My last full day in Paris saw a brief trip to Luzarches, a tiny village about 48 minutes north of the city. Unfortunately, there ain’t nothin’ much going on there. But it was pretty enough, so I’m not complaining.
A weird thing happened in the evening, however: everyone seemed to feel the urge to speak to me in English. First, after making funny faces to a small child in a restaurant, her mother instructed her to, “dise lui quelquechose en anglais”. I guess I wear the anglophone badge like a sign on my forehead. A few minutes later, the waiter broke out into English when speaking to me, presumably after hearing my pathetic, stumbling attempts at French. And as we left the restaurant, another patron stopped me to ask –in halting English– how France was treating me.
Now this latter bit is sort of interesting. Despite the (well earned) reputation of Parisians as xenophobic and intolerant of those who would murder their language, this was not my experience. Everyone was quite welcoming and blase about my foreign status. (Heck, I’m sure 80% of the city is foreign these days). More importantly, until the restaurant experience, everyone was willing to let me try to express myself in French without cutting me off in English. In addition, as the last patron exemplified, there is a concern that France and Paris be perceived well; hence that fellow’s inquiries about my impressions, my experiences with French people, and whether I would return. An excellent way to end my stay.
The following is a photo of a kind of balm I encountered while here: rosebud salve. Despite its name, it’s meant for the lips and not the anus. Yes, I was disappointed, as well:
In Other News…
The next fun American politics guessing game is trying to predict whom Barack Obama will choose as his Vice Presidential running mate. I hope it’s fairly obvious to everyone that choosing Hillary is both ill-advised and unlikely. No Presidential candidate wants to be outshone by his running mate; nor would Obama be interested in a threesome with Bill and Hillary (in the words of Eric Margolis); and I think he’d always be concerned that she would get him bumped off. I would be!
Eric Margolis claims that Obama is courting “Louisiana Gov. Jimmy Jindal” as a potential East Indian running mate. I think Margolis means Bobby Jindal, who is a Republican and, as I’ve discussed before, probable Creationist. Margolis also claims that Obama is considering Colin Powell.
I think that choosing a woman or racial minority for a running mate is sheer idiocy. What Obama needs is an old-fashioned, straight white man. A Southerner would be nice, too. I give you John Edwards.