11 March 2005

Beware of Frenchies

The First Installment in One Broad, Abroad

My dad warned me more than once before I headed off to Europe to watch out for "smooth talkin' frenchies". He, perhaps, envisioned Pepe Le Pews--reverse anthromorphized--wooing his little girl. I didn't think it was likely.


But there I was at Gare du Nord, fresh off the train from the airport. Alone. Backpack burdening me. The pack did more than burden my back—it branded me "tourist." My paltry French-speaking skills corroborated my foreigner status, so when a guy approached me with "bonjour," and I replied in kind, he immediately asked where I was from.

There was no fooling that I was French so I stuck with as much honesty as my choppy French could convey. Determining that it was my first time to Paris, he motioned to a cafe right in front of us. (Not so difficult, as pretty much anywhere you go in Paris, there will be a cafe right in front of you.)

Yes, I went. Although my antennae read less than pure motives, we were out in the well-populated public. Plus I was hungry. Plus I figured Frenchy'd probably pick up the tab.

He did, and I ate my first baguette au fromage on the dime of this unctious fellow. He was not physically repugnant, but on one of his teeth, a permanent sliver of mossy green encroached on his enamel. I guess Frenchy was attracted to my urban winter safari look for I was far too bundled up for him to see my ass that won't quit or my bitchin' clavicle. Maybe he liked the look of masochism in the big backpack. Nah, he must have thought the language barrier would be a sexual facilitator.
He attempted to chat with me, but conveniently did not speak English or seem to comprehend my French. (I was that bad?)

Frenchy continued to walk with me toward my hostel. I did not disclose exactly where I was going, lest he try to steer me in the wrong direction. I wanted him to leave me alone, but that latent feminine rationale in me crept up--oh, well, he was [at least superficially] nice and bought me lunch, so I should let him walk with me.

I was not really afraid, though, because we were out on a busy street, and I certainly did not have enough latent feminine reasoning that would compel me to go somewhere private with him or let him lead me somewhere.

As we walked, that brazen lad attempted to hold my hand! He was faster than the TGV. I twice had to shake him off, lying that I had a boyfriend. Frenchy didn't understand.

Not too long after that, he must have decided that I was not going to spread my legs for him just because he was French. He parted, leaving me in much better company: myself.

and that was my first experience in Europe.

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