petite anglaise

October 12, 2004


Filed under: city of light — petiteanglaiseparis @ 12:12 pm

I almost took part in a threesome on the way to work this morning.

The scene took place in a crowded, rush-hour metro, at 9:05 (although I should have been at work for 9:00). I was uncomfortably close to my fellow passengers, praying that the object pressing into my back was an umbrella or part of somebody’s bag. It being pre-morning espresso, I was not fully awake yet. The soundrack, courtesy of a couple of Eastern European buskers was a rendition of ‘My Way’ on accordian and a tambourine, the backing track blaring out from one of those amplifiers on wheels they all seem to have these days.

At Gare de l’Est a couple got on.

He was in his forties, and had what I call the ‘second-rate sales rep’ look. He was dressed in one of those rather unattractive mustard coloured suits that a certain type of Frenchman seems to favour, his trousers just slightly too short, revealing gleaming white socks. Nasty brown suede lace up shoes rounded the whole look off perfectly.

She, also in her forties, looked like his company’s receptionist: a little over made-up, brittle hair dried out from one too many home bleaching kits, outfit on the tarty side.

I am guessing that they had ‘got together’ for the first time the previous night. Which may explain – but certainly does not excuse – their slurping all over each other in the metro approximately 2 centimetres from my face for the entire journey. I tried to escape, but it was impossible to put any more distance between us. Looking down at my shoes didn’t help, as it only served to make me aware of what they were doing with their hands.

I don’t think I’ve snogged in public since I was at sixth form college (and in retrospect I cringe).

I couldn’t think of anything suitable to say as I gratefully beat a hasty retreat upon arrival at my stop. Can any of my French readers suggest a suitable French parting shot, the equivalent of ‘get a room’?


  1. How about “Bon Appetit”?

    Comment by Suziboo — October 12, 2004 @ 1:08 pm

  2. Sorry I can’t help with the stunning put-down – but I do sympathise. It’s just so … un-French.

    Comment by Lauren — October 12, 2004 @ 1:47 pm

  3. Ugh! What a writer you are, I can picture them perfectly. Gross. Was the guy carrying one of those man-handbags too? I’m afraid I can’t help with the parting shot in French. I lived in France for a bit, but all I learnt were rude words from Marseille which I can’t spell, even phonetically. There was a lot of face-pulling involved.

    Comment by Claypot — October 12, 2004 @ 3:06 pm

  4. I disagree with Lauren. Les français sont les champions de snog public (how’s that for franglais!) but the hands, yucko. you could just roll your eyes repeatedly and look snotty, like everyone else does!!!

    Comment by nardac — October 12, 2004 @ 3:10 pm

  5. Try to say: “y a des hôtels” …

    Comment by flippy — October 12, 2004 @ 3:12 pm

  6. Hi dear litte English lady,
    I’m a frog in Britain. I am in Birmingham for the academic year…and I feel the same about the English that you do about the French. But I think that we’ve got a lot of things in common! Your blog is funny…I’ll be back!
    Nouwanda in Birmingham

    Comment by Nouwanda — October 12, 2004 @ 5:19 pm

  7. Q and i only (i think) kiss (snog is so dépassée) when the kids are around. we eventually find them at the end of the metro pretending that they don’t know us.

    Comment by zed — October 12, 2004 @ 7:05 pm

  8. he he you are evil

    I used the word ‘snog’ as I was referring to way back when it used to go by that name… horrible word, I agree!

    Comment by petite — October 12, 2004 @ 7:40 pm

  9. i like the fact that in paris everyone snogs everywhere. it kind of reinforces the reason why paris is the capital of love. only thing is if your single it makes you want someone special to snog even more!

    Comment by minnow — October 12, 2004 @ 8:38 pm

  10. “Y’a des hotels pour ca” could be ok, but you might be considered as a “rabat-joie” :smile:

    Comment by emilie [mimile] — October 13, 2004 @ 3:09 pm

  11. What I wouldn’t give to be able to come up with some in your position and sadly, I usually say nothing. But I’m usually ready for the next time the exact same thing happens to me… My sister tell me I should say “elle est contagieuse” when people try to touch my little girl. Maybe that could work.

    Comment by mraparis — October 13, 2004 @ 4:33 pm

  12. Sorry about the last comment. I usually can put together sentences better than that. I meant to say…What I wouldn’t give to be able to come up with something smart when I’m in the kind of position you were. However, I usually say nothing. My sister, who also lives in France, tells me I should say “elle est contagieuse” when people try to touch my daughter, like when my 4 year old cut a french kid for the slide and the grandfather touched my child to tell her not to do it again.

    Comment by mraparis — October 13, 2004 @ 4:40 pm

  13. how about “puis-je vous aider messieurs-dames?” heh heh. “ye need help?”.

    Comment by chris holland — October 19, 2004 @ 9:54 pm

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