Metro, Boulot, Dodo

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I’d offer you a glass of red wine, but I just inadvertently finished this whole bottle by myself before you got here and I don’t think we really need to go through two bottles of wine tonight, do you?

I take your silence and the fact that you are putting your coat on to mean you don’t either and that you agree with me that we need to be responsible drinkers and to be much more moderate.

However, before you go, let me just grab your arm in a hostile way and aggressively tell you about my life: it’s all metro, boulot, dodo.  Oh mon dieu!

Oui.  I am essentially a Parisian living in Buffalo, except the fact that I am an American living in Buffalo.  However, I really think people see me as being “nearly French.”  Especially in my French class, where the other students are astounded by my marvelous ability to raise my hand and volunteer to decline a verb even without having a sincere knowledge of -er verbs.  I also think they are impressed by my rather red lipstick.  I don’t think you have to look modern day French to be French.  I think you can look World War 2 era French to be French.   I’ve included a photo of me in the lipstick and my new pleather jacket.  C’est belle.

Anyway, yes it’s all work for me here, but part of that work is learning this incredible language.  I also like to study all of the French people I know and then use their personalities to describe why the French are infinitely superior to all other nationalities, including my own. 


Here is a list of things I am learning by very subtly studying the French around me and now very subtly writing it on this public blog:
FRENCH GLASSES:

Okay.  The French has exquisite taste in glasses.  I’ve noticed that a popular style in glasses is a frame that is colored and then has clear lens.  I wear glasses that make me look like a French scientist, which is a good look.  However, the French-French wear glasses that make them look futuristic and advanced.  When they talk, I trust them more because I perceive that they are from the future.  The future is France.

I have witnessed three French people who have these kind of glasses–Vincent is one of them (black).  Another is a French friend (yellow with inter-changable color frames).  And a third is my French teacher (pink).  

FRENCH MOUTH EXPRESSIONS:

There is this certain way French people say they don’t know something.  They do this kind of jazz band on their lips–like a raspberry.  They kind of puff out air in an exasperated way and then shrug their shoulders and say something like, “Puhh.  I don’t know.  I didn’t make the rules!”  My French teacher tells us this a lot.  Also, when I try to go into the French embassy in Buffalo for lunch and they say I am not actually French, they tell me the same thing as they are closing the door.

FRENCH BISOUS:

Okay, French bisous is pretty awkward for me because I never know who is going to do it to me or who I should do it too.  For instance, Vincent and I met Vincent’s French colleagues and friends for a coffee.  They are both young woman who I know a little bit.  They are both extremely cool.  However, when the first one came up to me, I gave her this strange side hug.  She gave Vincent bises (in a polite way).  I realized I should have kissed her on both cheeks.  I then did this to our other friend and it worked out well.  However, I don’t really know who I should be doing this with and who not to.  I think when I was in France I kissed Vincent’s older brother on the side of his mouth.  This was uncomfortable and also revealed the fact that I am not really French.  In the history of Alexis David, this was not the most glamorous moment.  Je suis desole!  These bises are making me crazy!  We don’t do this in America.  I need to take a class in this.

FRENCH STYLE:

One word: cool.
One more word: scarves.

Okay, the list is over.

Anyway, this weekend Vincent’s work colleague who is now my legitimate friend (I will definitely be bisousing her in a totally cool, normal way) is coming over for a French dinner.  I have a million questions to ask her.  I think I will ask her to look at all my clothes and then ask her for advice on how to make myself look more French.

Okay, my hand is really hurting me because it is tightly gripping your arm still and you seem to have a panicked expression on your face and you are prying my hand off your arm with your other hand, so it’s probably a good idea to go.

Can you throw this wine bottle in the recycling on your way out the door?  Merci beaucoup.

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11 Replies to “Metro, Boulot, Dodo”

  1. I love it! I have always a big smile on my face when I read you!
    I’m french by the way, in Paris haha

    You are learning, little by little, how to “bisous” friend in a french way, so please write an article on how to hug people like a real American for your French readers 😁
    It’s so weird to me to hug a person, do I have to hug with my head on the right side of the person or on the left? The shoulders need to be in contact ?…😱

    1. Maria, your comment on hugging is so adorable! Honestly, as a person who has hugged forever, I have never thought about these things … although, I will say, that you do need to be careful who you hug. A handshake is far more common, and hugs are often reserved for more of your close friends — people who probably wouldn’t think twice about your hugging “technique.” 🙂

    2. Maria, I went out with my French friends last night and I bisoused (correct past tense?) them all! Well, actually only the women–I was too timid with the male friends. Also, do I bisous someone I am being introduced to?
      Here are some hug rules: pat on the back hug is a simple way to greet someone. Full embrace can be romantic. Hug with head on either side. Shoulders don’t need to be in contact. Sometimes Americans make hugging noise . . .like “ooooh! it’s so good to see you.”

      1. Oh, God. I didn’t even think of hugging as a weirdly American thing…. Except as soon as we start talking about hugging noises it seems so damn creepy.

        My kissing tip: not all Europeans start with the same cheek — Italy is backwards, and has lead to some unanticipated situations. 😁

  2. I think you’re doing fabulously – except for the wine thing. Do you think any of the “French French” would decline a second bottle of wine? Non, non!

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