Friday, January 21, 2011

Yes? Yes? NO!

It has been forever since I updated this blog. Since September, I have been working part time blogging for other people so that took precedence, proving about how strong my blogging "keeping it real" principles are. Now that I'm somewhat less gainfully employed, I can go back to what I love best: telling strange stories about the French in their natural habitat.

Tim and I were sitting in a bistro in Reims, in the north of France, enjoying ourselves some delicious moelleux au chocolat (translation: lava cake. Is your mouth not watering?). In fact, it was so good that we started a fork swordfight over the last piece. The battle endured, but I swear we did not cause a scene. However, we were so absorbed in the fight that we did not notice the middle aged, very intoxicated French gentleman creeping toward us with a fork of his own. Seriously, we are pretty sure that he drank a whole bottle of table wine by himself.

As soon as we noticed him, mouths agape, he decided to be polite. "Yes? Yes?" he asked, fork quivering with anticipation. "NO!" Tim and I both shouted, maybe a little too loudly. He tried a different tactic. "American?" he asked.

Now, this was a moment of personal shame. I always make a point not to stand out as the American wherever I go, especially somewhere like France. I swear I was not wearing white tennis shoes, a baseball cap or sweatpants in public. I made a conscious effort to use my indoor voice.

Tim was wearing a Giants sweatshirt. "It's because of you," I hissed, glaring at the man. I considered saying some random things in Polish to throw him off.

"English? Allemand?" he tried.

"Espanol!" Tim gleefully replied. I facepalmed at that; we would make two of the most pasty-skinned Spaniards in history.

"Yes, American," I gave in.

The Frenchman may have guessed correctly, but he still couldn't have our cake. He went back to his seat in defeat, then proceeded to discuss where Tim and I might be from loudly the rest of the evening with his dinner companions. Loudly and clearly enough that even I could understand most of it.

So basically what I concluded from this experience is that based on fork swordfighting and overall gluttony, the French rank Americans number one, followed by the English and then the Germans. Either way, they figured that all three nationalities would give them carte blanche to speak about us loudly because there was no way we would actually understand it. Or no way that one of us might just turn out to be a Belgian who happens to enjoy watching American football.

But damn. That last bite of moelleux sure was delicious.