girls. The quirky, cute, bubbly, enchanting ones who would give you the Zara blouse off their back, invite you to their parents house for tea, and tell you every damn thing you’de want to know about the city, and the pretentious, stick-up-the-bum, nose in the air, types who are too good to engage in colloquial speech or admit that there are more important things than pouting and being French.
I’m not dedicating this post just to them though.
Recently, I’ve found that my interactions with people here are becoming heightened. The good ones are getting better and better while the bad ones are getting worse and worse. About two days ago I was walking and a borderline obese homeless man walked up about a foot from me, stick up his hand, and licked his middle finger. I was so disgusted that my friend Manon and I ran into the nearest Chinese restaurant, but I was also so mad at being accosted that I yelled the only insult I could remember- which I thought meant “Go f*** yourself” but it turns out I actually said “I piss on you,” which might have been…encouraging? He followed us into the restaurant and kept yelling but I had no idea what he said, nor did I care. Just before that we were at the Pinacothèque de Paris at an German expressionist exhibit (photos to come) when I was taking photos and this (again borderline obese…what’s the deal?) woman with a flat top bouffant started screaming at me in French. I made out a few words and her arguement basically boiled down to anger towards everyone taking photos because it detracted from the enjoyment of the art and that we should just buy postcards. I mean on one hand it’s a fair argument for someone who grew up in the neolithic era, but this woman went crazy. I’m talking, make-a-goodam-scene-in-a-gallery CRAZY. It was so rude and ridiculous that a handful of other visitors were playful with me afterwards and every time I took a photo they would ooh and ahh and pretend it was a scandal. I was happy my teacher was there too because she just told the woman to shut it.
On the flip side, my good interactions have been wonderful. From the compliments on my attempted French from an elderly woman I bought a sweater from at this funny Islander shop Bora Bora to the woman who bought my fruit the other day when I couldn’t find my coins fast enough to the women who helped me carry my suitcase up the stairs in the subway, twice,I feel like I’ve been here long enough that either I’m just meeting the nice people or I’m just adjusting and they can sense it like a dog can sense fear. It’s usually the older people; a man on the bus tried to help me find my way (even though I didn’t ask for help), he also thought I was British though… and I ended up spending 15-20 minutes talking with this sweet old lady who has a fabric store down the street from AUP who I bought a swatch of dinosaur fabric from. Yes, that’s right. Dinosaur fabric. She had a drawing from her childhood book scanned and printed on for a woman in America who was having custom drapes for her 16 year old son who wants to be Paleontologist (a little old for the theme room but to each their own).
Anyways, it’s making my trip far more interesting. I’m glad I’m used to turbulence because all the moving around and exploring has taught me so much and I wouldn’t change it because it’s making me experience Paris more so than most of the other students (at least in my opinion and experience).
But still…these girls…
In other news I’ve just landed in Luxembourg until Friday and I’m so excited to relax and explore!