Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Nothing Like Curse Words to Put Someone Back in Their Element

Sometimes, a new country can be scary, even if the food is awesome.

          I just came back yesterday from Paris with my boyfriend, which was a real adventure for him because he speaks no French whatsoever, except for the phrase "Arretez-vous!" which he heard somewhere and enjoys shouting at inappropriate and random intervals. Because I'm so used to French, I forget how daunting it can be in a place where you don't know the language, the cultural norms, or what is written on any of the buildings around you. We were discussing it in the never-ending line for the Notre Dame bell tower, when the guy in front of us started complaining at length, in French, about how long he had been waiting. Boyfriend stared at him blankly and occasionally asked me "What's he saying? How about now? Is he still talking about it?" while nodding and smiling at the irate French man. Finally, French guy looks Boyfriend in the eye and concludes with "MERDE! La France!" and storms away. Boyfriend looks at me, smiles contentedly, as with a new-found sense of belonging, and says, "Now that I understood."

1 comment:

  1. You have to explain to your boyfriend that French people get very, very "miffed" at stuff on a daily basis and can be quite dramatique! ;-) I am surprised Le Boyfriend did not try his "arrêtez-vous" to interrupt the Frenchman en colère. Come to think of it, this might have proved a bad move. Funny post.