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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

4-17-12 Survival Jobs for Writer-Musicians – Starter Job #105 (Bank Holiday weekend in Paris - part 2)


(the "grandma hat" sort of looked like this, but had a smaller brim and was white, not pink, with black netting)


In Paris, I ate by myself, at simple cafés.  Everything that passed my lips was so delicious! -- but then, I was pretty broke, really watching my wallet, and very HUNGRY the whole time.  But in one café, I ordered “une sandwich au fromage, avec moutarde” (a cheese sandwich with mustard).  The waiter gave me an incredulous, then dirty, look.

Moutarde?!” 

I responded, “Oui, je desire fromage avec moutarde.  Je suis Americain.” I looked at him with an almost apologetic, yet defiant, look.  Just bring me my cheese sandwich and don’t spare the Dijon mustard, OK pal?? 

Reluctantly, the waiter brought my sandwich, cruelly bastardized in his opinion with the delicious Dijon moutarde my American tastes so craved.  I laughed, inwardly, and applauded my small fait d’accompli.  I do love cheddar cheese, Dijon, and anything else with Dijon mustard: pretzels, turkey sandwiches, hot dogs. . . I’m just a mustard freak.  So it appears that they don’t like to combine cheeses and mustards in France.  Ha! So old school, noveau, non!

I was wearing a funny looking hat (a white satin cap with a brim and wide black netting around it) that I’d just bought, thinking it was piquant, and pixie-ish.  The waiter commented, something about a chapeau and a “grandmere.”  He insulted my chapeau!!  Said it looked like a grandma hat!  Oh, mon dieu! Quel mortification! 

I did not return to that café, and I stopped wearing the hat once I tired of it.  I was having fun, reading and speaking the language, although some of the Parisiennes I met weren’t reacting very positively to my struggles with their beloved langue. . .

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