I live very close to the Parc de la Tête d'Or, the largest urban park in France, according to Wikipedia. It has a lake, a (free) zoo, mini-golf, pony rides, cafes, botanical gardens, and enough joggers around the clock, even if it's raining or snowing, to make you feel obscenely guilty for not jogging lately even though you're going to start... soon.
|Me in the Deer Section of the park. Yes, it has an entire deer section. And yes, deer do like baguettes.|
For months now, I’ve enviously watched French people trot around with their adorable French dogs in that park. The long, shady, tree-lined avenues and the winding paths around the lake are perfect for romantically strolling with a boyfriend, or a pet, or something. A pet would be an adequate substitute for a boyfriend, but since I don't have a pet myself, living vicariously through other people's pets takes third place in the Lonely Expat Meter. And yes, that is in fact an official thing. Unfortunately, not knowing the translation of “to pet” in French, being too lazy to look it up, and worrying that I might accidentally say something weird, like “molest,” I haven’t had the opportunity to give my love to even the cutest of puppies up close.
But that has now changed—sort of. I have learned that the verb is caresser, to caress. But I think it will be a while before I can get over the awkwardness of the American equivalent of the sentence, until I’m comfortable enough to actually say, “Excuse me, sir, may I caress your dog?”
|Sad French puppy is cute, but out of luck.|