July 30, 2009

things I was trying to tell you while I was too busy being polite to interrupt you

The past 5 days or so has been mysterious riddled with French people. Why is that? All in Brooklyn, but a lot of them go to my job because apparently it is a big to-do in New York City. Who knew? But if I remember anything from last summer working at that French restaurant in Williamsburg, it's that French people LOVE Brooklyn. Brooklyn has sometimes been deemed "the Paris of New York." I beg to differ. I plead and implore. I've only spent 3 or 4 days in Paris. And I don't think it's anything like Brooklyn. I'd cringe to think of the Stateside equivalent of the Champs Elysee.

Last Saturday night, my silly friend Steve threw a party on his roof. It was a nice party. By the tiem we arrived, everyone was well off sauced. There were string lights and ample seating. And ample French people. And they were all from different parts of France. How did they find their way to this random party? Considering it's Steve and anybody who knows Steve sense that he is a vortex for all things unusual that you probably are better off not questioning too much.

I found myself compiling the party playlist. One of the Frenchies with a severe perspiration problem continually hounded me to play his song. He would then play Lady Gaga over and over again and some Vive La Fete, which I actually found to be quite good ("because Karl Lagerfeld played dis for his show, ever since then, you put on Vive La Fete and eet eez perfection!" he says in his thick accent, doing one of those finger kissing motions that spaghetti sauce commercials do to indicate that something is really perfect)

There are a handful of people I went to college with that I hadn't seen or spoken to in a long time. So we did that. Talked, I mean. As I am conversing with Britany who is telling me about her horrible roommate, one of the Frenchmen marches straight up to her.
"Excuse me," he starts. "My friend from home-- I am from France-- eez telling me that American girls, they like french accents on men?"
Britany looks perplexed. This could be because she can only understand 60% of what he just said in his broken English, or because of the half empty 40 in her hand.
After a convoluted debate of the verity of this statement, neither can communicate with the other, not knowing enough of each other's languages. Britany suffices by raising her 40 to his drink, offering "cheers!"

"Cheese?" he asks, cocking his head. "Fromage?" He looks at me to confirm.

"Yes. When we do that we say 'cheese.'" I say. "We say fromage."

"Ah, that is very funny. We say chin-chin!"

"Chacun se gout," I respond, the only appropriate saying I know for this situation, meaning to each his own.

And then ever since then, my ears have been pricked to French accents. Which I realize, I hear everywhere in Manhattan. And yes, they are exactly as you think of them in the movies.


Jomama said...

Do zey wear the stripey shirtz? ;)

K-Hawk said...

It's true! So many French people in the city!