Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Snuggling Up To French Women

Wednesday morning!  Yay!  Today was the outdoor market Mecca at Les Halles. I rode down in the misty morning light and immediately got in line for the same fruit booth I went to last week and the week before to get a refill on apple/pear juice and the seasons best apples, pears, peaches, and plums.  I've witnessed a large spectrum of acceptable behavior at French farmer's markets so far...  Sometimes people fill their own bags, but still wait in line to weigh and pay.  Sometimes people wait in line for just the bags and pay when they're done picking out what they want.  Sometimes people wait patiently in the whole line with their empty bags and then order their household fruit and vegetable consumption in terms of kilograms per week from the overworked farmer behind the table.  (Me?  I'm getting used to the kilometers and degrees, but I still think of fruit and vegetables in units - 2 plums, 4 apples, 2 pears - like a French kindergartner.)

Today, I got out my empty bags from last week and eagerly started filling them up with deliciousness.  It wasn't long before I started pissing off the woman in front of me who did not hesitate to scold me for touching all the fruit.  Here is a rough translation of what was said in French + make sure to add a terrible American accent to my part...
Her - "If you squeeze all the fruit, you're making it bruised for everyone behind you in line."
Me - "I never squeeze the fruit."
Her - "That's right.  Don't squeeze it."
Me - "I don't."
Her - "Good.  You shouldn't."
I continued to pick my fruit out awkwardly when it became obvious that this random French woman never wanted to think about me or see me ever again.  We don't know each other so that shouldn't be too difficult...  Not a great start - culturally speaking!

Next stop:  garlic, onions, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes!  I quickly find myself in line behind another French woman who had the exact same haircut as the Shih Tzu in her arms (no joke).  I tried not to stare, but her fingers were all over the place!  She'd take a stroke of her precious pet, then fondle the onions, pet pet, sift through garlic, pet, ew...  I was starting to understand what I might've looked like to French Lady #1.

Done!  Cue French Lady #3...  A well-dressed woman with straggly white hair handed me a flyer and instead of my normal, "non, merci" I welcomed the flyer and looked her straight in the eyes and genuinely asked if this flyer would tell me where I can find some friends.  We stood in the middle of the market for a second laughing like insane people and then she said, "Maybe!  You never know."  I walked away pretty pleased with my joke of the day...  The flyer was for an antique fair.  Wah wah  :)

Practice was great last night!  I had a terrible stomach ache beforehand (probably because of the anti-inflammatories I've been popping like red hots), but as soon as I got with my team - it was like magic - my stomach pain just went away.  Seriously, I was sitting alone in the gym doubled over with pain and as soon as my team arrived and we started talking and laughing - GONE!  I love practicing with my team!

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