10:35 AM, Wednesday, June 17th, 2009:
Ya know, this was supposed to be just another one of the many randoms for my next entry, but it's so overwhelming and unavoidable... it gets it's own entry. And you must know that I hate playing into any stereotype. I pride myself on seeing different angles, and finding "the truth" without bias... but mu-fuckas are rude as SHIT here. LMAO. Like, comically rude to the point of looking for a hidden camera 'cause this must be a game show. And I actually speak some french! Took years of it in school and that shit really does come back... I was even translating for Ann at times, but wow, just listen to some of this shit:
-Ann asks the guy at the little convenience store what time he closes. He huffs and points to the wall and walks away. We both giggled a bit at that... 'cause clearly he understood her - but couldn't be bothered to say it (even in French). He actually seemed angry. Again, first day - never thought anything of it.
-Getting breakfast and the bill is $24. I put three $10s in the fold (all the money I had in my wallet) and the waitress takes it. A minute later she comes back with two $10s like I never gave her three. What can you do? There is no doubt, again - it was all the money I had in my wallet, Ann saw me put it in, and we just looked at each other and shrugged our shoulders and gave her a $20. She totally swiped it knowing there was fuck-all we could say.
-Cab ride was $6 and I handed him a $20 and he said "No change." <rolling eyes>. He wouldn't even turn around and look at me. It was almost a taunt. I knew this wasn't goin' anywhere - so I just said "dix" (ten). He handed me a $10 and we went on our way... I would've given him $8 anyway (the minimum is $6 for cabrides) but he got an extra $2 out of us. In subsequent cabs I now actually know WHERE the change is, and of course they have an ass-load of $2 and $1 coins. Duh. They're fucking cab drivers. How could they not? I find it hilarious that within the first 2 days in Paris I got ripped off twice, yet in the entirety of kenya (where they have every reason to steal) - nothing but kindness. Little life lesson there.
-Speaking of Cabbies... they don't know where SHIT is. Give them an address? They look like you ordered a pizza from them. Write it down and hand it to them? Oh mon dieu! They act like it's painstaking. One dude actually said:  "This is a very big street". !?!?! And ended up getting out of the cab, with the meter running - TWO TIMES - to go into restaurants to ask people where the address was. I mean, huh? Just strolls into a restaurant, waits to speak to a waiter, etc. Tick, tock, tick, tock. Never seen anything like it. LOL.
-Go into a battery store to get a travel power adapter. European outlets are different than UK and Kenya (and obviously the US). I said "Travel power adapter" and he looked at me like I said:  "I'd enjoy fucking your wife". "Non Francais?!" "Non". "WHY!?!" he spits back. I'm thinking: dawg - you're selling TRAVEL adapters for people that are from other countries, how could this possibly be annoying to you? And the thing was, I was speaking the majority french, I just didn't know the word for "Power" (Adapteur, Voyage & now I know "puissance for power"). Amazingly? Another woman in the store, embarrassed by HIM, translated for me. When I got out side she made it a point to come up to me and apologize profusely. "We have to treat visitors nicer or they won't come back, he was very rude". Not the first or last one mademoiselle, but thank you whomever you were.
Of course there is one thing I can do. I can play "asshole" right back. I love The Journey:
If your computer can handle it (meaning it doesn't stutter once it's loaded) click the "HD" button... incredible.
That's actually the name of the store: "Piles Expert". Here's their site, and feel free to email them: aabis@noos.fr - be sure to do it in english and link them to the video. :-) Moving on...
-Go to order a sandwich around 7pm at this little cafe. The sandwich on the menu was called "Howard Burger" and I said that was what I wanted and he said "Dejeuner!". Which means lunch, so I assumed it was only a lunch item. I responded with "Only Dejeuner?" - and he went into english and said:  "No I need to know lunch!" I look back at the menu, and am baffled. Does he mean lunch PORTION? At no time does he say lunch ORRRRRR something... I point to the menu, it's a PICTURE, and I say - "Je Veux" which just means "I want" to which he replies: "I don't know how I can make this ANY MORE clear" in perfect english. What, a, fucknoise. I looked at him, smiled and said "Merci, monsieur" and walked out.
And that's the amazing thing about it all: they don't give a FUCK if they lose money. They would rather be assholes. LOL. I've never known anything like it. I have $20 in my hand, trying to give it to you - you could give me ANYTHING and I'm not gonna bitch, and you're finding ways to make it difficult. I don't know of any other country that wouldn't find a way to get some food in your hand to take your $20. I mean, I used to think people in Manhattan were rude, but they want your money. They're rude if you don't have any, but if you hold out your wallet and try to buy their shit? You're Donald fucking Trump. Oh and this one has to take the fucking cake. I will always love this story:
So we're at an outdoor cafe having a drink and a little boy comes up beggin' for money. Ann, being the bleeding heart that she is grabs for her purse, and I shake my head. First of all, the dude isn't homeless. The kid was heavier than ME. Dawg was trying to buy a new VIDEOgame. But she goes in her purse, had no change so I gave the kid all the change I had. Probably a buck or two. He leaves...
...and then COMES THE FUCK BACK, with my change in his hand, shaking his head because it wasn't enough. The only way I can describe this kid's face, is to make you think of The Sopranos. Imagine if Tony is in the room when his kid says something rude to Carmella (his wife). He'd go:  "OOOOOOO." That's what that little bastard looked like. "OOOO. What the fuck? You call this change?" - and proceeded to stand there the REST OF THE TIME WE DRANK and said "Pleeeeeeeeease. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease". I mean, how, in ALL THE CITIES I've ever been to - all the times I've walked the streets of Manhattan (hell I lived there over a month in 2006) have I never seen a beggar COME BACK as if to chastise your generosity? I'm sure it's happened before, just not to me.
And honestly, I'm certain people have come to this city and never ran into ONE rude person. Of course. But what kills me is that I actually speak a good deal of french and at this point, it's all REALLY coming back. I'm picking up complete conversations the more I'm here and again, I'm trying to GIVE AWAY MONEY. Honestly? It's so funny to me at this point, I want MORE of it. I'm in such a goddamned good mood - no one could possibly piss me off.
Alright, Paris, Frandoms next entry... just had to get that out of the way.